Get ready for the 2025 edition of the renewed Brussels Independent Film Festival, an annual weeklong event that has highlighted independent and experimental cinematic talent for over four decades!

The Centre Multimedia in Brussels founded the Brussels Independent Film International Festival (Festival International du Film Indépendant de Bruxelles) in 1974, to focus explicitly on super-8 films and other technically experimental cinematic styles. Although the festival was originally devoted to more highly experimental pieces, it expanded to include many different types of independent offerings.

During its original thirty-eight year run, the festival shone a much needed a spotlight on different, small national cinemas (for example, Lebanon in 2012 and Egypt in 2009). It ran a special competition for films by and for the deaf (from 1991 until 2012) as well and hosted national and international award competitions each year. It also created a program for young adults interested in making movies.

The festival has hosted many noteworthy filmmakers: Pedro Almodóvar (All About my Mother, Talk to Her), François Ozon (Swimming Pool, 8 Women), and Nanni Moretti (The Caiman). Unfortunately, in its original incarnation, the festival came to an end in 2012.

Inspired by that original movement, the revived Brussels Independent Film Festival continues to emphasize lesser known, vanguard cinematic works and furthers its tradition of galvanizing budding talent.

The Brussels Independent Film Festival takes pride in its astute selection process. It is known for discovering hidden gems that later go on to successfully thrive at A-list festivals, with some films even catching the eye of the Academy Awards.

Most importantly, the Brussels Independent Film Festival creates a space for unique visionaries and voices. True to its history, the festival screens films of both novices and veterans—with medium and low budgets—from all over the globe. The festival’s goal is to create a warm, open atmosphere in which filmmakers, fans, critics, and producers can watch the films of emerging talents, explore new cinematic techniques and styles, and award cinematic excellence.

The Brussels Independent Film Festival wants to create an intimate atmosphere in which to revel in the beauty and wonder of the cinema with like-minded cineastes from all over the globe.

The next edition of the Brussels Independent Film Festival will take place in the heart of Brussels, Belgium in February 2025.

Join us!

‘OFF ON’ SELECTION
Next to our physical screenings we’ll also be screening online with the special OFF ON SELECTION. The OFF ON Selection will go online one week prior to the opening of the physical part of the festival and will stay online until one week after the last day of the physical festival. Viewers will be able to watch, but not download your film. If needed we can geo-block your film to our region.
We’re open to any genre (narrative, web series, made for tv, documentary, experimental …) and especially any duration (which is always an issue for the physical part of the festival). Selected filmmakers will receive all official selection perks (The Tarkovski Grant, The Producer’s Night nomination, …) and are in the running for any of the award titles. When you submit your film for consideration to both a physical section and the Off On Selection it is possible to be selected for both, but this is of course not guaranteed.
Filmmakers that submit their film only to any of the other sections (so any other than the Off On Selection) will not be selected for an online screening.

THE RABBIT HOLES
In 2020, the Brussels Independent Film Festival launched a new section, 'The Rabbit Holes', where visitors can travel down a cinematic rabbit hole of offbeat, weird, wonderful, poetic, surreal or abstract films for free for the duration of the festival. For its 2024 edition, the festival will go underground again with a selection of experimental films (narrative films, documentaries, animations, music videos...) by artists from all over the globe.

BRUSSELS INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL IS
- An IMDB qualifying film festival
- Named as one of the Top 50 Film Festivals worldwide by Final Cut Magazine.
- A 'Climate Neutral Film Event', powered by TreePlan.org.
- An official festival partner of The Producer's Night Los Angeles (producersnight.com).

PROUD PARTNER OF THE BIGGER SCREEN
Brussels Independent Film Festival is supported by The Bigger Screen, an organization that aims to make film as an art form more accessible and more inclusive. A short overview of their projects:

- SUPPORTING FILM FESTIVALS: Film festivals are not only a place to share films, but they are a safe haven for film makers to connect, share, and learn. The Bigger Screens supports and engages with over 25 respected international film festivals from mainstays like the 61st Ann Arbor Film Festival and the Brussels Independent Film Festival to emerging events such as the Venice Film Week and The Producer’s Night Los Angeles. These events bring filmmakers and filmgoers together, providing that place to connect and engage in a comfortable setting, away from Hollywood glitz and glamour.

- CONNECTING CULTURES PROGRAM: Each year, The Bigger Screen selects at least ten countries and grants filmmakers from those areas the ability to submit their work free of charge to partner festivals all over the world. This opens the door of film exposure to those who may not otherwise be able to enter. As we support inclusivity and shareable films, this program exemplifies our mission. Check out https://www.connectingculturesprogram.com to see if your country is included in this year’s program and submit your work for free.

- LOCAL FILMMAKERS PROGRAM: To encourage rising talent, we waived the festival submission fee to local talent. This provides a great opportunity for local filmmakers to enter the international film scene. Think global, act local, right?

- INCLUSIVE AUDIENCE PROGRAM: Our screenings are always low or even free of charge to provide opportunity for interested film goers to view up and coming, challenging, and inspiring pieces of art, encouraging students, seniors, and those in underprivileged environments to share the experience of film and cinema. We welcome film goers, regardless of income and financial status.

