BSFF believes in short films! Recognizing the important role shorts have in cinema, storytelling, and culture, BSFF wants to help empower the next generation of artists. The Boston Short Film Festival is an annual event showcasing shorts films with an edge. The BSFF focuses on the unconventional, the unusual, the underground, the intuitive, the innovative, the minimalistic and the true artists of our time. Based in Boston (MA, US) the festival aims to screen up to 100 short films. All screenings will take place at the historic Capitol Theatre in Arlington.
FEAST YOUR EYES
The festival discovers, supports and develops new talent in filmmaking, providing a platform for emerging and established filmmakers from around the world, and an unique focus on Boston based filmmakers. Connecting industry and audiences, the festival celebrates the creativity, diversity and impact of short film. There will be unmissable evening screenings where audiences can watch the best new short films from the hottest new talent, and opportunities to network with the industry. So whether you are a filmmaker looking to launch or develop your career, an Industry professional wanting to stay ahead of the game or a film lover wanting to soak up the festival atmosphere by watching great films, come along and feast your eyes.
Boston Short Film Festival takes pride in its astute selection process. It is known for discovering hidden gems that later go on to successfully thrive at A-list festivals, with some films even catching the eye of the Academy Awards. In 2021 for example, Boston Short Film Festival selected and awarded 'Ala Kachuu – Take and Run', directed by Maria Brendle, which was nominated in 2022 for an Oscar in the Best Live Action Short Film category.
Boston Short Film Festival is
- An IMDB qualifying film festival
- Named as one of the Top 50 Film Festivals worldwide by iFilmFestival.com.
- A 'Climate Neutral Film Event', powered by TreePlan.org.
- An official festival partner of The Producer's Night Los Angeles (producersnight.com).
‘OFF ON’ SELECTION
As of 2023 our festival will enter an exciting new phase in its existence. Next to our physical screenings we’ll also be screening online with the special OFF ON SELECTION. The OFF ON Selection will go online one week prior to the opening of the physical part of the festival and will stay online until the last day of the festival. Viewers will be able to watch, but not download your film. If needed we can geo-block your film to our region.
We’re open to any genre (narrative, web series, made for tv, documentary, experimental …) and especially any duration (which is always an issue for the physical part of the festival). Selected filmmakers will receive all official selection perks (The Tarkovski Grant, The Producer’s Night nomination, …) and are in the running for any of the award titles. When you submit your film for consideration to both a physical section and the Off On Selection it is possible to be selected for both, but this is of course not guaranteed.
Filmmakers that submit their film only to any of the other sections (so any other than the Off On Selection) will not be selected for an online screening.
PROUD PARTNER OF THE BIGGER SCREEN
BSFF is supported by The Bigger Screen, an organization that aims to make film as an art form more accessible and more inclusive. A short overview of their projects:
- SUPPORTING FILM FESTIVALS: Film festivals are not only a place to share films, but they are a safe haven for film makers to connect, share, and learn. The Bigger Screens supports and engages with over 25 respected international film festivals from mainstays like the 61st Ann Arbor Film Festival and the Brussels Independent Film Festival to emerging events such as the Venice Film Week and The Producer’s Night Los Angeles. These events bring filmmakers and filmgoers together, providing that place to connect and engage in a comfortable setting, away from Hollywood glitz and glamour.
- CONNECTING CULTURES PROGRAM: Each year, The Bigger Screen selects at least ten countries and grants filmmakers from those areas the ability to submit their work free of charge to partner festivals all over the world. This opens the door of film exposure to those who may not otherwise be able to enter. As we support inclusivity and shareable films, this program exemplifies our mission. Check out https://www.connectingculturesprogram.com to see if your country is included in this year’s program and submit your work for free.
- LOCAL FILMMAKERS PROGRAM: To encourage rising talent, we lowered the festival submission fee to local talent and even made it for free when submitted before the Extreme Early Bird Deadline. This provides a great opportunity for local filmmakers to enter the international film scene. Think global, act local, right?
