The Brooklyn Film Festival (BFF), is an International, competitive festival. BFF’s mission is to provide a public forum in Brooklyn in order to advance public interest in films and the independent production of films. To draw worldwide attention to Brooklyn as a center for cinema. To encourage the rights of all Brooklyn residents to access and experience the power of independent filmmaking, and to promote artistic excellence and the creative freedom of artists without censure. BFF, inc. is a not-for-profit organization.

The festival is for and by independent filmmakers. The organizers of BFF bring 21 years of festival experience to this annual event. BFF accepts submissions in six categories: Narrative Features, Documentary Features, Short Narrative, Short Documentary, Experimental, and Animation. Submissions are open from July to March of the following year, the final selection of 150+ films is announced in May, and the film festival takes place in June. Selected films in each category are eligible for several awards. In addition to our lineup of films, the festival also hosts multiple filmmaker parties and networking events at venues around Brooklyn and New York City.

Many of the award-winning films from the Brooklyn Film Festival have gone on to have theatrical releases, to have nationwide broadcasts on PBS and HBO, and to be nominated and awarded at both the British and the American Academy Awards.

Through the resources of our sponsors, BFF offers prizes totaling over $50,000 in film services and products. Our industry sponsors include NYC CAMERA COMPANY, ABELCINE, XENO LIGHTS, MEDIA SERVICES, CINECALL SOUNDTRACKS, WINDMILL STUDIOS NYC, NOBLE JEWELRY, BROOKLYN FILM SOCIETY.

List of Awards:

This Award is intended to reward the best film of the year
Eligibility: All the films in the competition are eligible for this award regardless of their length, category, or format
Jury: This award is assigned by the Board of Directors of the Festival and chosen among the winners of the six "Best in Category"
Prizes: Sponsored by Cinecall & Xeno Lights - Value $7,500

Assigned to the best film in each category
Eligibility: All films in competition
Feature Narrative - Prize: Sponsored by AbelCine ($5,000 service)
Feature Documentary - Prize: Sponsored by Media Services ($300 service) + $200 Cash Offered by Brooklyn Film Society
Short Narrative - $200 Offered by Brooklyn Film Society & Media Services ($300 service)
Short Documentary - $200 Cash Offered by Brooklyn Film Society
Animation - $200 Cash Offered by Brooklyn Film Society
Experimental - Sponsored by Windmill Studios ($5,000 service)
Jury: Assigned by the panels of Judges.

Assigned to the best film shot in Brooklyn or by a Brooklyn director
Eligibility: All films shot in Brooklyn or by a Brooklyn director are eligible
Jury: Assigned by the BFF's Board of Directors
Prize: $200 Cash Offered by Brooklyn Film Society
Assigned to the best upcoming director
Eligibility: All filmmakers in competition are eligible
Jury: Assigned by the panels of Judges.
Prize: $200 Cash Offered by Brooklyn Film Society

Films in which the festival recognizes its own spirit
Spirit Awards are assigned in each category
Eligibility: All films in competition are eligible
Jury: Spirit Awards are assigned by BFF's Board of Directors
Prizes: Sponsored by Noble Jewelry ($1,000)

Certificates are assigned for outstanding achievement in the following categories:
Production - Prize: $200 Cash Offered by Brooklyn Film Society
Screenwriting – Prize: $200 Cash Offered by Brooklyn Film Society
Cinematography - Prize: $200 Offered by Brooklyn Film Society
Editing - Prize: $200 Cash Offered by Brooklyn Film Society
Style - Prize: Sponsored by G-Star Raw ($500 products)
Original Score - Prize: $200 Cash Offered by Brooklyn Film Society
Acting (female) -
Acting (male) -
Eligibility: All films in competition are eligible
Jury: Certificate Awards are assigned by the panels of Judges

Audience Awards are assigned in each category as follows:
Short Subject
Eligibility: All films in competition are eligible.
Jury: Festival Audience.

BFF 2018 Edition submissions OPEN ON JULY 1, 2017

Deadlines are as follows:
Earlybird deadline: Postmarked by November 30, 2017
Regular deadline: Postmarked by February 15, 2018
Late deadline: Postmarked by February 28, 2018
Extended deadline: Postmarked by March 10, 2018

Postmarked by = Submission packages can be mailed until the day of the deadline.

We accept submissions of Feature Narrative, Short Narrative, Feature Documentary, Short Documentary, Animation, and Experimental

All films must be in English or with English subtitles.

Screening or Rental Fees:

Duration/Running Time:
Feature Narrative: No less than 60 minutes
Short Narrative: Less than 60 minutes
Feature Documentary: No Less than 50 minutes
Short Documentary: Less than 50 minutes
Animation and Experimental: no limitations

Prior Screenings:
Entries can not have a theatrical run (commercial release) or be broadcast (TV) anywhere in the U.S.A. before June 11, 2018. Previous screenings at other film festivals, as well as private, industry, and press screenings are OK. The "New York Premiere" status is preferred, but not mandatory.

