The 24th Brooklyn Film Festival (BFF), will run from June 4 - 13, 2021 at multiple Brooklyn venues.

Brooklyn Film Festival (BFF), is a 10-day International, competitive festival. Discovering and promoting independent filmmakers at their first or second film is at the very center of the festival's year-round efforts. 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; and to promote artistic excellence and the creative freedom of artists without censure.

BFF is a festival for and by independent filmmakers. The organizers of BFF bring 23 years of festival experience to this annual event. 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 150 films is announced in May and the festival takes place in early June. All the films that make up our final lineup come from submissions only.

At our physical venues, each selected film plays twice. All films are eligible for several awards and the smallest film can win the top award: The Grand Chameleon. In addition to our film programs, BFF also hosts multiple filmmaker parties and networking events at venues around Brooklyn.

Many of our award-winning films have gone on to have theatrical releases, nationwide broadcasts on PBS and HBO, and to be nominated and awarded at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and the American Academy Awards. BFF is also proud to be a 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 over $50,000 in cash, film services, and products. Our award sponsors include WNET’s REEL 13, ABELCINE, XENO LIGHTS, BE ELECTRIC, SOBRE VISTA RESORT, WNET, REEL 13, MPE, FINAL DRAFT, LENTINI COMMUNICATIONS, MEDIA SERVICES, NOBLE JEWELRY, THE POD, PAPAPIETRO PERRY WINERY, BROOKLYN FILM SOCIETY.

List of Awards:

This Award is intended to reward the film that best represents the festival theme.
Eligibility: chosen among the 6 winners of the 6 BFF film categories. Often improperly called Best Film of the Year, the Grand Chameleon is picked regardless of its length, category, or format.
Jury: This award is assigned by the Festival.
Prizes: 5-night stay at Sobre Vista Resort ($25,000) – Chameleon Statuette ($500)


Assigned to the best film in each category
Eligibility: All films in competition
Jury: Assigned by the panels of Judges.

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

* 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)

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

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

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

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


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 Festival
Prizes: $4,000 credit for studio rental offered by Be Electric - Final Draft software ($250)


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 bluetablepost. Value $4,000


Assigned to the best upcoming director
Eligibility: All filmmakers in competition are eligible
Jury: Assigned by the panels of Judges.
Prizes: $200 offered by Brooklyn Film Society - Final Draft software ($250)


Films in which the festival recognizes its own spirit
Spirit Awards are assigned in each category (6)
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)


Certificates for outstanding achievement to the categories below:
Eligibility: All films in competition are eligible
Jury: Certificate Awards are assigned by the panels of Judges

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

* SCREENWRITING - Final Draft software ($250)

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

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

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

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

* ACTING (female) - No prizes

* ACTING (male) - No prizes


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



BFF 2021 Edition submissions OPEN ON June 15, 2020

Deadlines are as follows:

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

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

We accept submissions of Feature Narrative, Feature Doc, Short Narrative, Short Doc, Experimental, and Animation.

Language: All films must be in English or with English subtitles.

Screening or Rental Fees:

Duration/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 U.S.A. before June 7, 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 7, 2019. Works-In-Progress are considered only during the final submission deadline and 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. It is understood that the Brooklyn Film Festival may use segments from any film submitted and accepted into the final lineup for promotional purposes only.

Overall Rating
  • 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