The Brooklyn Independent Film Festival was founded in 2020 by a collective of Independent Filmmakers in search of a NYC based festival that felt “truly independent.” What emerged was a night celebrating some of the brightest up-and-coming voices in one of the most exciting indie landscapes in the world. The age of digital filmmaking has brought about one of the most daring and creative periods in Indie Film history, and we are so excited to celebrate those films on the big screen.

The Brooklyn Independent Film Festival, BIFF for short, takes place annually in the heart of Williamsburg. BIFF offers an intimate experience in which audience members, industry professionals, critics and filmmakers sit side by side to watch and celebrate the best of independent short filmmaking.

BIFF screenings take place in July in Brooklyn at the Stuart Cinema. The festival will consist of ten truly independent short narratives, documentaries, animated and experimental films. Each filmmaker selected to screen will also be presented with a certificate and an official review from a published New York film critic.

All screened films will be eligible for one of BIFF’s ten official awards:

Best in Show
Best Director
Best Documentary
Best Animated Film
Best Experimental Film
Best Screenplay
Best Cinematography
Best Editing
Best Student Film
Hometown Hero (Best NYC produced film)

Rules and Regulations:

1. All submitted films for BIFF 2020 must have been made during or after 2016.

2. We will consider films from any country and in any language. Any film not in English must have english subtitles to be considered by the programming team.

3. All fees are non-refundable.

4. Films submitted in any of our four main categories (Narrative, Documentary, Animation, Experimental) will also be considered for related categories - i.e. a documentary is eligible to win best director, best writing, etc.

5. Student films can be submitted to any category, but films in the student category (with the reduced rate) will only be considered for best student short.

6. BIFF is not responsible for broken or non functioning film submissions.

7. BIFF is a competitive event. Not all submitted films will be selected to screen at the festival.

8. BIFF has no premiere requirements, and all shorts can already exist online prior to the

9. A fee is required for submission to the festival. For payment structures please visit our
FilmFreeway page.

10. If accepted, entrants are responsible for delivering their exhibition copy and other materials, such as: trailer, screener link, press stills, etc.

11. All submitted films must have a budget at or below $20,000 to be considered.

12. A films maximum length to be considered is 30 minutes.

13. A written review of why your film was or was not accepted will be provided to all filmmakers that request it. All selected filmmakers will receive an additional review from a published film critic.

14. The filmmaker that is submitting must own the rights to do so and is responsible for the content they are providing. All filmmakers submitting authorize that their work is cleared for festival exhibition and accept full legal responsibility for the intellectual property therein. Submission to the festival constitutes permission to screen the film at the Brooklyn Independent Film Festival. If accepted BIFF has full permission to use excerpts, stills, titles, director’s names, director’s statements and directors likenesses in future press releases and promotional content. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Brooklyn Independent Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney fees, and costs of court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered. BIFF DOES NOT PAY SCREENING FEES. By submitting via FilmFreeway you acknowledge that the festival will not pay to present your work. By submitting you agree to all of these rules, terms and conditions. You acknowledge that no submission refunds are given once your application has been submitted. You also acknowledge that you will not receive any compensation from BIFF for the screening of your film or future publicity in accordance with the rules, terms and conditions.

Overall Rating
  • Gabriel G

    It was an honor to be included in this year's BIFF festival. Yes, it was held online because of Covid-19, but the fest was always communicative throughout the entire process, and the stream was fantastic quality and seamless. Aside from how well the festival handled their online presence, I thought the ten films were incredibly curated. They were top notch quality, thought provoking and from diverse filmmakers and subject matter. I will absolutely be following this new festival that highlights independent filmmakers as they grow and evolve in the years to come.

    Thank you, BIFF
    - Gabriel Garton, director of COVID NURSES

    August 2020
  • Matt Schwartz

    The BIFF was a phenomenal festival even though it was relegated to an on-line format due to Covid-19. The festival directors were incredibly inviting and compassionate. Their genuine interest and love of film truly distinguished this festival from most of the others out there. It was a great experience. We highly recommended BIFF!

    August 2020
  • Cecelia Condit

    I thought the shorts in the screening were diverse and thoughtful and spoke honestly about the time in which we live. Well done!

    August 2020