The mission of the Beaufort International Film Festival is to enliven our community by fostering and developing a rich appreciation for art of filmmaking.

In 2018 The Beaufort Film Society will present the Twelfth Annual Beaufort International Film Festival. Five days of international and local short films, feature films, animation, filmmakers surprises, educational forums, guest speakers, parties, and the quiet charm of historic Beaufort will all be on display.

Many of the filmmakers will be here at the festival to talk about and answer your questions about their films, and this is possibly your only opportunity to get close to them and see their early works before they get "discovered". The purpose of the festival is to recognize aspiring filmmakers of almost every genre to include independent film, music, animation, short and long features,documentaries, and screenwriting. BIFF 2017 was hugely successful with over 70 filmmakers in attendance; attendees from 31 states and 3 countries. It's a chance to have your film seen and loved by our loyal audiences. They'll remember you forever.

It is also an opportunity to showcase the beautiful "film-friendly" region of Beaufort and the Carolina Sea Islands. For the past quarter of a century Beaufort has served as the backdrop for more than 20 major motion pictures, to include Forrest Gump, The Big Chill, The Prince of Tides,and many more. Through this festival we will reintroduce our sweeping marsh vistas, antebellum homes, and quiet charm of the old south to a new generation of filmmakers.

Awards & Prizes

Awards are presented in the categories as follows:

Judged categories:

Feature Film
Short Film
Student Film

Audience Voted

Audience Choice

Rules & Terms

Online screeners are preferred until notification of acceptance, at which time a BluRay/DVD Exhibition version will be requested along with an HD Digital version. Entries are accepted in .mp4 or .mov format.

• All mailed entries must be postmarked no later than October 31, 2017 for submission.
• All submissions must have been completed after January 1, 2015.
• All films must be in English or have English subtitles. Non-subtitled or dubbed foreign language films will not be considered.
• All clearances must be obtained for exhibition.
• Only the Producer, Director, Screenwriter or someone closely connected to the film may complete the application. Schools may submit films on behalf of student filmmakers in the Student Category.
• Only complete entries will be accepted. This includes the non-refundable entry fee paid to the order of BIFF, a signed and completed entry form and an online screener. Filmmakers may apply electronically via FilmFreeway.
• Films submitted in previous years will not be accepted for submission.
• The programmers at BIFF actively pursue the best in American independent and world cinema for the annual Festival. Films that have been released on video or DVD, have been widely screened on television or cable, or have been released theatrically preclude the Festival from accepting those films for competition. Entries that appear in their entirety on YouTube or Vimeo or other video exhibition program will not be accepted. Exceptions are sometimes made for such films to be programmed at the Festival out of competition but are determined on a case by case basis.

Film Categories for Competition:

• Feature-length films (narrative or documentary) must be 40 minutes or longer.
• Film Shorts (narrative, documentary, experimental, animated) must be 39 minutes or less.
• Student films must have been completed after January 1, 2015 and proof of enrollment is required. Student films may not exceed 30 minutes.
* Animation Category submissions may not exceed 8 minutes.

Although BIFF is a competitive festival, some films may be included in the program in a non-competition section.

Unfortunately, BIFF is unable to provide comments about specific films due to time and resource constraints.

Selected filmmakers may expect the following:

• Filmmakers whose films are accepted for competition will be notified by email by approximately December 15, 2017. All the privileges due filmmakers will be specified in this correspondence.
• All filmmakers with a film in competition will receive a VIP pass, giving free access to all events and screenings (subject to availability) at the Festival. These passes are non-transferable and must be worn at all times in clear view. Passes are not sent by mail, but must be picked up in person at the designated Festival site.
• BIFF promotes the schedule of screenings via media including newspapers, emails, television and radio. BIFF encourages filmmakers to help promote their films by promoting their screening(s) to industry professionals, distributors, the press and the general public.
• For entries selected to the 2018 Festival, an exhibition version of the film in proper format (BluRay/DVD or File (MP4 or MOV (H.264)) must be received by BIFF no later than December 31, 2017. Failure to comply with technical specifications may result in the removal of the film from Festival competition.
• Filmmakers may not install banners or posters at the theaters without the official authorization of BIFF.
• The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. The individual or corporation submitting this film additionally grants the BEAUFORT International Film Festival the right to one or more public screenings of the entry during the dates of FEBRUARY 21-25, 2018. Entries that are not completed or available for screening must pull their entry prior to December 15, 2017 or the film will be screened as entered.

The management of the BEAUFORT International Film Festival reserves the right to decide all questions regarding rules and regulations. Submission of a film constitutes that the filmmaker accepts the rules and regulations set forth herein.

Questions: Please visit the website at or email:

Entry fees are waived for past BIFF Finalists and Winners. Enter code: FESTFINAL.
For those invited to submit by festival programmers, enter code: FESTINVITE.

