BFF is a 10-day International-competitive festival. Our 24th event will run from June 4 - 13, 2021.

Although we are a fully inclusive organization and our events are accessible to everyone, discovering and promoting independent filmmakers at their first or second film is at the very center of our year-round efforts.

BFF’s mission is to provide a forum to advance public interest in film; to support every year a new generation of filmmakers with a unique vision; to draw worldwide attention to Brooklyn as a center for cinema; and to promote artistic excellence and the creative freedom of artists without censure.

BFF is a festival for and by independent filmmakers. The organizers bring to this annual event 23 years of festival experience. BFF accepts submissions in six categories: Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, Short Narrative, Short Documentary, Experimental, and Animation.

Submissions are open from July to March of the following year. The final selection of 140-150 films is announced in May and the event starts in early June. All the films that end up being part of our final lineup come from submissions only.

All selected films are eligible for several awards and even the smallest film can end up winning the very top award: The Grand Chameleon. In addition to our film programs, BFF also hosts multiple filmmaker parties and a variety of innovative opportunities to network and get involved.

Many of our award-winning films have been picked up for theatrical releases, nationwide broadcasts on PBS and HBO, and to be nominated and awarded by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and the American Academy Awards. BFF is also a proud Canadian Screen Award qualifying festival.

BFF, inc. is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization with headquarters in Williamsburg-Brooklyn since 1998.

Through the resources of BFF’s sponsors, the festival offers prizes totaling about $50,000 in cash, film services, and products. Our award sponsors include WNET’s REEL 13, ABELCINE, XENO LIGHTS, BE ELECTRIC, SOBRE VISTA RESORT, MPE, FINAL DRAFT, LENTINI COMMUNICATIONS, MEDIA SERVICES, NOBLE JEWELRY, THE POD, PAPAPIETRO PERRY WINERY, and BROOKLYN FILM SOCIETY.

LIST of AWARDS:

* GRAND CHAMELEON AWARD
This Award is intended to reward the film that best represents the annual festival theme.
Eligibility: The 6 winners of the 6 film categories. Often improperly called Best Film of the Year, the Grand Chameleon is chosen regardless of its category.
Jury: This award is assigned by the Festival Board of Directors.
Prizes: 5-night stay at Sobre Vista Resort ($25,000) & Chameleon Statuette (trophy)

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BEST IN CATEGORY AWARD
Assigned to the best film in each category
Eligibility: All films in competition
Jury: Assigned by the panels of external Judges.

* BEST FEATURE NARRATIVE - Prizes:
Credit at Xeno Lights ($5,000)
Final Draft software ($250)
Media Services software ($375)

* BEST FEATURE DOC - Prizes:
Camera rental credit at AbelCine ($5,000)
5 nights at the Pod for 1+1 ($1,500)
Final Draft software ($250)
Media Services software ($375)

* BEST SHORT NARRATIVE - Prizes:
$200 cash offered by Brooklyn Film Society
Final Draft software ($250)
Media Services software ($375)

* BEST SHORT DOC - Prizes:
$3,000 credit towards post-production equipment rental at MPE
Media Services Software (value $375)

* BEST EXPERIMENTAL - Prizes:
$200 cash offered by Brooklyn Film Society
$500 credit at Lentini Communications

* BEST ANIMATION - Prize:
$200 cash offered by Brooklyn Film Society

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* BEST BROOKLYN PROJECT
Assigned to the best film shot in Brooklyn or made by a Brooklyn director
Eligibility: All films shot in Brooklyn or made by a Brooklyn director
Jury: Assigned by the Festival
Prizes: $4,000 credit towards a studio rental offered by Be Electric - Final Draft software ($250)

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* BEST PITCH AT BFF EXCHANGE
Assigned to the Director/Writer who offered the best content and performed the best pitch during the Pitch segment of BFFX
Eligibility: All films are eligible. Submissions are open to all.
Jury: BFFX Producers
Prize: 10 hours with a colorist at Blue Table Post ($8,000)

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* BEST NEW DIRECTOR
Assigned to the best upcoming director
Eligibility: All filmmakers in competition with their first film are eligible
Jury: Assigned by an external panel of Judges.
Prizes: $200 offered by Brooklyn Film Society - Final Draft software ($250)

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SPIRIT AWARDS
Films in which the festival recognizes its own spirit (festival favorites)
One award in each category (x6) gets assigned
Eligibility: All films in competition are eligible
Jury: Spirit Awards are assigned by BFF's Board of Directors
Prizes: 6 jewels (one per category) offered by Noble Jewelry ($600)

* FEATURE NARRATIVE
* FEATURE DOC
* SHORT NARRATIVE
* SHORT DOC
* EXPERIMENTAL
* ANIMATION

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CERTIFICATES of OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT
The festival issues only one certificate in each of the below fields of competence which can be assigned within any of the 6 film categories (i.e. Best Editing means "best" among all films included in the festival lineup)
Eligibility: All filmmakers in the festival are eligible
Jury: Certificates are assigned by external panels of Judges and festival board of directors jointly.

