Find your audience at Western New York's premiere cinematic event – Buffalo International Film Festival!
Every fall BIFF screens over 100 features and short films from around the world, combining festival favorites with unique discoveries from local, regional, domestic and international makers. Now in its 14th year, the festival features films, episodic content, performances, panels, mixers, art installations, and more! With a commitment to inclusion and amplifying diverse voices in narrative, documentary and experimental film; BIFF encourages works that push the boundaries of genre and form.
BIFF is proudly curated from our open call, with approximately 75% of our line-up programmed from submissions each year.
Over the past 5 years BIFF has had the honor of hosting the Western New York premieres of Marshall, Buffaloed, The True Adventures of Wolf Boy, Crown Vic, St. Louis Superman, Thunder Road, The Sentence, Tower, Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present, Endless Poetry, A Woman's Work: The NLF's Cheerleader's Problem, Recorder: The Marion Stokes Story, I Am Human and many more. Please visit our website buffalofilm.org for our recent programming.
BIFF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a platform for global content makers and our WNY community to exhibit, distribute and experience cutting edge offerings in contemporary cinema and related content. Our core values include: Artistry; Community Collaboration; Education and Engagement; and Diversity and Inclusion. To learn more about BIFF and our mission please visit: buffalofilm.org/about
“As Buffalo continues to be a place for artists to grow and thrive, those behind the curtains of BIFF clearly intend to remain a vibrant part of the process, year in and year out.” - Dan Mecca, The Film Stage
"In the past three years, it has set itself the goal of becoming a world-class film festival, and it has kept on that course." - M Faust, The Public
BIFF's juried prizes include awards in the following categories:
- "Gold Bison" Best Narrative Feature
- Best Feature Film, Documentary
- Best Short Film, Documentary
- Best Feature Film, Documentary
- Best WNY Student Film
- Best WNY Short
- Best WNY Feature
- Best Episodic Project
- “Supersnipe" Best Animated Film
Additional awards include:
-BIFF Audience Award
A balloted award voted on by BIFF audiences! Feature films only.
-BIFF Boundary Breaker Award
Issued by the executive staff of BIFF and awarded to an individual artist for groundbreaking work.
Thank you for your interest in the Buffalo International Film Festival (BIFF). BIFF welcomes submissions from across the globe, and works to provide Western New York audiences with the finest in current contemporary cinema from around the world and around the region.
To ensure that your project qualifies, please read through the following terms, conditions and rules governing our curatorial process. Your submission constitutes an acceptance of the following terms and conditions:
1. Only entries submitted digitally (via FilmFreeway) will be considered. Private, password protected Vimeo links are preferred.
2. BIFF defines 'Short Films' as works under 45 minutes. Films over 45 minutes long must be submitted as 'Feature Films.'
3. BIFF defines 'Episodic Content' as Narrative, Documentary or Experimental works with story arcs unfolding over multiple episodes. Makers may submit a single episode or provide multiple episodes as a single video file for review. Episodic Content over 80 minutes will not be reviewed. Preference will be given to work which has not premiered online. Work that will be publicly available online prior to September 1, 2020 will not be considered.
4. BIFF requires all feature and short films to be World, International, US, East Coast or Western New York premieres. A 'Western New York premiere' is defined as not having screened publicly in the United States within a 50-mile radius of Buffalo, NY, prior to the festival.
5. Feature films and shorts available direct to United States consumers via home video mediums prior to September 25, 2020 including online streaming, video on demand, and BluRay/DVD will not be considered.
6. Films that have premiered prior to April 1, 2019 (either domestically or internationally) are not eligible for consideration.
7. Exhibition formats vary from venue to venue. Filmmakers are expected to provide physical media which may include BluRay (Region A/1 or Region Free only), Digital Cinema Package (DCP) or .mov files. No other formats will be accepted for exhibition.
8. Works in Progress will be reviewed by our submissions committee. If you’re film is not yet complete please include your post-production schedule and work to be done (ie: color grading, score, sound mix) in your cover letter.
9. You may replace your original submission at anytime, however any prior evaluation of your film will not be discarded. Filmmakers are strongly encouraged to provide films that are at or very near picture-locked.
10. All submissions are reviewed using the following criteria: strength of direction, storytelling, production/technical value, cultural value, and audience interest. We welcome diverse submissions that blur the boundaries between documentary, narrative and experimental work.
11. If invited to screen at the Buffalo International Film Festival, you acknowledge the festival is under no obligation to provide a screening fee.
12. The Buffalo International Film Festival endeavors to complete our selection process by the notification date and inform all submitting parties via email of their selection status.
13. Contacts designated on the submission record will receive information including print shipping and deadlines, attendance, and a general festival and Buffalo orientation guide. You agree to keep the contact information associated with your submission record up to date.
14. Showtime and venue scheduling is at the discretion of the festival and may be subject to change.
15. By submitting a project to BIFF you assert that you are the designated representative of the project’s producer and at this time have the right to enter into an agreement to exhibit the project at a film festival in the United States. You also agree should the project’s distribution status or premiere availability in Western New York change to inform the festival via email at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the Notification Date.
16. 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 or the cancelation of the festival. Submission fees are nonrefundable.
17. In the unlikely event the 2020 Buffalo International Film Festival is cancelled or postponed due to circumstances beyond our control (such as, but not limited to local, regional or national emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic), all submissions will be considered for the 2021 edition of the Buffalo International Film Festival.
By accepting our invitation to screen you agree to the following terms:
1. No project may be withdrawn after accepting an invitation to screen at the festival.
2. Your project is currently compliant with the rules set forth in the terms of entry.
3. 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.
4. Your project has received, or will receive all applicable legal clearances required for a public screening in the United States. 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.
5. BIFF reserves the right to reclassify a submitted project for the purposes of programming and juried awards consideration.
BIFF’s programming team is available to assist should you have any questions. Please email email@example.com for support.