- THE TARKOVSKI GRANT: All selected filmmakers will receive The Tarkovski Grant, a film festival submission fee waiver package with an average value of about $500. This not only saves you a lot of money, but it also recognizes your work as something to watch for during the selection procedure, making a selection with another partner film festival more likely - but of course, never guaranteed. The Tarkovski Grant supports hundreds of filmmakers each year in their challenging journeys as independent filmmakers, by promoting existing films, no matter the genre, style or length.

EDIBLE FILM AWARDS
Each year we'll reward the best films with an Atomium Film Award. Made out of Belgian chocolate, it's the first edible film award.
The categories:
Best Narrative Feature Film
Best Narrative Short Film
Best Documentary Feature Film
Best Documentary Short Film
Best Animated Film
Best Experimental Film
Best Music Video
Best Belgian Film

THE TARKOVSKI GRANT
All selected filmmakers will receive The Tarkovski Grant, a film festival submission fee waiver package with an average value of about $500. This not only saves you a lot of money, but it also recognizes your work as something to watch for during the selection procedure, making a selection with another partner film festival more likely - but of course, never guaranteed. The Tarkovski Grant supports hundreds of filmmakers each year in their challenging journeys as independent filmmakers, by promoting existing films, no matter the genre, style or length. The Tarkovski Grant is supported by film festivals from all over the world. Find out more here: www.thetarkovskigrant.org.

THE PRODUCER'S NIGHT NOMINATION
All selected films are also automatically in the running for the Producer's Night. Producer's Night is an opportunity for independent filmmakers to have their work screened to a private group of elite Hollywood producers. For many directors, it could mean their ticket to the mainstream. The exclusive screening will show the best of independent cinema from the past year's film festivals at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in West Hollywood. More information: www.producersnight.com.

FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO VIDEOMAKER
In an added effort to support new and emerging filmmakers, our festival will offer a free year of access to Videomaker's digital magazine to all filmmakers submitting their work. More information: www.videomaker.com.

FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO WHUSH.COM
All selected filmmakers will receive a free subscription to Whush.com for 3 months. Whush.com is a streaming service that has teamed up with over 20 film festivals worldwide, exclusively streaming official selections during the festival period. More information: www.whush.com.

EXPOSURE
One of the biggest hurdles in an independent filmmaker's journey, is getting noticed. With thousands filmmakers out there trying to get exposure it's hard to stand out. Share your story with Final Cut Magazine, whether it be a press release on a new selection, project, winning an award, a one-on-one interview, ...

We accept short and feature films up to 120 minutes: drama, experimental, animation, documentary, ...

SUBMISSIONS
The Brussels Independent Film Festival accept all forms and genres. All non-English language films must be subtitled in English. Entry does not guarantee acceptance into the festival. Submissions WILL NOT be returned. We also accept submissions that have premiered elsewhere and that may have distribution agreements already in place. Rough cuts and incomplete projects are not accepted. Multiple entries are allowed, however a separate entry form must be submitted for each.

EXHIBITION & SCREENING
Screenings are scheduled during the Festival at the discretion of the Brussels Independent Film Festival. Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the published schedule, Brussels Independent Film Festival reserves the right to make changes at any time for any reason. Brussels Independent Film Festival will not be liable for any costs claimed as a result of a change in scheduling. No film may be withdrawn from the festival program after its selection. If chosen as an official selection, Brussels Independent Film Festival is granted the permission to exhibit the film at the Brussels Independent Film Festival and all associated screenings. Location and timing of any screenings of the film shall be the sole decision of the organizers of the Brussels Independent Film Festival. Filmmakers will be solely responsible for all costs resulting from the submission of the film to the Festival including but not limited to postage or insurance of the film, and expenses of your staff or any representatives of the film. Producer will indemnify the organisers of the Festival against all claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses (including legal fees), proceedings and losses resulting from the screening of the film at the Festival or from claims by any third parties.

LOSS OR DAMAGE
Although every precaution will be taken to prevent loss or damage to materials while in the possession of the festival, The Brussels Independent Film Festival is not responsible should any materials be damaged while in transit to or from, or while in the possession of the festival.

ENTRY LIABILITY
The filmmaker holds the Brussels Independent Film Festival, its management, juries, subsidiaries, agents, sponsors, affiliates, and etc. harmless from any and all claims of liability resulting from entry. The filmmaker certifies to have full rights. Producer will indemnify the organisers of the Festival against all claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses (including legal fees), proceedings and losses resulting from the screening of the film at the Festival or from claims by any third parties.

SCREENING FEE
The festival does not offer screening fees for its films. By submitting through FilmFreeway you are agreeing to NOT request a screening fee as a requirement for your film's participation in the festival, should your film get selected for the program.

WAIVER REQUESTS
Since the festival only requires a nominal entry fee and grants free submissions to local filmmakers and filmmakers who're eligible for the The Connecting Cultures Program (https://www.connectingculturesprogram.com) , we will NOT accept requests for other entry fee waivers.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Very nice festival, with great communication, thank you for giving a prize to my short film NATURE ATTACK

    April 2024
  • Ikuya Onodera

    Awesome line up!  Thank you for adding my project in it.

    February 2024
  • Roberto Strazzarino

    I would like to thank Brussels Independent Film Festival for including my short film PENTACLUB in the official selection. It is a great honor for me knowing that my film participates in this event.

    February 2024
  • Antoni Ferency

    Great festival. Very helpful team. Very well-thought-out networking opportunities for independent filmmakers.

    February 2024
  • Great festival! Thank you for the selection and nomination of our film!

    February 2024