The Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF) is for filmmakers and film lovers alike to be entertained, educated and inspired. BIFF celebrates independent film and recognizes and pays tribute to accomplished artists on both sides of the camera in the international, national and regional film community. We provide filmmakers, producers, directors, writers and actors an environment to collaborate, present their work, and interact with each other and with film audiences. Our priorities are to showcase the most challenging and topically relevant documentaries each year and provide a platform for Berkshire filmmakers.

We have honored or had special events with Arthur Penn, Kevin Bacon, Philippe Petit, Kathleen Kennedy, Patricia Clarkson, Douglas Trumbull, Marina Abramovic, Gregory Crewdson, Darlene Love, Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach, Yo-Yo Ma, Sheila Nevins, Mariel Hemingway, John Landis, Karen Allen, Bruce Dern, Paul Krugman, Darlene Love, Conrad Anker, John Carroll Lynch, Kent Jones, Charles Randolph, Christopher Plummer, Rachel Weisz, Alfre Woodard, Ruth Reichl, Stephen Lang and Martin Scorsese.

The Berkshire International Film Festival announces the creation of the nexGEN Film Competition for students across the Commonwealth of MA. The competition aims to discover emerging student filmmakers and provide them a voice. BIFF wants to
highlight their talent in a festival setting and perhaps provide them with mentoring and job opportunities in a tough industry.

BIFF aims to help students get into film programs in college or use their film as their calling card for a career in the industry.
We also aim to give them a platform not only to showcase their talents, but also attend our Filmmaker Summit to meet and network with professionals in the film business.

The competition is open to all student filmmakers currently in high school or college in the Commonwealth of MA.

BIFF will present 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners for both narrative and documentary films. All six films will be presented at the 2024 film festival. The 1st place winners will be invited to attend the festival in person as our guest.

Films requirements for submission:
MUST be a high school or undergraduate college student in the Commonwealth of MA
MUST be shorter than 15 minutes
MUST be completed by March 31, 2024
MUST be produced and directed by a student who is attending a high school, college or university
MUST own or have cleared all rights of the submitted materials, including music

For submission fee waiver, please email

The BIFF awards Juried Prizes for narrative, documentary, and feature films. The $2,500 prize is sponsored by GWFF. The Next Great Filmmaker Award for best short film carries a $2,500 prize and is sponsored by Berkshire Bank. We also give Audience Award prizes for Documentary, Narrative and Short Films with no financial award.

Student Film Competition will award top 2 winners with a BIFF Pass to the festival and Filmmaker Summit as our guest.

Films must be a Berkshire Premiere (films must not have previously been screened in the Berkshires, with the exception of Berkshire fund-raising film events.)

All films must be submitted via online screener for consideration.

Only one title per entry.

The preferred format for films to be showcased at the BIFF are DCP and Blu-Ray. BIFF can ONLY screen shorts on DCP format.

Selected filmmakers will be notified approximately March 31, 2024.

Overall Rating
  • Douglas Gordon

    By far the best experience I’ve had at any festival. Incredible hospitality for the filmmakers and a tremendous event in a place where art matters.

    June 2024
  • Absolutely incredible festival. The hospitality FAR surpasses any other, with a 2 day filmmakers summit just for the filmmakers that is full of panels from experts in various aspects of the industry, plus wonderful parties and events throughout the festival.

    Kelley, Anne and all the BIFF team create such a warm and fun environment for filmmakers to share their work and the town really comes out to support.

    And the films are great. From shorts to features to documentaries, the quality was exceptionally high.

    But the biggest high point for me was the tribute to James Ivory. They screened Stephen Soucy’s excellent documentary on Merchant/Ivory and then James Ivory chatted about his long and storied career.

    He’s long been a hero of mine and I’m still buzzing from this intimate event.

    So yeah, put this festival on the top of your list. But be advised, it will ruin you for all others.

    June 2024
  • Jennifer Lin

    Love this festival! Great location, great venue, great staff. But the best part: the two-day filmmaker summit in the run-up to the festival. It gave filmmakers a way to connect and share insight on the state of the industry. I've made connections that will continue. Thank you BIFF!

    June 2024
  • Veena Rao

    I had another wonderful experience at BIFF this year. The staff and volunteers really go out of their way to make this a special event for everyone. I can't recommend this festival enough!

    June 2024
  • Without a doubt, this has been my absolute favorite film festival experience because this festival actually cares about its filmmakers. I had a short and was treated like a king. There's a summit that precedes the festival that is informative and educational and they feed you and they house you and they care about your film. And the films were overall high quality - especially the shorts. I'd never been to the Berkshires - it's lovely. This festival is a gem.

    June 2024