Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) is a unique and intimate Film Festival taking place in Harbour Island and Nassau showcasing 50 films countries around the globe.
Prospective submitters can be comfortable in submitting their films to the Festival, as it employs a fair and non-biased system of adjudication. Jurors are selected among the most professional in the international film industry as they bring a wealth of knowledge and experience. Additionally, it is an excellent opportunity for networking with some of the greatest minds in the industry.
BIFF presents world premieres and all films shown at BIFF are Bahamian premieres. There are four competition categories; Spirit of Freedom: Narrative & Documentary; New Visions; and Short Film. Special sections include Comedy Spotlight, Caribbean Sidebar and World Cinema as well as Gala Screenings.
BIFF offers much to the filmmaker by way of networking in a relaxed, island atmosphere while simultaneously providing all the amenities of an excellent festival. Movies are screened multiple times in several islands throughout The Bahamas such as Nassau and Eleuthera, giving the filmmaker excellent exposure and hospitality, each filmmaker being treated with personal and professional service.
The majority of films are ones that Bahamians would otherwise not have the opportunity to see. After each film the filmmaker is available for discussion and questions from the audience, and gives each viewer the opportunity to enter another world.
Other events throughout the week include Opening Night Gala and Closing Night Gala, tribute ceremonies to a Shining Star and a Career Achievement Tribute Award, Filmmaker Awards, Panel discussions, Master Classes and Filmmaker Residency Program to mentor scriptwriters. The educational programs discuss topics such as Filmmaking in the Caribbean, How to Find Representation, Film Financing, Music and Film and The Art of Collaboration. BIFF offers an exciting Youth Film Workshop, visiting schools throughout The Bahamas to teach the knowledge and provide the tools necessary to make a film.
Jeffrey Lyons, one of Hollywood’s best-known film critics and author of “The Stories My Father Told Me” has high praise for BIFF. He says, "The Bahamas International Film Festival is a shining light among a large field of film festivals; it has an astonishing intimacy about it. Young filmmakers, many of them talented Bahamians, get to rub shoulders with movie stars and established filmmakers; contacts they might otherwise not have. It is a celebration of international artistic achievement in one of the most beautiful places on earth, and a vital part of The Bahamas' standing as a creative Mecca for all."
The Bahamas International Film Festival is a non – profit organization dedicated to providing the local community and International visitors with a diverse presentation of films from around the world. In addition to offering films that might not otherwise be released theatrically in the Bahamas, BIFF will provide a unique cultural experience, educational programs, and forums for exploring the future of cinema.
Awards & Prizes
BIFF offers Competitive Categories such as Spirit of Freedom (Narrative & Documentary), New Visions for first and second time filmmakers and Short Films. You will meet filmmakers, industry professionals and the enthusiastic Bahamian audience. Access to films, events and programs throughout the film festival is very accessible and provides settings that are very intimate for networking.
Filmmakers are the celebrities at BIFF. Films in competition are treated to a grand time where lodging or transportation are provided. They are able to enjoy various places of interest, as the Festival showcases several locations around Harbour Island and New Providence for its many activities. Opportunities to connect with various celebrities and industry professionals abound through arranged Filmmaker Retreats, panel discussions, a Filmmaker lounge, which offers a comfortable meeting area, happy hours throughout the week and special screenings. Gala events too are planned with the filmmaker in mind. At present, BIFF has several gala events that include:
1. Opening Night Gala and Film
2. Closing Night Gala and Film
3. BIFF Awards Ceremony
Rules & Terms
Films must be submitted via FilmFreeway's online screener method only. Please DO NOT mail DVDs.
Films must have been completed after January 2015 to be eligible
Films must never have been screened anywhere in the Bahamas prior to the Festival
Non- English-language films must be subtitled in English
Only online screenings will be accepted for preview. DO NOT send master tapes for preview screenings.
All Submissions will be added to the BIFF archives and made available to buyers and distributors upon request.
Films Submitted will not receive screening fees for showcasing films
Films selected will be placed in the appropriate category by BIFF
All submissions must be received by June 22, 2017.
Participants who are selected will be notified via email of the selection results approximately six weeks before the Festival. Shipping instructions for films selected for the Festival will be included.
Exhibition prints/tapes must arrive at the Festival by October 20, 2017
The festival accepts limited responsibility for technical damage to prints or tapes and for loss or theft for the period of time that the prints are in the Festival’s possession, up to a maximum of $100.
Delivery cost of the exhibition print will be borne by the applicant. BIFF will cover return or forwarding cost of the exhibition print but not any additional charges, which may be incurred at the consignee’s end.
Programmed works may be excerpted (up to 2 minutes) for television and other promotional purposes