Next Events - Sept. 18 - 21, 2019

The BNFF is a film festival like no other! Not only does the BNFF capture the essence of what filmmaking is all about, but it also captures the essence of the filmmakers themselves, providing the atmosphere and the go-to connections for their next films, locations and everything under the sun. We are the 1st and the VOICE of film in WNY!

If you are looking for the perfect place to showcase your films and abilities, this is the place! With the backdrop of Niagara Falls & the Buffalo Region, there is no more recognizable name or location in the world than Niagara Falls itself. Use us to network your films, launch your next project, find financing, or locate the best locations and deals for the buck, there is no one better in this area to steer you in the right direction than our festival founder, Bill Cowell, who will go to the bat for you.

Some of our high-profile guests and participants have included Academy Award Winners Robert Redford, Lou Gossett Jr., Richard Dreyfuss, Golden Globe Nominee Cindy Williams, Stanley and Cheryl Boone Isaacs (Immediate Past AMPAS President), and more. Don't cheat yourself of a great opportunity and sweet talk from other festivals. Our history is in black and white.

Other guests and/or supporters of the BNFF are: Robert Culp, Tom Holland, Lou Ferrigno, Brendan Wayne, Wanda Jackson, Herschell Gordon Lewis, J.D.Zeik, Hilary Duff, Joanne Shenendoah, William Fichtner, Tom Sizemore, Evander Holyfield, Michael Madsen, Larry Bishop, Eric Roberts, Robert Forster, Aidan Quinn, Charles Grodin, Penny Marshall, Mark Johnson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ed Asner, Joe Mantegna, Kim Basinger, Barbara Hershey, Wilford Brimley, Randy Newman, Roger Towne, Jon Van Ness, Barry Kivel, Caleb Deschanel, Robert Rich III, Mike Starr, Ellen Chenoweth, Judy Henderson, Barry Levinson, Pauly Shore, Frank Dux, Stephen Lang, and many more.

Looking forward to making your connection in our region that loves the arts and has produced many famous industry icons both behind the camera, on the screen, and abroad.

The BNFF is committed to providing ample opportunities to fellow filmmakers and all others in bringing cinematographic arts and other related entertainment products to Western New York through high-profile community events, talent, productions and films from around the country and the world.

Cash, Awards & Prizes are only one part of this great festivals amenities. Don't miss out on this great opportunity and festival to get your name and projects recognition out there.

Big awards, connections, over 28 categories and opportunities to collect on!

1. You must complete an entry form for each film submitted. Entry fees are per film entered, and must accompany the entry form or online confirmation. Make checks/money orders payable to the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival.

2. Film Entries are accepted in the following formats: Digitally online or DVD (NTSC).

3. Film Entries are accepted in one of two categories: short and feature length. Short films are under 45 minutes in running time. Feature films are 45 minutes or longer in running time.

4. Screenplay Submissions are accepted electronically in Final Draft/.Doc/or RTF.

5. DVD(s) and cases must be labeled (preferably using permanent marker/ink) with film title, filmmaker name, phone and email. Please place DVD(s) in a DVD sleeve or hard plastic cases.�

6. Films may have been previously screened at other festivals, although BNFF “premier” status is preferred but not mandatory.

7. Any film that has had a theatrical release, other than a limited premiere or special showing, or is currently in distribution (e.g., has been licensed for distribution in some territory) may be eligible for the competition. If there is a question regarding eligibility, please contact or you may call (716) 432-1065.

8. The Festival Organizers reserve the right to hold “Special Screenings” of previously released/distributed films, however they will not be considered for juried competition or festival prizes.

9. The BNFF Directors reserve the right to include selected films/screenplays in any category deemed appropriate.

10. Not all films/screenplays will be selected for screenings during the BNFF, but all submitted films/screenplays will be considered. All submitters will be notified on or about July 30, 2019 of the status of their submission(s).

11. The BNFF Directors reserve the right to program selected films/screenplays as many times during the Festival as they see fit, at whatever venue they see fit.

12. If a film/screenplay is selected for screening, the Film Director (Submitter) will state that he/she/they is/are the sole and rightful owner(a) of the submission and does not violate or infringe on any trademark, trade name, copyright, literary, dramatic, musical, artistic or other intellectual property or personal rights.

13. If a film/screenplay is selected, the filmmaker agrees that he/she will be solely responsible for the delivery of his/her final screening copies (or downloadable files) of their film/screenplay to the BNFF Festival Office no later than July 30, 2019. All films/screenplays and canisters/sleeves will be marked with the name of the film/screenplay/filmmaker/phone and email. If the filmmaker/screenwriter is not in attendance, he/she will provide return shipping of their screening copies, otherwise they remain the property of the BNFF. Original screening copies and press kits remain the property of the BNFF. Screening copies will only be returned if the submitter has included a self-addressed envelope (with the correct postage).

14. No filmmaker or writer will be either discriminated or favored by their country of origin, language, age, race, education, ideology, or by their economic resources.

15. All participants acknowledge that the BNFF is a public event that is open to the media. As such, all participants are subject to media coverage and scrutiny and may have their likenesses published in print, electronically, or via digital broadcast. BNFF is not, now nor will not be in the future, responsible nor liable for such media coverage or actions of the press or other publicity agents during any events or functions associated with BNFF.

16. Once a submission has been made, and the submission fee has been paid, there are no refunds.

Overall Rating
  • Linda Palmer

    Although I wasn't able to attend, our actors from the films had a great time! Wonderful audiences, great venues, fun events! We hope to be back with more films!

    November 2019
  • Graciela Cassel

    Loved this festival! grateful to be there

    November 2018
  • Matt Wisniewski

    Super fun, well organized festival.

    October 2018
  • Stevie Jackson

    Great festival! We were honoured that our short film "Honestly Charlotte" was chosen for screening. A fun festival with interesting seminars, great events and fantastic hospitality. Thank you!

    June 2018
  • Gino Pinetti

    The Buffalo Niagara International Film Festival is truly a wonderful event
    It certainly offers a great visibility to films and filmmakers all over the country.
    Thanks Bill and thanks to the Buffalo Niagara International Film Festival

    May 2018