Completion Date:
Projects submitted to the Festival must have been completed after June 1, 2016. Works-In-Progress are considered only during the final submission deadline and if the film will be completed by May 8, 2018 .

Independent Production:
Films produced, financed, or initiated by a major motion picture studio are not eligible for the competition.

Overall Rating
  • Simon Williams

    We were honoured to be a part of Brooklyn Film Festival.

    July 2017
  • Mohammad Mohammadian

    Your Film Festival is very nice, Thank you so much.

    June 2017
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Mohammad!

  • Nick Flügge

    This was an incredible experience, and my thanks goes out to the awesomely friendly and excitable gang that put it on. Very well run with inspiring venues and people... Can't wait to come back, if they'll have me.

    June 2017
    Response from festival:

    Hey Nick,
    Thanks for letting us play your movie! Not sure you are aware that as alumni entry fees are waived indefinitely. We look forward to checking your future projects.


  • Mariano Biasin

    I felt honor by being selected for this Festival. That is so true, that I've spend all my savings to be able to attend.
    The screenings organization - quality - image/sound - venues were very nice. The experience of introducing my film and que Q&A were very nice too, as well the people who guided the Q&A.

    But since the moment I've shown my interest in attending, I dind't feel that was a value for this Festival. It's weird, because in much smaller Festivals that I had experience with, even with less resources and sponsors (or anything at all), they were all more welcoming.

    They were not able to help me by accomodating -not even 2 nights- in the sponsor Hotel. I told them that I was making this 12 hours trip around the world, just to be part of these Festival days, but the answer after may emails, was no.

    I asked them to receive me at their official lounge the day of my arrival, since the small room I rented (Airbnb) wasn't open to receive until 3PM. The Festival invited me to pass time in their head office (Windmill Studios) and they have assured me that it was going to be open. It was closed and nobody seemed to care about welcoming a short film filmmaker who travelled across the world and was simply left in the street for 3 hours under the rain.

    There were no interesting meetings, no encourage to gather people -which is the most interesting thing on a film festival-. I experienced a 'Filmmaker meeting' on a jeans store -sponsor-. Standing among the thin lines of wardrove. I could proove that BFF was more interested in getting nice instagram pictures for their sponsors, than really make people to feel welcome, and connect the local filmmakers with the foreigners.
    There was no welcoming chart, no contact from the organizators, no assistane at all for moving in the city.

    Nobody from the Festival Organizators never came to talk, or even show themselves, or show any gratitude for the act of attending.
    I never felt so invisible in any other Festival in the world.

    Despite that, my experience was good, because the audience reactions with my film were great. And the programmer (Natalie) and Q&A people were very nice. But I found this festival much more focused in feature flims, in local filmmakers, and in showing their sponsors how cool they are.

    I don't know why is this. In my case, travelling to NY meant a giant economical effort. Now I realize that I have to research more about Festivals before making any decision of attending. But this one was a surprise, because it's a 20years edition. I was sure it was going to be an unforgettable experience...

    June 2017
    Response from festival:

    Dear Mariano,
    I'm reading your review and, after 20 years of hard indie work, it feels like you are describing some other place/event I do not know and never had the pleasure to visit. This year, my specific job, at least for a 3 week period, was to find accommodations for the traveling filmmakers. I'm proud to say I was able to lock 7 room/nights with the Wythe Hotel, 20 room/nights with the Hotel RL, 10 with Brooklyn House, and 20, at the last minute, with the Hilton in Brooklyn. It is my understanding that we were able to provide a place to stay for "almost" all the filmmakers who asked. Honestly, the fact that you are implying that we care more about the feature films than the shorts, is truly a punch below the belt and I am not even going to spend another word on it. It is simply not true from my perspective, since I can guarantee you that many more rooms went to the short filmmakers than to the feature ones. I guess you are upset because we were not able to meet you at specific location and nobody spoke with you at the Filmmakers Party. But is this really the best way to measure 20 years of work? Yes Mariano, things in our festival are not always perfect. And at times, after 20 years we still mess things up. But we care! And I'm not going to allow you to tell otherwise, just because you can! This year we received 2,654 films. You were one of the 122 talented and lucky filmmakers to be part of our 20th anniversary program. That alone, would make me feel like I'm flying. What I'm finding peculiar is that you crossed an ocean, but couldn't make it to the festival office and ask to be seen and helped! If you happen to travel again to Brooklyn, don't be a stranger, please. Come to visit and talk to us, before you judge the entire thing by analyzing such a small sample. Regardless, I’m truly sorry you had an experience less than pleasant.

    Marco Ursino

  • Brian Landis

    Really great team of people. Natalie Gee was supportive and answered all my questions. They were generous with accommodations (which is a huge rarity) and all of the venues were comfy as well. Nice Job BFF!

    June 2017