Welcome to the Block Island Film Festival! We are filmmaking professionals who love film, connecting with filmmakers and the process of filmmaking.

The annual 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 forums and programs, award ceremonies, and nightly social mixers.

The Atlantic Ocean is a short distance from venues during the film festival, which is a non-profit event designed to benefit the arts, education, student filmmakers and the Block Island community.

Please note that the focus of the Block Island Film Festival is on celebrating filmmakers and screenwriters. We encourage our official selection filmmakers and screenwriters to attend the event. Every filmmaker and screenwriter receives an opportunity to discuss their work in depth, while making valuable network connections. The reviews on this site should give you a sense of how the film festival operates, including how the BIFF team treats filmmakers and screenwriters. If selected we hope that you can join us on Block Island for a celebration of your work and career.

Selected winners of the Block Island Film Festival are awarded the coveted lighthouse award, and spotlight lighthouse award, and receive valuable networking opportunities.

The festival awards finalists in each category with a Laurel Wreath official selection. Finalists selected to compete in the competition 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.

Please visit www.blockislandfilmfestival.org for more information.

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 on 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.

Please note that we encourage filmmakers and screenwriters to attend the film festival, as the question and answer forums following each screening are devoted to discussion that celebrates the filmmaker and their work. Screenwriters who congregate during our screenwriting forums exchange ideas, form bonds with other writers, and network. So, if you submit your work, consider attending the film festival in-person.

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  • I loved my time at the Block Island Film Festival. The staff was welcoming right away. The whole festival vibe was what a filmmaker would want. I truly had a great time.

    June 2024
  • I am a screenwriter that has never been to a film festival that had screenwriter roundtables. Writing can be a solitary calling so meeting others and learning of their approaches to the blank page was enlightening. What surprised me was the questions from the audience, many of them actors and directors who were intrigued with how we prepare prior to writing. Lastly the friendly, cooperative ambiance of the Block Island Film Festival flows from the four coordinators who welcomed everyone personally. Couple that with the natural beauty of the island and this is a Win-Win film festival to attend.

    June 2024
  • Jesse Pearlmutter

    Had a wonderful time at the Block Island Film Festival. Block Island is a perfect place to bring artists together. It was a treat to see the work created by other filmmakers, and panels/Q&As were warm and welcoming opportunities for filmmakers to speak openly about their work. Would absolutely submit again and recommend to a friend.

    June 2024
  • Attending the Block Island Film Festival was a deeply rewarding experience for our cast, crew, and my family. Perhaps it was the island's serene, breathtaking beauty, or the warm, welcoming ambiance that embraced us from the moment we arrived. The kindness and inclusivity of our four gracious hosts made us feel not just welcomed but cherished. At the festival, we made meaningful connections. Our hosts, moderators, filmmakers, and screenwriters were all so approachable and engaging.
    Each Q&A session following the screenings was insightful, filled with thoughtful dialogue and inspiration. The screenwriting forums, in particular, stood out as some of the most insightful and engaging we have ever attended. This festival is a gem, and we wholeheartedly recommend it to all.

    June 2024
  • Andrew Gerstenblatt

    We had such a great time at the 2024 Block Island Film Festival! So honored that our film, The Deep End, took home this year's Best Student Film award. I can't say enough about how amazing this film festival is; it's a perfect blend of networking, film watching, and filmmaker Q and As — all on a sweet island destination!

    I'm a filmmaker based in Los Angeles and Rhode Island, and it's so awesome to be able to come home and visit this local festival. The programmers and moderators are especially kind and welcoming, and they foster a great community. If you're in the area, the Block Island Film Festival is worth the trip! I hope to come back next year, and I encourage filmmakers both local and out-of-state to submit their work.

    June 2024