***PLEASE NOTE!!*** We ONLY accept shorts either MADE IN IRELAND- or made by an IRISH writer/director (See below: Rule 3 in T&C's)

** As of this year, we will also accept Irish Docs of any length and submissions of observational documentary for the Maysles Documentary competition. Please read the T&C when submitting***

The Belfast Film Festival began in 1995 as part of Féile An Phobail and has developed hand in hand with the evolving culture of film patronage and filmmaking in the city.

We believe that film should be an experience, and so, as well as presenting the best in new, short and classic cinema in our spring and summer festivals, we’ve set ourselves apart by having site-specific screenings.

For us, site-specific cinema means hosting the classics of the silver screen in surroundings that enhance and intensify your experience of our films. To prove we’re serious, we’ve screened Evil Dead in the Ormeau Park, Cool Hand Luke in the Crumlin Road Gaol, The Breakfast Club in Christchurch Library, Odd Man Out at The Albert Clock, 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Titanic Dry Dock and Jaws in the Bangor Aurora swimming pool.

What’s more, we pride ourselves on experimenting with media in all its forms, that’s why we’ve presented cinematic collaborations, like our showing of La Traviata in the beautiful St Anne’s Cathedral, with an accompaniment by NI Opera’s Young Artists’ programme, or the horror masterpiece Suspiria at the Waterfront with live soundtrack by Italian rock band Goblin, to name but a few.

To celebrate quality cinema, we have also established a documentary film competition in The Maysles Brothers Award. This was launched in 2006 by the legend Albert Maysles himself, and recognises the best of new observational documentary work from around the world.

Then there’s our short film competition, this provides a platform for fledgling filmmakers from across the island of Ireland to showcase their work and for the winner, to be shown the prize money.

Rules & Terms

Short film Entries MUST be:
1. Under 20 minutes duration
2. Completed in the LAST year (i.e.between March 1st 2017-March 1st 2018)
3. Made in Ireland- or made by an IRISH writer/director (i.e. shot in England, but writer or director or Lead actors are Irish/NI citizens) Please email us if you have made a film ABOUT Ireland but have no other Irish Connections, for eligibility.
4. Be submitted online
5. Be Available for competition screening in, DCP or HD Quicktime
(Format: QuickTime
Size: 1920 x 1080
Wrapper: MOV or MP4
Codec: H264 or ProRes
Bitrate: Between 50 and 100 MB/ps)
***DCP IS PREFERRED***
6. No refunds will be given in the event of failure to comply to (or READ!!) the T&C's

Ineligible Films
- Currently available/viewable on online platforms (e.g. Vimeo/Youtube etc). Your film must not be available in full online or have been shown on another medium e.g. TV. If your film is available in full on YouTube, etc. then it will be automatically withdrawn from the competition. Excerpts of your film, totalling no more than ten percent of its running time are exempt from this rule.
- outside dates
- MADE outside of IRELAND - for exceptions see rule 3 above.
-No refunds will be given in the event of failure to comply to (or READ!!) the T&C's

The decision of the Shorts Coordinator and selection committee is Final. Due to the large amount of submissions received BFF cannot enter into any discussion regarding films that are not selected for the Festival.
Television and Internet broadcasting: Taking part in BFF implies allowing broadcasting on Irish and foreign televisions and on the Internet (extracts limited to and not exceeding 3 mins.) for the purpose of promoting the Festival.

NI Independent host the best in new medium-length and feature films made in Northern Ireland

NI Independents MUST BE:

1. At least 20min in length (for short film submissions see above)
2. Completed in the LAST year (i.e. between January 1st, 2016 - January 1st, 2017)
3. Made and produced in Northern Ireland with the majority of the cast originating in Northern Ireland. It is important to note that this category focuses exclusively on Northern Irish film. If you have a film that does not meet these criteria but would like it to feature at our Festival, simply contact Stephen{@}belfastfilmfestival.org

4. Be available for screening in HD Quicktime
5. (Format: QuickTime)
6. Size: 1920 x 1080
• Wrapper: MOV or MP4
• Codec: H264 or ProRes
• Bitrate: Between 50 and 100 MB/ps)

IRISH DOCS
Entries MUST be:
1. Completed in the LAST year (i.e.between March 1st 2016-March 1st 2017)
2. Made in Ireland- or made by an IRISH writer/director (i.e. shot in England, but writer or director or Lead actors are Irish/NI citizens) Please email us if you have made a film ABOUT Ireland but have no other Irish Connections, for eligibility.
3. Be submitted online
4. Be Available for competition screening in, DCP or HD Quicktime
No refunds will be given in the event of failure to comply to (or READ!!) the T&C's

THE MAYSLES BROTHERS DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
Documentaries must be:
1. OBSERVATIONAL.
2. OBSERVATIONAL.
3. Over 60 minutes in length.
4. OBSERVATIONAL.
5. Be Available for competition screening in, DCP or HD Quicktime
No refunds will be given in the event of failure to comply to (or READ!!) the T&C's

6 Reviews

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
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    Mark Nugent

    Belfast Film Festival was a great success for short filmmakers, showing a huge range of genres and local talent. I enjoyed the festival very much, especially when seeing my own short film being played in Queens Film Theatre. I only wish there were more networking events for accepted filmmakers. I look forward to submitting another film next year!

    May 2017
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    Kevin John Mc Corry

    It was a great experience to have my first feature length film apart of the Belfast Film Festival. Great festival and people all round would recommend to any one and hope to be apart of the festival some time in the future :)

    April 2017
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    Michael Daly

    Amazing Festival! Will definitely be back! Bravo!

    April 2017
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    Srikant Ganapati

    Fantastic film festival! great hospitality and communication specially from Vittoria. I appreciate whole film festival staff that they had been so helpful from submitting my movie and until the end of screening. Overall fully satisfied with the service including publicity on website. Looking forward for next year.

    April 2017
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    Michael Lafferty

    Had a great time at this festival, great experience with great people, well recommended

    April 2017