A synopsis or description alone on one page, (one paragraph, appropriate for quick reading)

A cast and crew list on two pages maximum, (if possible). Include contact information.

There is no limit to the number of entries you may submit. A separate entry and entry fee must accompany each work.

Be certain to include your name and return address clearly on the package and include the category on the label as well: i.e. Beaufort: Documentary Feature Competition.

The Beaufort International Film Festival reserves the right not to choose a winner from any of the following categories: Screenplay, Animation, Student, Feature, Documentary and Short.

Good Luck!

By your submission of a program to the Beaufort International Film Festival you authorize us to use your program in all promotions for the festival and for the Beaufort Film Society. This would include encore presentations after the festival to which accepted.

18 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Shawn Tolleson

    Beaufort International Film Festival is a gem of a festival! My film has been playing at several festivals and everywhere I go, I tell filmmakers they must submit to BIFF!

    Here's why... First of all, they treat their filmmakers exceedingly well. I was hosted in a gorgeous room at the Beaufort Inn, a historic hotel. It was truly one of the nicest rooms I've ever stayed in, period. It came with breakfast, too, as one of several local restaurants. All of them served me a great meal. And then the festival itself had a catered lunch nearly every day. So, lodging, breakfast and lunch all taken care of.

    The town of Beaufort is really special. It's historic, like a small Savannah, and so the entire destination experience is really memorable.

    The screening venue is lovely, with good projection and sound, so you'll enjoy seeing your film on the big screen. But the audience is what makes BIFF stand out, even more than how they treat their filmmakers. I read ahead of time someone saying that being in the BIFF audience for your film was like experiencing a collective hug. It really is that. I sat in the middle of the house and, even though I was there without anyone else from my team, I had the most amazing experience watching my film. The BIFF audience loves films and filmmakers and you feel that love.

    Rebecca and Ron work extremely hard and do an amazing job. The communication was terrific. They are warm, friendly, welcoming and helpful. There wasn't really a good place for my poster, so we made one! They did everything to make the experience as good as it could be.

    BIFF isn't a festival where you'll necessarily meet lots of Hollywood types. It's not a big industry networking festival. But, that's not what I wanted out of the experience. I wanted to connect my film with audiences and reach the people I made it for. It was terrific for doing just that.

    Lastly, I was fortunate enough to win Best Feature for my film Saturn Returns. The award ceremony was wonderful and the award itself singular and lovely. It did that thing you long for as a filmmaker, acknowledge and recognize unique work.

    If you're fortunate enough to get accepted to this festival, go for the whole thing, stay for the award ceremony! You'll be so glad you did.

    April 2017
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you Shawn for this wonderful review. We appreciate the positive feedback and especially for entrusting us with your film , Saturn Returns. Congrats on the win for Best Feature. We wish you great success in all you do. Best regards, Ron and Rebecca

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    Tommy Faircloth

    Wonderful experience. I hope to return!

    March 2017
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    Azure Allen

    I have only good things to say about BIFF. They take care of the filmmakers, and provide severalinks social functions for networking. The theater has great projection and sound, and is actually a theater. The selection of films is outstanding. The Beaufort community is very friendly and supportive as well. The 5 star rating is not an exaggeration.

    February 2017
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    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the positive review. Everyone very much enjoyed your film (One Day on Carver Street) and Q&A afterwards. You are a delightful person with a very bright future. Thanks for being a part of BIFF 2017.

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    Marcia Chandler Rhea

    What I love about this festival are the lifelong friends you make, the exchange of creative ideas and the absolute unwavering support of the festival directors Ron and Rebecca Tucker. This past festival was one of the best and most personal I have ever attended. The Beaufort International Film Festival should be on every filmmaker and writer's calendar to attend. The film and screenwriters' events are showcased beautifully at the University's theater. Beaufort's parties and restaurants truly roll out the red carpet for the attendees. Thank you for recognizing and championing our work!

    February 2017
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you Marcia for the very positive review of BIFF. We all appreciate the support and after all, where would the film industry be if there weren't people like you writing the stories that plant the vision.

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    David Barnhart

    This is my second BIFF and I was telling a friend of mine yesterday that this is one of my favorite festivals bc it truly is a celebration of film and story -- and a celebration of the community of Beaufort as well. So many people opened their homes, businesses, restaurants and even book stores to us, and that level of hospitality is unique and a real gift. And, the audiences pack the theater daily and are really engaged with the films. Great festival. I will always submit to BIFF!

    February 2017
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    Response from festival:

    Thanks David. Your film Trigger: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence sparked the crowd in thought and action, resulting in a standing ovation. It was a moving moment I'm sure to see your work and passion so positively received by a very appreciative audience. You're a very talented documentarian and we look forward to what you do next. Thanks for being part of BIFF 2017.