The festival is a showcase of films in all genres by young emerging filmmakers.

The Bison Bison Film Festival is open to filmmakers enrolled in accredited colleges, universities and trade schools in mid-America (Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, and Texas).

All works must be 40 minutes or less in length, including titles and credits. Any film exceeding this limit will not be considered. No works in progress. Incomplete entries are ineligible.

The work must have been created within the past two years, and the filmmaker must have been an enrolled student at the time. While you are allowed to submit multiple films, only one film submission per filmmaker will be accepted to be shown at the festival.


The BisonBison Film Festival is open to filmmakers enrolled in accredited colleges, universities, and technical schools in the Mid-America Arts Region: Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas. The Festival is an inclusive event which values diversity. Films are accepted regardless of age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, ethnicity, and perspective.

The 2023 Festival will be held Friday March 31 and Saturday April 1, 2023. Evening film viewings will be at 7 pm Friday and Saturday nights, with free workshops on Saturday during the day. Awards will be presented Saturday evening following the screening.

Selection and Awards

All genres of films will be accepted to the competition. There will not be separate categories for the Awards. Selection of films to show in the Festival is by the Selection Committee. The decision of the Committee is final. These films are then released to the Jury Panel to determine the Award of Excellence recipients. The Jury Panel is comprised of three film/arts professionals. The decision of the Jury Panel is final.

Three Awards of Excellence will be announced at an awards ceremony taking place at the end of Saturday's film viewing. Each Award of Excellence will receive $1000.


Entry Period: Monday, September 1, 2022, to Friday, February 3, 2023.

Early Bird at 11:30 p.m. Saturday December 1, 2022 $25

Regular Entry Fee: $40.

Notice of Acceptance: No later than Friday, February 18, 2023.

Festival Dates: Friday March 31 and Saturday April 1, 2023

*dates subject to change

The BisonBison Film Festival is open to filmmakers enrolled in accredited colleges, universities and technical schools in mid-America Arts Region: Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, and Texas. Or have graduated from above institutions within 18 months of the current festival. All works must be 40 minutes or less in length, including titles and credits. Any film exceeding this limit will not be considered.
No works in progress or incomplete entries are accepted. The work must have been created within the past two years, and the filmmaker must have been an enrolled student at an accredited institution at the time the film was created.


Each Director or Producer can submit up to two entries, however, only one will be considered for viewing in the Festival.

1. Any films that contain unauthorized or unacknowledged copyrighted material will be disqualified.

2. A copy of a valid student ID must be submitted with the entry.

3. The Director or Producer MUST provide a brief synopsis of the entry, the Motion Picture Association of America rating (G, PG, PG13, etc), and a brief biography of self including the school attending/attended, and a current headshot.

4. All items can be uploaded on FilmFreeway.

The Director or Producer MUST give permission for the entry to be downloaded for showing.

Entry Period: Monday, September 1, 2022, to Friday, February 3, 2023.
Entry Fee: $40. An Early Bird Fee period of $25 closes at 11:30 p.m. Saturday, December 10, 2022.
Notice of Acceptance: no later than Saturday, February 18, 2023
Festival Dates: Friday March 31-Saturday April 1, 2023


The festival values all forms of entertainment and does not wish to impose any limits or forms of censorship. However, we do look for work that: highlights stories that affect or relate to one’s community, provokes a response on pertinent issues, tells an innovative and original story, displays a personal message that the storyteller wants to impart on an audience, pushes the boundaries of the medium in an innovative manner, demonstrates overall solid storytelling and mastery of the genre utilized and/or showcases provides a forum for discussion.


Always read the rules/guidelines/regulations before submitting your film. Each festival has it’s own reason for being and devises a set of rules in order to make sure no one wastes time. Always complete submission details. Filmmakers who only partly complete their submission forms do two things: First, their submission can’t be considered and goes into the ‘incomplete submission form’ pile where it won’t be watched; and second, ties down administration time chasing for the details. PLEASE send correct email and telephone numbers. It makes it very difficult to contact you, especially if you have been selected.

Please make the effort to be in communication. If you went to all the effort of submitting your film, the least we expect is that you can be reached within a reasonable time. If you can’t be reached or don’t return messages, most film festivals will just give up and won’t accept the film. The flip side is don’t be overly communicative. Contacting the festival immediately to see (a) if the film was received and (b) what the decision is can be viewed as annoying. Agree with everyone on the team that the film is being entered and that one person will be the spokesperson for the film. Filmmakers who are having fights with their team about rights or permission with the rest of the cast and crew wastes everyone’s time and puts the festival in an unacceptable position of being in the middle of the dispute.

