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 2022 The Beaufort Film Society will present the Sixteenthh Annual Beaufort International Film Festival. Six 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 2021 was held in-person with the strictest protocol for COVID19 safety. By all accounts the event was enormously successful and all remained healthy.

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.

Notable perks for selected filmmakers are complimentary hotel rooms on a first come first serve basis. Breakfast and boxed lunches are offered FREE to Filmmakers (2022 BIFF finalists) on screening days with festival credentials, EXCLUDES alcohol. FULL ACCESS VIP passes are provided to all credited filmmakers up to 4 in your film which provides access to EVERYTHING offered by the festival. As a bonus, if you are selected as a Finalist you will then be a BIFF ALUMNI and future entry fees to the festival for future projects are waived FOREVER.

Awards are presented in the categories as follows:

Judged categories:

Feature Film
Documentaries (Feature and Short)
Short Film
Student Film
Screenplays (Feature Film)
Musicall Score
Ensemble Cast
Susan A. K. Shaffer Humanitarian Award
Duty & Honor Film Collection (Military, Law Enforcement, Fire and Rescue)

Audience Voted

Audience Choice

Online screeners are preferred until notification of acceptance, at which time a high definition (1080p) (Maximum Video Resolution 1920 X 1080 and Audio up to 7.1 Surround Sound but for best performance we recommend 5.1) Exhibition version .mp4 digital file will be requested along with a digital backup (USB Drive). The Vimeo Screener may be made available for download for convenience. Otherwise the Official Screener must be sent via digital transfer, i.e. Dropbox, High Tail, WeTransfer, etc. Entries are accepted in .mp4 format. For Disclaimer: We reserve the right to down sample any films submitted to match the projector resolution in order to provide the best showing possible to our audiences.

• All submissions must have been completed after January 1, 2018 unless a waiver is granted.
• 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 unless a waiver is granted.
• 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, 2018 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 15th, 2021. 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 2022 Festival, an exhibition version of the film in proper format Digital File (MP4 ) and USB Flashdrive backup must be received by BIFF no later than December 31, 2021. 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 22-27, 2022. Entries that are not completed or available for screening must pull their entry prior to Jan.5, 2022 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:

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.

The Beaufort International Film Festival reserves the right not to choose a winner from any of the competing categories listed in the description.

All films submitted that are 5 minutes or longer must include a trailer and a poster to enable the festival to properly market and promote the film prior to the festival.

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.

Overall Rating
  • Romina Schwedler

    I was unable to attend unfortunately, but I followed closely on social media and by staying in touch with friends who were able to make it in, and I was very impressed. The hospitality could be felt through the flawless communication, the reports on how each screening went, the photos, the posts, etc. Everything looked safely carried out and the turnout was amazing, especially considering the pandemic. Kudos to the organizing team for making BIFF2021 such a great success. I hope I can enjoy the festival in person next time.

    March 2021
    Response from festival:

    Hi Romina, thanks for the excellent review. Hopefully you can make it next time. Lots of filmmakers were here who know you and they spoke very highly of you and your film. I feel like I know you though from our staying in touch and communicating during the festival.

  • BIFF was the highlight of our festival run! What an amazing event - even in the midst of a world-wide pandemic. I have found in my festival experience, that festivals are, generally speaking, a mirror image of the Festival Director/s and the team they assemble, for good or ill. No where is that more evident than BIFF. Ron and Rebecca are incredibly warm, welcoming, professional, passionate, organized, communicative, supportative and super champions of independent film and the filmmakers that make them. The festival they have created reflects them to a T! From the very first acceptance letter to the festival follow up social media posts we have been showered with love, respect and delightful southern hospitality.

    The festival was well organized, there were plenty of networking opportunites, it was Covid-safe and well attended. It was no surpise there were filmmakers in attendence that didn't even have a film in the festival. Once you've experienced BIFF once, you'll never want to miss a year!

    I cannot recommend this festival highly enough!

    March 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Christian for this glowing review of your experience at BIFF. The Girl Who Wore Freedom resonated with our audience in a big way. Obviously, they voted your film as the Audience Choice Winner. I'm especially proud that your film was our first winner of the Duty & Honor Category. As you mentioned, the competition was tough this year and the films in your category were exceptional. I look forward to what you present to us next.

  • Meital Cohen Navarro

    The Beaufort International Film Festival went above and beyond creating an incredible (and safe) festival even in the midst of a pandemic. They really value their filmmakers and I can't wait to submit my next project for next year!

    February 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Meital. Looking forward to whatever you create next. The Cake was a hit. Very clever. Lots of laughs.

  • Really fantastic festival! Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend but I followed closely on social media so it felt like I was there. Ron and Rebecca are wonderful, and work very hard to provide a really special experience for filmmakers. Thank you BIFF, Ron and Rebecca for everything you do, and for awarding my film Two Different Kinds of Love as Best Animated Film. It's truly an honor. Highly recommend this festival!

    February 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Alyce for the great review. Your film, Two Different Kinds of Love, was well received by our audience. In fact, they loved it. We heard lots of favorable comments. Thanks for sharing your work with us. Looking forward to whatever you send us next.

  • Hands down one of the best festival experiences you will experience as a filmmaker. Ron and Rebecca do an outstanding job of creating such an amazing atmosphere that celebrates indie filmmakers. The audience is mostly members of the city of Beaufort, who come out early in the morning and stay til the last screening in the evening every day. They are engaged with the films and the filmmakers. I can’t say enough about the Beaufort experience. Hats off to Ron, Rebecca, and the entire team!

    February 2021
    Response from festival:

    Cedric, thank you so much for this glowing review. We missed you but felt your presence. Hopefully next year. Rebecca and I are sending a special Beaufort Hug your way.