- INCLUSIVE AUDIENCE PROGRAM: Our screenings are always low or even free of charge to provide opportunity for interested film goers to view up and coming, challenging, and inspiring pieces of art, encouraging students, seniors, and those in underprivileged environments to share the experience of film and cinema. We welcome film goers, regardless of income and financial status.
- THE TARKOVSKI GRANT: All selected filmmakers will receive The Tarkovski Grant, a film festival submission fee waiver package with an average value of about $500. This not only saves you a lot of money, but it also recognizes your work as something to watch for during the selection procedure, making a selection with another partner film festival more likely - but of course, never guaranteed. The Tarkovski Grant supports hundreds of filmmakers each year in their challenging journeys as independent filmmakers, by promoting existing films, no matter the genre, style or length.
All selected filmmakers will receive The Tarkovski Grant, a film festival submission fee waiver package with an average value of about $500. This not only saves you a lot of money, but it also recognizes your work as something to watch for during the selection procedure, making a selection with another partner film festival more likely - but of course, never guaranteed. The Tarkovski Grant supports hundreds of filmmakers each year in their challenging journeys as independent filmmakers, by promoting existing films, no matter the genre, style or length. The Tarkovski Grant is supported by film festivals from all over the world. Find out more here: www.thetarkovskigrant.org
All selected films are also automatically in the running for Producer's Night.
Producer's Night is an opportunity for independent filmmakers to have their work screened to a private group of elite Hollywood producers. For many directors, it could mean their ticket to the mainstream. The exclusive screening will show the best of independent cinema from the past year's film festivals at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in West Hollywood. The only way to be considered for this by being selected at one of the partner film festivals. Boston Short Film Festival is a proud partner film festival of Producer's Night. More information: www.producersnight.com
Each edition, the festival will also give out awards in the following categories:
Best Narrative Short Film
Best Documentary Short Film
Best Animated Short Film
Best Underground short Film
Best Experimental short Film
Best Boston Film
Best Actor (F/M/X)
Best LGBTQ+ Film
The Boston Short Film Festival accept all forms and genres. All non-English language films must be subtitled in English. Entry does not guarantee acceptance into the festival. Submissions WILL NOT be returned. We also accept submissions that have premiered elsewhere and that may have distribution agreements already in place. Rough cuts and incomplete projects are not accepted. Multiple entries are allowed, however a separate entry form must be submitted for each. The festival has the capability to screen HD files.
EXHIBITION & SCREENING
Screenings are scheduled during the Festival at the discretion of the Boston Short Film Festival. Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the published schedule, Boston Short Film Festival reserves the right to make changes at any time for any reason. Boston Short Film Festival will not be liable for any costs claimed as a result of a change in scheduling. No film may be withdrawn from the festival program after its selection. If chosen as an official selection, Boston Short Film Festival is granted the permission to exhibit the film at the Boston Short Film Festival and all associated screenings. Location and timing of any screenings of the film shall be the sole decision of the organizers of the Boston Short Film Festival. Filmmakers will be solely responsible for all costs resulting from the submission of the film to the Festival including but not limited to postage or insurance of the film, and expenses of your staff or any representatives of the film. Producer will indemnify the organisers of the Festival against all claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses (including legal fees), proceedings and losses resulting from the screening of the film at the Festival or from claims by any third parties.
LOSS OR DAMAGE
Although every precaution will be taken to prevent loss or damage to materials while in the possession of the festival, The Boston Short Film Festival is not responsible should any materials be damaged while in transit to or from, or while in the possession of the festival.
The filmmaker holds the Boston Short Film Festival, its management, juries, subsidiaries, agents, sponsors, affiliates, and etc. harmless from any and all claims of liability resulting from entry. The filmmaker certifies to have full rights. Producer will indemnify the organisers of the Festival against all claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses (including legal fees), proceedings and losses resulting from the screening of the film at the Festival or from claims by any third parties.
The festival does not offer screening fees for its films. By submitting through FilmFreeway you are agreeing to NOT request a screening fee as a requirement for your film's participation in the festival, should your film get selected for the program.
Since the festival only requires a nominal entry fee, we will NOT accept requests for other entry fee waivers.