The Buffalo International Film Festival- now in its 11th year- is Western New York’s premiere celebration of the moving image. One of the largest and longest-running film festivals in Western New York, BIFF champions local, national, and international films that test the limits of independent cinema. Each year, BIFF presents juried selections from hundreds of submissions to Western New York residents and visitors. BIFF proudly supports local filmmakers by offering workshops, seminars, industry panel discussions and fiscal sponsorship on a year-round basis.

Awards & Prizes

“The Gold Bison”
- Best Short Film
- Best Feature Film, Narrative
- Best Feature Film, Documentary

“The Summer Award”
- Best WNY Student Film
- Best WNY Short
- Best WNY Feature

“The Supersnipe Award”
- Best Animated Film (any length)

"Best of Fest: Audience Award"
- Any length, any category

Rules & Terms

Thank you for your interest in the Buffalo International Film Festival (BIFF). BIFF welcomes submissions from all over the world - please read through the following terms, conditions and rules in its entirety to ensure your film qualifies for consideration prior to submission. Questions may be directed to

Your submission constitutes an acceptance of the following terms and conditions:

1.- Only entires submitted digitally through will be considered.

2.- Eligible works must have been completed after September 1, 2015.

3.- BIFF strongly prefers to host the Western New York premieres of selected work - preference will be given to films previously unavailable in the WNY market. Feature films and shorts available direct to United States consumers via home video mediums including online streaming, video on demand, and DVD will not be considered.

4.- Exhibition formats for the Buffalo International Film Festival are BluRay (Region A/1 or Region Free only) and Digital Cinema Package (DCP). No other formats will be accepted for exhibition. Filmmakers will be expected to provide physical media.

5.- Works in Progress may be considered, please include your post-production schedule and work to be done (ie: color grading, score, sound mix) in your cover letter.

6.- At any time you may replace your original submission at anytime however any prior evaluation of your film will not be discarded. Any future judging will consider your replacement copy.

7.-BIFF does not present client-commissioned work (such as training films, commercials or branded content). Artists must have final ownership over their work to be eligible.

8.-If invited to screen at the Buffalo International Film Festival, your standard screening fee may be considered a donation to our 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. Please consult your accountant or tax lawyer for additional information. By submitting your film via FilmFreeway you acknowledge that the festival will not pay to present your work.

9.- Submissions are reviewed using the following criteria: strength of direction, storytelling, production/technical value, and cultural value. We welcome submissions that blur the boundaries between documentary, narrative and experimental work.

10.- The Buffalo International Film Festival endeavors to complete our selection process by August 8, 2017 and inform all submitting parties via email of their selection status. Submitting filmmakers will receive information including print shipping and deadlines, attendance, and a general festival and Buffalo orientation guide.

11.- Showtime and venue scheduling is at the digression of the festival and may be subject to change.

12.- The Buffalo International Film Festival and its host venues aspire to provide the best quality presentation possible. All exhibition media provided in advance will receive a technical screening prior to its festival screening. BIFF and its venue partners will not be held liable for any failure in the technical quality of its presentation resulting in the cancellation or interruption of a screening, nor will fees be refunded in any such case.

13.- No film may be withdrawn after accepting an invitation to screen at the Buffalo International Film Festival.

14.- By accepting our invitation you agree to the following terms: Your film will not be made available online, DVD or via video-on-demand services prior to its festival screening. You agree not to host a screening (of 15 or more persons) of your film in the United States, within a 100-mile radius of Buffalo, NY prior to your screening. Limited private screenings of less than 15 persons for the purposes of feedback (such as a small friends/family screening or for the purposes of fulfilling a thesis/class requirement) are permissible on a limited basis.

15.- Your submission acknowledges you have received, or will receive all applicable clearances to screen your work at the Buffalo International Film Festival. You agree to hold the Buffalo International Film Festival harmless and to indemnify the festival, its sponsors and venues against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages and expenses (including but not limited to attorney’s fees and court costs) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, and screening. You also agree you as a representative of the work in question you have the right the right to distribute the film and therefore to submit the film to the Buffalo International Film Festival for consideration.


Western New York Features*

Western New York Shorts*

Western New York Student Films*

Western New York-made work must be filmed in, or have a strong connection to the Western New York region (defined as the Buffalo, Jamestown and Rochester areas)





** The programing department reserves the right to re categorized and/or program selections as they see fit.

7 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Joe Petricca

    The Buffalo International Film Festival was great. At first it seemed like communication/information was slow to come and things were unclear and there was an odd glitch in their website where the times for screenings were listed incorrectly on the West coast. But once we were a week/10 days from the festival - everything fell into place. The shorts program I was part of was very well attended and the venue nice. I stopped by the Filmmaker lounge a few times for the breakfast and met great people including the Festival director(s). I sat in on an informative panel from the NY State Film Commission. It was a really great welcoming experience.

    October 2017
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    MJ Di Rocco

    I found the experience of dealing with BIFF very pleasant. I was unable to attend but their social media is awesome and seems like they do a lot of good for cinema. There was a little confusion about my film being received and the screening time, but it was all cleared up. I enjoyed dealing with the folks at the festival and it’s a great market for any filmmaker. I’d love to submit future works!

    October 2017
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    john Whitney

    We felt so lucky to be included in this years programing. The festival staff was fantastic, made us feel welcome and were genuinely excited about giving us a platform to showcase our film. Well worth the entry fee. Great Job!

    October 2017
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    Josephine Massarella

    Warm and welcoming, an excellent festival.

    December 2016
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    Gabrielle Burton

    The heads of BIFF were excellent -- efficient, thoughtful, appreciating film and filmmakers. They have an elegant and ambitious vision for the festival, and they are passionate about film both as an art and as a gathering point for community.

    November 2016