Bare Bones was created to champion the small budget filmmaker who wears many hats to bring their project to completion By Any Means Necessary. BAMN! 'No Frills-No Waste' is our common battle cry.

If you are a fiercely independent filmmaker producing small budget films or a screenwriter that can craft a script that can be shot on a small (less than a million dollar) budget, this festival is for you.

We are a festival run by Filmmakers, Professors of Film and Film Fans for Filmmakers, Film Students and Film Fans at all levels of expertise. This is a festival where recognition is generous and you are the Star no matter what role you played or how many roles you assumed, everyone is treated like a Rock Star. We roll out the red carpet for your premiere, allow time for Q & A following the screening, or the block of films if you are in the shorts category. We hold live readings of your screenplay with professional actors with you directing.

If you have special skills, you may be invited to moderate a panel or participate as a panelist. Festival Alumni also serve as Awards Presenters during the Bonehead Awards Gala held on Saturday of the festival.

Indie Auteur of the Year-Top award given to the Best of the Best, qualifying with a minimum of 4 key credited production positions: i.e. Writer, Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Actor/Actress, Original Music Composer, Marketer.
Winner get a custom Bonehead trophy, gold medallion, Embroidered Indie Auteur Ballcap and promotional consideration.

In all of the following categories Top scoring winner receives a Gold medallion
Best Feature Narrative
Best Short Narrative
Best Music Documentary
Best Educational Documentary
Best Animation
Best High School Student Film
Best College/university/Film Student Film
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Foreign Origin Film
Best Oklahoma Soil Film
Best Cinematography in a Feature Film
Best Editing in a Feature Film
Best Soundtrack in a Feature Film
Best Production Design in a Feature Film
Best Music Video
Best Ensemble Cast- in a feature, a mini-feature, a short/micro-short
Best Original Screenplay
Best Oklahoma Setting Screenplay
Best Domestic Violence Awareness
Best Micro-Short Narrative
Best Genre Awards: Horror, Faith, Comedy, Drama, Western, Sci-Fi, Docu-Drama, Thriller, Medieval, Action
Best Actor-Actress-Youth Actors: Monologue, Movie Scene

GENERAL RULES
It is encouraged but not required that all screenplays/movies should be copyrighted/registered with the Writers Guild of America or the Library of Congress.

A budget summary should be included for feature length movies to verify that the project meets the "Bare Bones" requirement of less than $1 million budget category I Features or less than $5 million for budget category 2 Features.

The festival is under no obligation to provide airfare, accommodations or other expenses incurred to attend the festival.

Filmmakers/Screenwriters attending the festival will be granted 4-6 VIP Gold Bare Bones Festival Passes as outlined in each category. Additional passes/Tickets may be purchased at a discount for crew, cast or special guests.

Films produced or initiated by a major movie studio with budgets more than one million dollars are ineligible for competition, but may be considered for a showcase but will not compete.

All entries must come with the non-refundable entry fee and online screener. Optional: Send a Blu-ray or DVD for consideration. Screenplays can be sent in a pdf (doc, final draft) regardless of original formats.

The live screening selections are at the sole discretion of the festival judges, directors, programmers, all decisions are final.

The festival does NOT grant fee waivers. Please do not tell us that you have run out of money submitting your project to other festivals.

The festival does not return screeners, exhibition Blu-Rays, DVDs, screenplays.

Non-English projects must have English subtitles or be dubbed in English.

All films/screenplays selected for as official selections will be posted on the festival website (Logline, synopsis) prior to the festival and will remain on the website for at least 60 days after the festival.

All accepted films are required to submit a press kit, either electronic or paper. Postcards, fliers are to be sent in hard copy to the festival headquarters. Poster graphics must be emailed in time for a web listing and for program schedules.

All participants are encouraged to engage in "Shameless Do-It-Your-Self-Promotions" by any means necessary to help build an audience for their screening.

All films are encouraged to send their weblinks for trailers (vimeo, youtube, and facebook) for promotional purposes.

Award winners not present to receive their award will pay for shipping and handling, unless they were in attendance prior to the ceremony and left prior to it.

Those who want duplicate awards or awards certificates for their filmmaking partners, producers, cast or crew may order and pre-pay for duplicates, plus shipping and handling. Award winners may also order an upgraded award (acrylic) at the posted pricing.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • If you made an independent film and want to submit to a festival that will respect your work, submit to the Bare Bones Film Festival! I really can't say enough good things about ShIronbutterfly, Oscar, and the entire team that runs BBFF. This is a known festival that has introduced me to so many fellow filmmakers who have quickly gone on to become friends and collaborators. The team behind the festival really cares about the filmmakers and making sure you have a great time at their events. They've been on my "must submit list" for years, I promise they will be added to yours, too!

    May 2018
  • Brooke Lewis

    I was first introduced to Bare Bones through "Dahmer vs. Gacy" in 2010 and have watched this festival support indie filmmakers ever since! We were honored to be back with "Psycho Therapy" in 2018 and were acknowledged with amazing awards and nominations, for which we are grateful. I was unable to attend this year, due to filming and we were still treated with absolute love and respect. Thank you!

    May 2018
  • Bob Celli

    I have heard so much about this festival from other filmmakers but was unable to attend. I had met Sharon and Oscar at another festival and loved their vibe and everything they stand for. I look forward to the possibility of future acceptance and attending. On behalf of the entire Brooklyn In July team, I thank you for having us at this years festival.

    May 2018
  • Russell Emanuel

    Great festival, I wish we could have gone this year but for sure next year. And thank you for giving up two awards for "Occupants"!

    May 2018
  • Lorraine Portman

    Bare Bones premiered my first film in 2004. I love this festival. I have been, ever year I have gone, been welcomed with open arms. They work their tails off to support indie filmmakers and allow us to learn with and from each other. I have met filmmakers who have become friends.

    May 2018