Have all your permissions to use already copyrighted material in place and cleared. Not only does this protect you from infringement, it also protects the festival and the venue. Our rules specifically state that any films that contain unauthorized copyrighted material will be disqualified.

Be sure to provide a PROFESSIONAL synopsis, bio, and headshot. Meaning, have someone read these things for spelling, grammar, and typos before you submit. You are on your way to becoming professional, so this is the time to start presenting yourself professionally.

Don’t be rude. The volunteers of BBFF work their butts off to try and make every single festival a success. Every year at every festival something goes wrong or the ball is dropped. It’s not that we hate you or your film, but we certainly will start disliking you if you can’t be polite. Remember, there is no such thing as Artistic Temperament, there are only bad manners.

Please don’t think you shouldn’t submit because you’re a newbie. As more and more organizations make it a part of their mission to elevate under-represented voices, know that you have to put yourself in front of those festivals. The goal of BBFF is to help you grow as a filmmaker.

DON’T get discouraged if you’re not accepted. There are so many films, but only so many festival screening slots. The worst thing that happens is when a filmmaker doesn’t get accepted and they unleash a social media barrage. Please include the festival in your social media network. BBFF is a non-profit with limited budget, so any marketing help you can give is very much appreciated.


Promotional Use

The Director or Producer, by submitting the film, agrees to allow the BisonBison Film Festival to use the film in a promotional or informational manner. This includes, but is not limited to: edited compilation of films for viewing on the website, showing films at speaking events, showing films to encourage submissions, etc. Only those films selected to be shown at the Festival will be used.

Disqualification clause:

BisonBison Film Festival (BBFF) reserves the right in its sole discretion to reject or disqualify any entries, without a refund. Disqualification is at the sole discretion of BBFF Board of Directors and BBFF Selection Committee.

Reasons a submission may be disqualified:
• Failure to meet all Eligibility and Submission requirements will result in a disqualification of submission. If any required items listed in Submission Guidelines #3 are not submitted with the film, all due effort will be made by BBFF to get these items before the submission period closes; however, if after due effort, the filmmaker fails to submit all items, then it is the sole discretion of the BBFF Selection Committee to disqualify the entry prior to the Festival dates.
• Films submitted by filmmakers not enrolled or recently graduated from an accredited college will be disqualified.
• Submissions submitted by filmmakers enrolled in institutions outside of the six states - Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas - will be disqualified.
• As this Festival is intended to be an educational experience for the student filmmaker, films may be disqualified due to unprofessional or inappropriate behavior, communication or comments made by the filmmaker.

By selecting yes, you agree that you have read both the BisonBison Film Festival Rules and Guidelines and the Filmmaker Etiquette guidelines. You agree to follow all rules and guidelines as presented. Failure to follow rules or guidelines will result in immediate disqualification. Failure to select yes on this question will result in your film not being considered for the BisonBison Film Festival.

Overall Rating
  • Anne Mirrop

    I absolutely loved this film festival. I got to see my film in a historic vaudeville movie theater-- a treat in itself. They were very hospitable and provided great workshops. 10/10 Ponca City was a great trip!

    If you are here, I also recommend going to the historic sites in town. They are incredible.

    August 2020
  • Jasmine Jones

    BBFF was a great experience! Due to COVID-19, we could not meet in person but they did an amazing job with their live stream. Highly recommend submitting to this festival!

    April 2020
  • Went online due to covid-19, but it was still great! What other competition gives students the chance to win $1000!? Great festival. Will certainly apply again.

    April 2020
  • Jeffrey Mundinger

    This years' Bison Bison Student Film Festival blew me away! It was my third time being accepted to the festival and I'm sad that I didn't go sooner! Christine and the board/volunteers are very hospitable and easy to communicate with. They moved to a new venue this year but for good reasoning. I'm excited to see how they grow the festival within their new venue. I hope to be a part of the festival in the future! Thanks again Bison Bison for an excellent experience.

    April 2019
  • Nicolas Saenz

    BisonBison and Ponca City have an amazing and unique community. It exemplifies that love for film is everywhere. Everyone you meet is kind and curious. The workshops are small but focused, and you'll find a special camaraderie with other students. The people working the festival are incredibly helpful and fun to talk to . Seeing your film play in the theater is a great reward. Hope you get to enjoy it. Also, shout out to the Lewis Family for being wonderful hosts.

    April 2018