We are now entering our 18th year and want to give clarity to our reclaiming of the word “urban”. For so long, "urban" has been seen as an extension of “black”, “underground”, “other”, “unworthy”.

We know that in every walk of life urban culture, more than ever, is revered as trend setting, forward-thinking, inclusive and innovative.

This is the reason why BAFTA, BIFA, AMAA and our industry festival partners (including Iris Prize) have officially recognised BUFF - giving our filmmakers direct opportunities to qualify for film awards. BUFF is the longest standing black-owned film festival in the United Kingdom. Founded by Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe MBE, filmmakers that have exhibited at our festival are now household names. Join the legacy and explore new worlds at BUFF.

why I should submit to the best film festival in the U.K for diverse programming:

At the British Urban Film Festival, we have been a pioneering platform for all facets of diversity since our formation in 2005.

Long before diversity quotas and terminology such as BAME and non-binary, we have always welcomed, showcased, given coverage to and awarded films which embrace diverse storytelling, celebrating filmmakers from diverse backgrounds representative of the 9 diversity strands:

age. disability. gender reassignment.
marriage and civil partnership. pregnancy and maternity. race.
religion or belief. sex.

IF YOUR SUBMISSION GETS SELECTED…

Only shortlisted submissions will receive further emails, social media messages or telephone calls/text messages from the BUFF submissions team after the final submission deadline passes. Correspondence will commence from Summer 2023 onwards.

All shortlisted films will be eligible to win a British Urban Film Festival short film/feature film award in 2023.

All shortlisted films will be considered for theatrical distribution through our industry partners. Theatrical refers to VOD platforms and/or TV platforms in the UK & Ireland (ONLY). Such rights will be offered on an exclusive basis for a limited term. All other rights in all other territories will remain with films selected to screen at the festival.

All British short films accepted into the 2023 British Urban Film Festival are eligible to be entered into the 2024 BAFTA film awards. BUFF is a Section B qualifying festival, meaning that your film must be selected to screen at another Section B qualifying festival before you can enter your film to BAFTA.

All British films accepted into the 2023 British Urban Film Festival are eligible to be entered into the 2023 British Independent Film Awards (BIFA).

*Films accepted into the 2023 British Urban Film Festival will be in contention for an African Movie Academy Award (AMAA) in 2023 (subject to eligibility). BUFF will submit official selections from filmmakers of African origin and non-Africans who have contributed to the African film industry.

*Films accepted into the 2023 British Urban Film Festival will be in contention for the Iris Prize LGBT+ film festival and screening opportunities on Film4. BUFF will submit official selections from filmmakers of LGBT origin and films that are LGBT in theme. BAME selections which fit either criteria will be prioritised.

SUCCESSFUL SCRIPTS:

The final shortlist of 3 scripts (in addition to receiving a British Urban Film Festival award) will be considered for development through our industry partners.

Scripts: must be no less than 20 pages and no more than 120.

Feature length films: must be no less than 44 minutes and no more than 120.

Short films must be no less than 3 minutes and no more than 44.

All Music, Spoken Word, Dance & Moving Image videos must be no less than 3 minutes.

The festival operates a no waiver policy.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • There's a lot of love for BUFF because it's British and Urban. And so the films programmed feel relevant for British audiences and we all wish Justin the best on what I think will become the UK's leading indie film festival.

    December 2022
  • Lone Pine Pictures

    We were absolutely ecstatic to have our short film 'Floppy Toast with Drippy Butter' screen at BUFF. Genuinely one of the best festivals we've ever attended, particularly the awards night. The love and support in the room was something we've never experienced before and it still feels very inspiring. We wish the whole team at BUFF all the very best for 2023.

    December 2022
  • Rebekah Louisa Smith

    A brilliant festival - great networking and excellent programming. Justin and team put on a great show within a really supportive environment

    December 2022
  • Janet Marrett

    We were delighted to have our short film CLEARING screening at BUFF 2021. This festival is going from strength to strength and seeks to support filmmakers as much as possible. Thank you!

    January 2022
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    Response from festival:

    Thanks for your continued support Janet!

  • It was a great honour to be selected for the festival and to walk away with the awards for Best Actress and Best Feature Film for our film "Navy". Justin, Emmanuel, Claire and the whole team looked after everyone and made it such an enjoyable experience.

    December 2021
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    Response from festival:

    Thanks for making BUFF 2021 such a memorable week for so many reasons - The Victor Adebodun award is in great hands!