We are now in our 16th year and want to give clarity to our reclaiming of the word “urban”. For so long, "urban" has been seen as an extension of “black”, “underground”, “other”, “unworthy”.

We know that in every walk of life urban culture, more than ever, is revered as trend setting, forward-thinking, inclusive and innovative.

This is the reason why BAFTA, BIFA, AMAA and our industry festival partners (including Iris Prize) have officially recognised BUFF - giving our filmmakers direct opportunities to qualify for film awards. BUFF is the longest standing black-owned film festival in the United Kingdom. Founded by Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe MBE, filmmakers that have exhibited at our festival are now household names. Join the legacy and explore new worlds at BUFF.

why I should submit to the best film festival in the U.K for diverse programming:

At the British Urban Film Festival, we have been a pioneering platform for all facets of diversity since our formation in 2005.

Long before diversity quotas and terminology such as BAME and non-binary, we have always welcomed, showcased, given coverage to and awarded films which embrace diverse storytelling, celebrating filmmakers from diverse backgrounds representative of the 9 diversity strands:

age. disability. gender reassignment.
marriage and civil partnership. pregnancy and maternity. race.
religion or belief. sex.


Only shortlisted submissions will receive further emails, social media messages or telephone calls/text messages from the BUFF submissions team after the final submission deadline passes. Correspondence will commence from early Autumn 2021 onwards.

All shortlisted films will be eligible to win a British Urban Film Festival short film/feature film award in 2021.

All shortlisted films will be considered for theatrical distribution through our industry partners.

All British short films accepted into the 2021 British Urban Film Festival are eligible to be entered into the 2022 BAFTA film awards. BUFF is a Section B qualifying festival, meaning that your film must be selected to screen at another Section B qualifying festival before you can enter your film to BAFTA.

All British films accepted into the 2021 British Urban Film Festival are eligible to be entered into the 2021 British Independent Film Awards (BIFA).

All films accepted into the 2021 British Urban Film Festival will be in contention for an African Movie Academy Award (AMAA) in 2021 (subject to eligibility). BUFF will submit official selections from filmmakers of African origin and non-Africans who have contributed to the African film industry.


The final shortlist of 3 scripts (in addition to receiving a British Urban Film Festival award) will be considered for development through our industry partners.

Scripts: must be no less than 20 pages and no more than 120.

Feature length films: must be no less than 44 minutes and no more than 120.

Short films must be no less than 3 minutes and no more than 44.

All Music, Spoken Word, Dance & Moving Image videos must be no less than 3 minutes.

The festival operates a no waiver policy.

Overall Rating
  • Was extremely honoured to be selected by BUFF with our film 'elephant'. In the midst of a pandemic the team worked tirelessly to create a virtual experience that was wonderful and inclusive. We as filmmakers really felt nurtured and special. Thank you. Dxx

    March 2021
  • Aletha Shepherd

    I had the best time at this festival and would highly recommend it. Considering It was online they did their best to provide for the filmmakers and get them as much exposure as possible. Well done and Thank you!

    February 2021
    Response from festival:

    Many thanks for your continued support Aletha :)

  • shaul melamed

    How did Mini DV get on Apple TV?
    I wonder as well, still astound by it.
    Last year, the film was part of a very special festival in London, for which Emmanuel Anyiam Osigwe the founder awarded MBE in the queen’s New Years Honours list.
    The British Urban film festival is known for their unique approach, when the pandemic hit, they created an amazing cooperation with Apple, and I’m more than honored to be nominated for best documentary and for the chance to be part of this festival.
    Thanks to all the festival crew for the great effort for cinema in such a difficult year.

    January 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for your kind words Shauly - we appreciate it.

  • James Hughes

    The communication is incredibly thoughtful throughout the process.

    Furthermore, the whole team support you as a filmmaker, and promote you as much as they can. They really embrace their filmmakers and make them feel like they are part of a family.

    The British Urban Film Festival sets a gold standard, and is a complete first class festival experience.

    January 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you James, we appreciate your continued support of the festival.

  • Tony Amore

    If you're a writer or film maker with an original story to tell, if you got an idea that you feel is strong but is the type of story that often is overlooked then this could be for you.

    If you're an outsider, misfit, someone who normally isn't represented well or at all in film then this festival is especially for you.

    During a challenging pandemic for all, they made the experience great, allowing films to be available to more people on a platform normally unavailable to independents. Though QC was tough they supported us well.

    I would highly recommend the festival to new and experienced film makers, to writers and actors. I did a Zoom interview with some really cool creatives selected to the festival like me, so even networking opportunities were not put on hold. This was a great opportunity to get myself out there in a respected international festival, I've definitely learnt from the experience.

    Thanks guys.

    January 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for being part of BUFF 2020 - our biggest festival yet. Definitely one to remember :)