PANDEMIC UPDATE: Despite our best efforts to stage the Festival this winter and then spring, we have made the decision to postpone our 5th Edition until later this year. We have a date for early December but please stay tuned as we continue to discuss the best date for all involved.
While the world has been irreversibly disrupted by Covid-19, it is our great hope that we all come out of this cataclysmic upheaval and crisis, a world more united, caring and motivated to tear down walls, build bridges and do what is necessary to better care for humanity and our planet.
In addition to the BIFF 2021edition being a milestone for us, we truly also believe one of the best ways for the world to heal and gain perspective is through the arts in general and through storytelling in particular; .... especially via films that showcase resilience and overcoming adversity. We very much hope you will submit your film and share your stories with us. And should the Festival not move forward for any reason next January, we will refund any entry fees collected.
Our requirements are as follows:
BIFF is seeking gripping NARRATIVE, DOCUMENTARY and SHORT films that celebrate resilience and our capacity to overcome adversity. In addition, special submission categories include: thought-provoking and impactful ENVIRONMENTAL films and OCEAN-THEMED environmental and adventure “short-short films” (under 10 minutes) for our SHORTS ON THE BEACH competition.
In addition to screening story-driven films from around the world, BIFF showcases the work of emerging, independent filmmakers. Central to its mission is bringing filmmakers to Barbados to share their unique story-making process and facilitating networking opportunities through filmmaker excursions, workshops and collaboration grants.
Filmmakers will compete for a series of Jury, Festival Honors and Audience Awards. Each night films are paired with locally inspired events linked to highlighting the rich cultural and physical attributes of Barbados. Whether swaying to Caribbean rhythms under the stars at the outdoor Walled Garden Theatre, local food and rum tastings linked to film themes, or integrating local experts into post film discussions, BIFF endeavors to infuse a uniquely Bajan flavor into every event.
Throughout the week, BIFF will offer opportunities to connect with enthusiastic new audiences, fellow filmmakers, film distributors and funders in relaxed, lush settings across the island. We look forward to welcoming you with a glass of rum punch and Bajan hospitality!
The Walled Garden-Barbados Film Festival Trust (WGBFFT) was formed in tandem with the Walled Garden Theatre Trust –whose mission is to support the conservation and restoration of the Barbados Museum and Garrison District (UNESCO world heritage sites) and invigorate them through the arts. The WGBFFT’s mission is to manage the Festival and related initiatives that support the arts, historic conservation and greater awareness of the link between environmental degradation and human health. Both the Walled Garden Film Festival Trust and the Walled Garden Theatre Trust are tax-exempt, charitable trusts. BIFF founders Sir Trevor Carmichael and Jennifer Smith are also Co-Directors and Executive Trustees for the Festival.
Filmmakers will compete for:
Best of Festival
Best Feature Film
Best Documentary Film
Best Local Filmmaker
McNeel Impact Award - Feature Length Film that inspires and motivates change for a better world
Best Short Film (Under 30 minutes)
Best Short on the Beach - Short (Under 10 minutes) that celebrate our oceans
Carmichael Award for Exceptional Storytelling
BIFF Founders Award
All submitted films must comply with the Submissions Guidelines including deadlines, exhibition format, entry material, etc. NO LATE SUBMISSIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED. Final deadline for 2021 Festival submissions is August 31, 2020.
Your film will be watched, in its entirety, by at least 4 people; we therefore suggest that you submit your film as early as possible. Films submitted must be available in English or in the original language with English subtitles.
Entrants are responsible for obtaining any necessary licenses, royalties, release forms, clearances, permits which are necessary to present their work. Neither the Walled Garden Barbados Film Festival Trust nor any of BIFF's venues is responsible for any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, or royalty infringement related to the work.
Notification will be emailed on October 1, 2020. All correspondence will be conducted through EMAIL ONLY to the original submitter.
The Barbados Independent Film Festival accepts entries via FilmFreeway.com, an online submissions platform.
Response from festival:
We are terribly sorry for the delay in getting back to you re: when your film would be scheduled. Cancellations in two of our main shorts venues at the last minute created the delay which also made it difficult to add the films on our website and to market them appropriately. Not an excuse but as this is only our third year and we are 100% volunteer run, we are learning about the need to plan for such contingencies with each edition. Again we very much regret this and will strive to improve as we truly believe in celebrating filmmakers and films such yours and others that are submitted to the Festival. We would be eager to see any of your new submissions in the future. Sincerely, Jennifer Smith