The Block Island Film Festival boasts notable actors, directors, screenwriters, filmmakers, students and entertainment professionals, on the beautiful resort destination known as Block Island, located 13 miles off the coast of Rhode Island. A consortium of global filmmaking professionals gather to mingle with contemporaries in intimate public settings, such as film screenings, spotlight film programs, signature programs, tribute and award ceremonies, filmmaking forums, and nightly social mixers.

The Block Island Film Festival is held during June annually in the historic downtown Water Street district near the Old Harbor waterfront. The Atlantic Ocean and the harbor are visible from venues during the Block Island Film Festival, which is a non-profit event designed to benefit the arts, education, student filmmakers and the Block Island community.

Selected winners of the Block Island Film Festival are awarded the coveted lighthouse award, spotlight award and other prizes, including valuable netiworking opportunities. The festival’s jury awards the finalists in each of the categories with the Laurel Wreath official selection award, making them alumni of the film festival, connected to its network in the filmmaking community. Finalists who are selected to compete in the competition will receive one VIP Festival Pass for the duration of the film festival, and have their name and work promoted by the Block Island Film Festival on its informational and social media platforms.

The student competition is hosted by several entities, including the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Extension, Entertainment Studies, in partnership with the Island Free Library and library Director Kristin Baumann. Prizes are awarded to the student short film winner, and include a complimentary film course for a semester from UCLA’s Entertainment Studies program. Student finalists receive one VIP Festival Pass for the duration of the film festival, and name and work promoted on informational and social media platforms.

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Submissions to the Block Island Film Festival must be the original work of the author or filmmaker, and identified as such on the materials that are submitted. The Block Island Film Festival has express permission to use production stills posted with a submission on its FilmFreeway page for publicity purposes on its various social media pages, website, news media publications, etc. Filmmakers must submit two Blu-Ray copies of their film by the requested deadline for inclusion in the competition.

For students: Students submitting work for consideration in the film festival competition need to identify their school in the credits when submitting. A student submission should include the name of the school denoting it under the film’s title on the film and screenplay. Note if your school is a high school, or a college.

Screenplays must be the original work of the writer/applicant(s). If the story is based upon another person’s life, or upon a book, or other underlying work, writer/applicant(s) must secure any necessary rights to make such adaptations. However, it is not necessary to submit the adaptation or rights agreements to the Block Island Film Festival. Neither the film festival, nor its jurists, investigates or attests to the authenticity of an applicant’s statement of authorship or rights secured. By entering the competition, you are acknowledging that you have secured all necessary rights.

By submitting the material, the writer/applicant hereby agrees to indemnify, hold harmless, and defend the Block Island Film Festival, its employees, directors, representatives, and affiliates from any liability, claims, and damages in connection with the submission of material and from any fees and expenses, including but not limited to reasonable attorney’s fees that any of them may incur in connection therewith.

Overall Rating
  • Daniel James Tenni

    A wonderful festival. Very impressive for its first year I think Block Island will be one of the special ones in years to come. Communication was brilliant the whole way through and although I was closely following from outside of the US I felt included and was really excited to see it all unfold. Highly recommend the Block Island Film Festival. Very well run to a high standard. It's such a beautiful location too if you can attend.

    July 2019
  • Simon Werdmüller von Elgg

    Although our plans to attend the festival fell through last minute, we were delighted to be selected. Communication with the festival was easy and friendly. We hope to attend in the future!

    July 2019
  • Fantastic experience, highly recommend this competition!

    June 2019
  • Stefan Sauer

    Beautiful Location an very lovely staff. Thank you very much!

    June 2019
  • William Norrett

    It was an honor and a pleasure to be a part of this festival's first year, as I truly believe the Block Island Film Festival is going to grow and grow. It's held at a gorgeous location and run by terrific people who did everything they could to make the filmmakers feel welcome and appreciated. Cash and Jami (and Josh!) both did yeoman's work, shuttling between the locations, making everything run smoothly. The films were a wide range of provocative, interesting, and entertaining work by innovative filmmakers. The panels and Q&As were lively, informative, and great opportunities to learn and re-invigorate one's love of film.

    I highly recommend, am proud that my film was a part of it, and can't wait to see what the Block Island Film Festival has in store for next year and many years to come. Great job, everyone.

    June 2019