* BEST PRODUCTION
Prizes: $200 offered by BFS - Final Draft software ($250)

* BEST SCREENWRITING
Prize: Final Draft software ($250)

* BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Prize: $200 cash offered by Brooklyn Film Society

* BEST STYLE
Prize: case of Papa Pietro Wine ($700)

* BEST EDITING
Prize: $200 cash offered by Brooklyn Film Society

* BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Prize: $200 cash offered by Brooklyn Film Society

* BEST ACTING (female)
No prizes

* BEST ACTING (male)
No prizes

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AUDIENCE AWARDS
Audience Awards are assigned in each of the 6 categories below:
Eligibility: All films in the lineup are eligible.
Jury: Festival Audience.

* FEATURE NARRATIVE
* FEATURE DOC
* SHORT NARRATIVE
* SHORT DOC
* EXPERIMENTAL
* ANIMATION

DEADLINES
Earlybird: November 30, 2020
Regular: January 28, 2021
Late: February 19, 2021
Extended: March 10, 2021

CATEGORIES
Feature Narrative
Feature Doc
Short Narrative
Short Doc
Experimental
Animation

OVERALL ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
Language: All films must be in English or with English subtitles.
Film Age: Submitted films must be not older than 2 years

SCREENING or RENTAL FEES:
BFF does NOT CONSIDER films that require SCREENING/RENTAL FEES.

TOTAL RUNNING TIME:
- Feature Narrative: No less than 60 minutes
- Feature Documentary: No Less than 50 minutes
- Short Narrative: Less than 60 minutes
- Short Documentary: Less than 50 minutes
- Experimental and Animation : no limitations

PRIOR SCREENINGS:
Entries cannot have a theatrical run (commercial release) or be broadcast (TV) anywhere in the US before June 13, 2021. 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 13, 2019. Works-In-Progress are considered only during the final submission deadline stage and only if the film can be completed by May 8, 2021.

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

FILM PROMOTION & INTERVIEWS:
BFF will forward any interviews requests directly to filmmakers or their publicist for them to arrange and coordinate. The BFF PR Department pitches the overall festival program and events to maximize exposure and build buzz in advance of and during the festival by procuring curtain raisers (festival preview features) and capsule reviews/film picks/highlights with local media including print dailies & weeklies, TV & Radio, and online/blogs. Brooklyn Film Festival may use segments from any film submitted and accepted into the final lineup for promotional purposes.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Timothy Wolfer


    One of NYC best festivals. They did an amazing job moving online and still getting the word out about our film with lots of Instagram live streams as well as a lot of traditional press. It was a honor to screen here and we plan to do it again in the future!

    July 2020
  • Gibrey Allen

    Due to covid-19 this year’s festival was a virtual experience. However I thoroughly enjoyed the festival! I was able to watch so many wonderful and inspiring films. Listening to so many filmmakers discussing their projects was incredibly motivating. Screening my Feature film ‘Right Near the Beach’ was a huge honor and something I’ll never forget. Be sure make this BFF a part of your future festival experience.

    July 2020
  • Shaheen Sheriff

    Really loved the festival- glad to have been part of it! Very active online presence during Corona. Very helpful and lively people, and great online setup. Got to know stories of other filmmakers too, which was nice.

    July 2020
  • Annika Ivarsson

    I am so happy to have shown my film at the Brooklyn Film Festival. Even tough it had to be online because of the pandemic, I felt very welcomed and I loved what the festival did on social media with Q&A:s and the red carpet challenge. Thank you!

    July 2020
  • Nageena Ahmed

    Despite the global pandemic, BFF ran a successful online film festival that was viewed around the world. This was no small technological feat but it all worked very well in terms of viewing, voting and filmmaker engagement and feedback.

    June 2020