The festival seeks films that celebrate alternative visions and sounds, offering a platform that connects filmmakers with one another and our loyal audience, and encourages new ideas in celebration of work that pushes the envelope in style and content.

We are looking for exceptional independent features and shorts in the categories of: Dark comedy, genre, dark sci-fi, cerebral and/or psychedelic horror, unusual documentary, music video, animation, or films that defy description (preferably with a WTF) from all over the world.

Since 2012, BUFF's primary screening venue has been the historic Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, MA. In addition to film screenings, BUFF hosts receptions and parties all over Harvard Square for attending filmmakers, industry guests, audience members, and media.

We pride ourselves on the caliber of the content we exhibit, the hospitality of our fantastic volunteer staff, and the passionate community we've fostered here in New England; we hope you'll check us out!

Rather than giving cash or trade value prizes for awards, BUFF doles out a trophy in the shape of a demonic black bunny with red eyes.

The annual award categories are:
Audience Choice Award: Best of Fest Short, Best of Fest Feature
Best First Feature
Director's Choice (BUFF organizers): Best Short, Best Feature

Occasionally awards for Lifetime Achievement and Best New England Film are selected as well.

Films 60 minutes and above are considered feature length. Films under 60 minutes but above 20 minutes are considered medium length. Films under 20 minutes are considered short length.

Short, medium length, and feature length submissions must be online screeners; no physical copies accepted. All submissions in a foreign language must be subtitled or dubbed in English. If submitting more than one film, a separate completed entry is required for each title. Due to the volume of submissions we receive, submitted items cannot be returned.

Accepted Feature films must be available on DCP or 35mm. All accepted short and medium length films must be on DCP. All DCPs must be authored by a professional post-house. "Homebrewed" DCPs will not be accepted under any circumstances. If a filmmaker cannot produce proof of professional DCP authorship, the filmmaker agrees to either allow BudgetDCP, BUFF's DCP partner, to author a DCP at a discounted rate or to get a DCP authored by a professional post-house (and provide proof thereof). BUFF will not accept digital files as exhibition copies for ANY films accepted into the festival.

Selected films are scheduled at the discretion of BUFF. BUFF retains the right to make changes to the published schedule at any time and for any reason. BUFF will notify all filmmakers of acceptance/rejection status via email by no later than March 1, 2019.

Boston Underground Film Festival (henceforth referred to as BUFF) is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes. The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless BUFF from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

Overall Rating
  • Devi Snively

    I'd heard great things about this fest from filmmaker friends who previously attended and they were all true. Fabulous location, venue, film offerings, staff and spectators. Every screening I attended was packed, and the theater is quite large (with balcony seating to boot). They offer a great rate on DCPs and projection and sound were stellar across the board. Beautifully curated shorts programs and engaging features. Parties were too late for me, but filmmaker reception was fun and despite making the trip on my own, I was rarely without company amidst so many fun, kindred spirits. Fabulous crowd. Excellent communication too, and the hotel discount was much appreciated. Thought it's not cheap to stay in Cambridge nearly all venues are in easy walking distance with plenty of food and beverage options. If you're fortunate enough to screen here, by all means attend!

    April 2018
  • Melina Valdez

    My email wasn't working too well so I didn't even know my film was accepted but BUFF called and let me know, they really pushed to have my film included- everyone who worked it was so kind and supportive, it felt like a wonderful community. The films they played were all unique and interesting, I fell in love with a couple of the films they played. Overall, I had a great time and I'm very grateful for this festival!

    April 2018
  • Tim Driscoll

    I wasn't able to attend with my short film but their communication was outstanding. Super clear, helpful and gave me plenty of notice so that I could deliver any missing components without stressing out.

    April 2018
  • Alan Deprez

    I wasn't able to attend but it's so great that our short film "Cruelle est la nuit" ("Cruel is the night") was screened at BUFF. It means a lot and apparently, the audience reacted very well (we got a nice review from a guy who was at the screening). Their communication is good but now, I'm waiting for some feedback about the "Trigger Warning" screening (and maybe a few pictures).

    April 2018
  • William Nawrocki

    Had a fantastic time at the BUFF showing my film, "Are You Wild Like Me?", in the Homegrown Horror block! The venue was beautiful, everything looked and sounded great. And that secret screening! Will hopefully be back next year with another film, or just to see some films from a (I predict) great lineup of the top genre films of the year!

    April 2018