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 2021 The Beaufort Film Society will present the Fifteenth 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 2019 was hugely successful with over 70 filmmakers in attendance; attendees from 33 states and 6 countries. It's a chance to have your film seen and loved by our loyal audiences. They'll remember you forever. It was record breaking in that approximately 16,000 people attended some or all of the festival and the average per screening was 300, another record.

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, a filmmakers lounge that includes breakfast and lunch, and a bunch of private filmmaker parties. Also, FULL ACCESS VIP passes are provided to all credited filmmakers 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
Susan A. K. Shaffer Humanitarian Award

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 BluRay backup.. Entries are accepted in .mp4 or .mov format. 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 mailed entries must be postmarked no later than October 31, 2020 for submission.
• All submissions must have been completed after January 1, 2018.
• 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, 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 15, 2020. 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 2021 Festival, an exhibition version of the film in proper format Digital File (MP4 or MOV (H.264)) and BluRay backup must be received by BIFF no later than December 31, 2020. 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 16-21, 2021. Entries that are not completed or available for screening must pull their entry prior to December 15, 2020 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: PASTFINALIST.
For those invited to submit by festival programmers, enter code: BIFFFESTINVITE..

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 following categories: Screenplay, Animation, Student, Feature, Documentary and Short.

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
  • Rob Herring

    The folks who run this fest are among the kindest and most generous in the festival circuit. They have an extremely devoted, enthusiastic, and engaged community as their audience , who will support your film and welcome you with open arms. Highly recommend this festival!

    March 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Rob. Great message in your film and well received by an appreciative audience of over 300 people. Thanks for sharing your groundbreaking film with BIFF.

  • Cullen Douglas

    Beaufort International Film Festival is a top-notch festival in every respect! The fantastic hospitality from Ron, Rebecca, the volunteers, the sponsors, the audience, the townspeople, and the other filmmakers is just the icing on and incredibly well-baked cake. Every correspondence is professional, courteous, and filled with a passion for the festival, the films, and the folks who make them. The support and promotion of all the films across social media is a welcomed bonus. The caliber of the films is phenomenal, and the format is well-thought-out and superbly entertaining. We are very grateful and proud that our world premier was at Beaufort International Film Festival. We will be back!!!

    March 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Cullen for this fabulous review. POWD was certainly a film appreciated and enjoyed by our audience. An impactful message sent to the viewer in a creative and unforgettable way. POWD will be talked about for years to come. Thank you for sharing it with us. We look forward to whatever you come up with next. Welcome to the BIFF Family.

  • John Harris

    I've attended many film festivals over the years and Beaufort is among the best. The festival is warm, inviting, friendly, and fun. Ron and Rebecca are wonderful hosts and create a special environment. They make all of the filmmakers and writers feels welcome and at home.

    March 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you John for this great review. Looking forward to seeing Robert Smalls on the big screen. Please come back soon.

  • Rob Margolies

    I've been to hundreds of film festivals as a filmmaker and as a spectator. Everything about Beaufort is top notch. The films, location, audience attendance, organization, and of course the hosts, Ron and Rebecca Tucker. I'm definitely returning, hopefully with at least one other film. I will be submitting 5 by the end of the summer.

    March 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Rob for the great review. Looking forward to your next projects and your return to BIFF. Welcome to the BIFF Family.

  • Eddie Rubio

    More than a festival feels like been part of a family

    March 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for the kind words Eddie. You are indeed now a part of the BIFF family. Looking forward to seeing you again. Keep up the great work.