The Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF) will be celebrating its 16th year in 2021. One of the key principles the festival was founded on was a respect for, and celebration of, the filmmakers who share their art with us. With upwards of 100 filmmakers attending each year, we are pleased that they have found value in the Capra-esque surroundings of the 10 day festival and the intimate relationships with our engaged audiences. Featuring upwards of 100 independent and international films, as well as many special events, the festival provides free admission to everything for all visiting filmmakers (4 all-access passes per film for actors and crew, too).

BIFF's honorary chairpersons have included Steve McEveety ("Braveheart," "Passion of the Christ," "What Women Want"), David Zucker ("Airplane," "The Naked Gun") and John Shepherd, President of MPower Pictures.

Historically, many BIFF films have received reviews in outlets such as The Hollywood Reporter,, Cultured Vultures, EveryMovieHasALesson, Keeping-It-Reel, White City Cinema, and several different TV affiliates local to areas of significance to the films and the festival.

The Beloit International Film Festival begins February 19, 2021, and runs through February 28, 2021.

Awards are given (by Jury and Audience Choice) in the following categories: Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Short, Best Wisconsin Short, Best Wisconsin Feature, Best Illinois Short, Best Illinois Feature, The Power of Film Award, The Executive Director Award, The BIFF Year 'Round People's Choice Award, The Josh Burton Award for Creative Excellence, and additional jury awards for select films and contributions that vary from year to year.

The selection committee requires that all entries/screeners be submitted as a Secure Online Screener. Please fill out your entry form as completely as possible. Should your film be accepted, we will use that entered data to put together our program book, build your website page, and reach out to you, or your representatives, with important festival details.

There is no limit to the amount of entries you may submit. Select the category that seems most appropriate. If you wish to enter multiple categories, you must select your primary category and then send an email to the festival requesting consideration for additional categories. There will be no additional fee for this if the festival grants permission.

A short synopsis of 2 to 4 lines is required for Short categories. A short synopsis in addition to a longer synopsis of approximately 125 words is required for Feature-length categories. You are required to submit this with the entry. The synopsis will be used for the selection committee, the program book and web site, if accepted.

Each submission should also include at least one still production photo or slide, a press kit and bio and photo of the director. Notification of acceptance will be emailed on approximately December 1, 2020. You will be notified for each submission.

The festival cannot be responsible for damage to, or loss of, material submitted. Additionally, the festival is held harmless from damage to or loss of print en route to the festival.

The Beloit International Film Festival does not pay screening or licensing fees for films submitted to the festival. If you submit to the Beloit International Film Festival, you automatically acknowledge this term. The festival reserves the right to screen submitted films to pre-screening committees, Film Society of Beloit event-goers, festival-goers and at festival volunteer & organizer appreciation events. The festival will have the option to screen reprise showings for up to three years after the closing date of the festival.

Works in progress, and industrial/instructional works are not eligible. All entries must be submitted no later than the Final Deadline and entry form, entry fee for each submission, synopsis, resume and photo must be included. If you cannot meet the eligibility requirement, you may apply but will not be considered for awards.

All films submitted must be available for festival presentation in .mp4 or .mov formats. Please be aware that if you have not submitted a photo or synopsis it will not be included in the program book or web site. Any corrections received to the original submission material must be received in writing by December 15th, 2019. Changes will not be made after this date.

The Beloit Film Festival reserves the right to use clips from accepted entries (up to 3 minutes in length) for publicity purposes. The festival reserves the right to show the submission for promotion and fund raising events up to three years past the date of the festival.

The choices for number of screenings, screening dates and screening venues is at the sole discretion of the festival.

I acknowledge that, if accepted to participate, I will agree to comply with the 2021 Beloit International Film Festival Rules & Terms as included with this application, and agree to be bound by and comply with all pertinent documents. I understand that the Beloit International Film Festival administrative staff is responsible for making final decisions with regard to festival operations, and I agree to abide by its decisions. I agree to provide the festival an .mp4 or .mov file(s) of my film(s) upon acceptance and I release the festival committee and any festival representative from any responsibility for the theft, damage or loss of the print en route to the festival or otherwise during the course of the festival’s possession of the film.

Overall Rating
  • Rob Christopher

    Despite the pandemic, the team at BIFF made this a festival packed with quality films that was efficiently organized and run. I was delighted to accept the Best Illinois Feature award for ROY'S WORLD: BARRY GIFFORD'S CHICAGO. The Q&A for my film was lots of fun--being paired with other filmmakers was very engaging, and the moderator asked some very insightful questions. Three cheers for BIFF!

    March 2021
  • D.C. Fairhurst

    I sadly wasn't able to attend in person but communication from the organizers was stellar and they were incredibly supportive of our film.

    June 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for your review of BIFF, David! REACHING DISTANCE was very well received by our audiences, and I was personally impressed by the inventiveness, production quality, cast, and range. I hope you are having success with it in other parts of the world! And PLEASE submit more of your work to BIFF!!

  • Stephanie Willis

    I was unfortunately unable to attend the festival, but communication, organization and marketing by the festival were outstanding. The organizers of the festivals were also extremely warm and welcoming.

    May 2020
  • Timothy Jacobson

    Our creative team at Sustainable Driftless, Inc. is thrilled to have had the opportunity to participate in the Beloit International Film Festival with our documentary "Decoding the Driftless," and we are so very appreciative of the recognition our film received there! The event was wonderful, and it’s a classy organization! A fest not to be missed!

    April 2020
  • Kati Rehbeck

    Such a great energy throughout the festival! Lots of local support and interest. Great to see so many people engaged within the community. The filmmakers I met while there were also lots of fun and it was easy to meet and talk with people after screenings, or at mixers/workshops, or over drinks. Screenings were well organized and I was impressed that their web team took time to make pages for every short film! very cool! (usually shorts just get a clump listing, or no details on specific films in the line up) great time there and will submit in future years!

    March 2020