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 2024 The Beaufort Film Society will present the Eighteenth 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.

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 (2024 BIFF Official Selections) 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, 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. 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, 2020 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, 2020 and proof of enrollment is required. Student films may not exceed 30 minutes.
* Animation Category submissions may not exceed 8 minutes.
* Screenplays must be feature length

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, 2023. 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 2024 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 October 31, 2023. 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 20-25, 2024. Entries that are not completed or available for screening must pull their entry prior to Jan.5, 2024 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
  • Gabe Braden

    Such a great festival to be apart of!

    April 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Gabe. Congrats on the big wins of Best Student Film and Best Actress for Karen Pittman.

  • Incredible reception, festival, experience. 10/10

    April 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Noel. You're a talented filmmaker and your future is bright. We enjoyed your film, An Ideal of Liberty and the audience did too. Keep making movies and come back to see us. All the best.

  • Hazel Gurland

    The Beaufort International Film Festival was magical. Everyone we met was so warm, kind, and supportive -- the atmosphere was beyond our wildest dreams. Thank you Ron and Rebecca for creating such a beautiful festival to celebrate film, filmmakers, and the community. Screening "Storming Caesars Palace" with you -- and being honored with the Best Feature Documentary award! -- was an unforgettable experience. Sondra and I had a fabulous time, seeing films, making new friends, and soaking up the rich culture of Beaufort and the surrounding areas. This festival is a treasure and we hope to be return again soon!

    March 2023
    Response from festival:

    Hi Hazel, thank you for the kind words and great recap of your experience at BIFF. You gave us a remarkable film to showcase and the audience responded by showing up in big numbers. Sondra was remarkable in telling her mother's story and engaging with audience members. Please come back when you can.

  • Preston Peterson

    We had our world premiere for our short film at BIFF this year and we could not have asked for a better festival to launch our festival run. As far as the location goes, it's hard to beat the low country of South Carolina. Tons of great restaurants and places to explore. What was unexpected was the turnout for the shows. The community really steps up to support the films and make you feel special. Ron and Rebecca took great care of our team, as well as our families who showed up to support us. Southern hospitality at its finest. I look forward to seeing this festival grow into one of the major players in the industry. We'll definitely be back!

    March 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Preston for this great review. Love that we had the World Premiere for Captive at BIFF. Strong ensemble cast and star power. Well deserving win for Best Short Film. We look forward to your next visit to the Lowcountry. It was great meeting your family as well.

  • Lukas Hassel

    This film festival is the perfect nugget of quality films, superb screenings, full houses, great q and a's, lovely local support and fabulous cosy main street with great food and bars, plus they put invited filmmakers up. What's not to love? Fully recommend you try out the Beaufort hospitality.

    March 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the great review Lukas. We loved having you here the past two years and look forward to you coming back. Wishing you great success in all of your upcoming projects. Please keep us in the loop. We're also big fans.