Founded in 1992, the Brisbane International Film Festival is one of Australia’s premier celebrations of cinema. BIFF includes new release features, documentaries and shorts, curated thematic and retrospective programs, and special events including screenings with live music, panel discussions and more.

Since 2018 BIFF has been curated and delivered by the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) through the Gallery’s Australian Cinémathèque. These screenings and events are presented in the Gallery's onsite cinemas and with cinema and venue partners across Brisbane.

In 2020, BIFF invites submissions of short films from Australia and around the world.

COVID-19 UPDATE: As of April, QAGOMA is looking forward to presenting the Brisbane International Film Festival in October 2020 as currently planned. In the event pandemic restrictions continue, the Gallery is still committed presenting the BIFF 2020 Short Film Awards as near to the original Festival dates as is safe for our audiences. The selected films will screen at the Gallery’s Australian Cinémathèque, with the jury awarding all prizes as advertised.

All eligible films submitted will be considered for screening, and for any award they fulfill the eligibility conditions for.

Best Festival Short Film – all submissions eligible – AU$2000

Best Australian Short Film – Open to Australian short films only – AU$1000

Special Jury Award - all submissions eligible – AU$1000

Creative Achievement Award – all submissions eligible – AU$1000

Screen Queensland Short Film Award – Open to Queensland residents only – Concept Development Funding and Mentoring to value of AU$7500, plus the offer of meeting with Screen Queensland to plan their next steps.

Films submitted will be shortlisted by the Festival Selection Committee and submitted to the short film Competition Jury for final judging.

• BIFF 2020 is accepting short films only. Films must be no longer than 40 minutes.
• Films must have been completed after 1 January 2019 (please note this has been revised from 15 June 2019).
• Films must have not have been submitted to the BIFF 2019 Short Film Awards
• Films must not have screened publicly in Brisbane, been broadcast on Australian TV, or widely distributed online, and will not be until after BIFF 2020 closes on 11 October 2020.
• No rough cuts or works in progress.
• Films should be subtitled in English if they feature substantial dialogue in a language other than English.
• The Screen Queensland Short Film Award will be given in line with Screen Queensland Terms of Trade and Guidelines. To be eligible for this award, the director and at least one of either the writer or producer must be Queensland residents.
• Films produced with funding from Screen Queensland are ineligible for the Screen Queensland Short Film Award, however remain eligible for screening and all other awards.
• To be eligible for the Best Australian Short Film, key roles in the production should be filled by residents of Australia, and BIFF may request evidence of eligibility.
• Staff employed by QAGOMA for the programming and delivery of BIFF 2020 are not eligible to enter.

Conditions of Entry
By submitting your film (‘the Film’) through FilmFreeway to the Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) organised by the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) you agree:
1. All information submitted through FilmFreeway or through other correspondence with BIFF is true and accurate.
2. You own the rights or have permission from the rights holders to use all vision, sound, music and images in the Film, as necessary to submit the Film to BIFF, and for the Film to screen at BIFF if it is selected.
3. You indemnify QAGOMA against any and all legal claims arising from the content of the Film, including but not limited to the infringement of copyright and intellectual property, libel, defamation, invasion of privacy and breach of contract.
4. You will advise BIFF if, having submitted the film, you become aware of any potential claims against the Film.
5. BIFF reserves the right to withdraw a film from the competition if it deems the above conditions have not been met.
6. Winners will need to provide bank details to receive cash prizes. Winners without an Australian bank account will need to nominate which currency their bank accepts. The conversion from Australian dollars to any other currency will be undertaken by the bank on the day of the transfer, with the recipient responsible for incoming fees applied by their bank.
7. Winners of the Screen Queensland Award will be put in contact with Screen Queensland to organise next steps regarding the award and its application and if required provide evidence of being a bone fide Queenslander for the key creatives as described in eligibility requirements for this Award.
8. BIFF will not accept physical format screeners. Please submit online screener links only, through FilmFreeway.
9. Submission fees are paid in USD through FilmFreeway.
10. It is the responsibility of the submitter to maintain the screener link and keep any passwords current. If a link cannot be accessed by the Festival programmers following reasonable attempts to contact the submitter, the film will not be considered and the submission fee will not be refunded.
11. It is up to the entrant to read the Terms and Conditions and Eligibility requirements of entry and if at any point a film is no longer eligible, there will be no refund of fees.
12. BIFF is unable to extend the deadline and cannot accept requests to waive submissions fees.
13. Any costs associated with entering a film are to be paid by the submitter.

Selection and screening
• All films will be viewed by Festival Selection Committee for screening within the festival and shortlisting for the competition, with shortlisted films judged by a panel of industry professionals. The process and shortlist will not be made public, and the Festival is unable to discuss the process.
• Applicants will be notified of an outcome no later than 1 August 2020.
• If the film is selected, the submitter must provide minimum three promotional images from the film (10 x 15cm, 300dpi) for use in the Festival brochure, website, social media and provision to third party media
• Films selected for screening must be received in appropriate screening format by 1 September 2020. Materials will be held until the end of the Festival. Appropriate screening formats are 35mm film, 16mm film, DCI-compliant DCP, ProRes422 or ProRes422 HQ.
• The selected films will be screened in the Festival, with category winners announced on the closing day, Sunday 11 October.

Prizes and screening fees
• BIFF will provide the cash prizes via bank transfer to winning entrant.
• BIFF will not pay screening fees for submitted short films.
• BIFF will provide two complimentary tickets to screenings of the submitter’s film in the program, and two complimentary passes to the prize-giving event. Travel and any other costs are the responsibility of the attendees.

BIFF Feature Film and Full Length Documentary submission.
Submission of full length feature film and documentaries through FilmFreeway is by invitation only. BIFF will provide a password for submission to invited filmmakers. Entry fees apply.

Overall Rating
  • Richard James Allen

    We were thrilled to receive the Creative Achievement Award at the Brisbane International Film Festival 2020 Short Film Awards for our hybrid documentary short, I WANT TO MAKE A FILM ABOUT WOMEN. It was a great pleasure collaborating with with Dan Cameron and the festival team. Thanks so much! The Physical TV Company, Sydney, Australia.

    November 2020
  • James Woods

    BIFF is easily Australia's best film festival. Visionary curation and word class venues, fingers crossed I'll be back in 2021! XOXO

    October 2020
  • Werner Vivier

    Absolutely wonderful festival! Such a pity I wasn't able to attend, but the communication and films showcased were top notch. What a pleasure to be a part of.

    October 2020
  • Cindy Wathen-Kennedy

    This was our favorite festival! They are truly professional, supportive, and brilliant. I can't recommend them enough.

    April 2020
  • Brodie May Rowlands

    Although unfortunately I wasn't able to attend BIFF, I was honoured to have ROOM 264 screen there: they have an amazing line-up of shorts, and were excellent with communication and had an opportunity to be involved in a Q +A. Only wish I could have made it down for the screening! Keep up the amazing work and I hope to see you there in the future :) xx

    October 2019