The Buffalo International Film Festival- now in its 11th year- is Western New York’s premiere celebration of the moving image. One of the largest and longest-running film festivals in Western New York, BIFF champions local, national, and international films that test the limits of independent cinema. Each year, BIFF presents juried selections from hundreds of submissions to Western New York residents and visitors. BIFF proudly supports local filmmakers by offering workshops, seminars, industry panel discussions and fiscal sponsorship on a year-round basis.

Awards & Prizes

“The Gold Bison”
- Best Short Film
- Best Feature Film, Narrative
- Best Feature Film, Documentary

“The Summer Award”
- Best WNY Student Film
- Best WNY Short
- Best WNY Feature

“The Supersnipe Award”
- Best Animated Film (any length)

"Best of Fest: Audience Award"
- Any length, any category

Rules & Terms

Thank you for your interest in the Buffalo International Film Festival (BIFF). BIFF welcomes submissions from all over the world - please read through the following terms, conditions and rules in its entirety to ensure your film qualifies for consideration prior to submission. Questions may be directed to info@buffalointernationalfilmfestival.com

Your submission constitutes an acceptance of the following terms and conditions:

1.- Only entires submitted digitally through filmfreeway.com will be considered.

2.- Eligible works must have been completed after September 1, 2015.

3.- BIFF strongly prefers to host the Western New York premieres of selected work - preference will be given to films previously unavailable in the WNY market. Feature films and shorts available direct to United States consumers via home video mediums including online streaming, video on demand, and DVD will not be considered.

4.- Exhibition formats for the Buffalo International Film Festival are BluRay (Region A/1 or Region Free only) and Digital Cinema Package (DCP). No other formats will be accepted for exhibition. Filmmakers will be expected to provide physical media.

5.- Works in Progress may be considered, please include your post-production schedule and work to be done (ie: color grading, score, sound mix) in your cover letter.

6.- At any time you may replace your original submission at anytime however any prior evaluation of your film will not be discarded. Any future judging will consider your replacement copy.

7.-BIFF does not present client-commissioned work (such as training films, commercials or branded content). Artists must have final ownership over their work to be eligible.

8.-If invited to screen at the Buffalo International Film Festival, your standard screening fee may be considered a donation to our 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. Please consult your accountant or tax lawyer for additional information. By submitting your film via FilmFreeway you acknowledge that the festival will not pay to present your work.

9.- Submissions are reviewed using the following criteria: strength of direction, storytelling, production/technical value, and cultural value. We welcome submissions that blur the boundaries between documentary, narrative and experimental work.

10.- The Buffalo International Film Festival endeavors to complete our selection process by August 8, 2017 and inform all submitting parties via email of their selection status. Submitting filmmakers will receive information including print shipping and deadlines, attendance, and a general festival and Buffalo orientation guide.

11.- Showtime and venue scheduling is at the digression of the festival and may be subject to change.

12.- 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, nor will fees be refunded in any such case.

13.- No film may be withdrawn after accepting an invitation to screen at the Buffalo International Film Festival.

14.- By accepting our invitation you agree to the following terms: Your film will not be made available online, DVD or via video-on-demand services prior to its festival screening. 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.

15.- Your submission acknowledges you have received, or will receive all applicable clearances to screen your work at the Buffalo International Film Festival. 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. You also agree you as a representative of the work in question you have the right the right to distribute the film and therefore to submit the film to the Buffalo International Film Festival for consideration.

SCREENING CATEGORIES

Western New York Features*

Western New York Shorts*

Western New York Student Films*

Western New York-made work must be filmed in, or have a strong connection to the Western New York region (defined as the Buffalo, Jamestown and Rochester areas)

Features

Shorts

Documentary

Animation

** The programing department reserves the right to re categorized and/or program selections as they see fit.

4 Reviews

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
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    Josephine Massarella

    Warm and welcoming, an excellent festival.

    December 2016
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    Gabrielle Burton

    The heads of BIFF were excellent -- efficient, thoughtful, appreciating film and filmmakers. They have an elegant and ambitious vision for the festival, and they are passionate about film both as an art and as a gathering point for community.

    November 2016
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    Christian Garzone

    Major thanks to John Fink, Ray Guarnieri and friends for pulling off BIFF X this year! Excellent work !

    October 2016
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    Christian Svanes Kolding

    The festival organizers, from top to bottom, were exceptionally welcoming and went out of their way to champion our film. We especially appreciated their social media support, introducing our film to their followers. By the time of our film’s premiere, we had already met several of our audience members online.

    The festival leadership also took every opportunity to express an interest in how we were experiencing their festival. I loved this personal touch.

    BIFF reminds me a bit of the Mill Valley Film Festival. They both speak to devoted audiences of film enthusiasts and highlight their film line-ups far more than they generate hype for the film industry itself. They are each intimate get-togethers that are accessible and informal, which place an emphasis on fostering encounters between the filmmakers and their audiences. And, as they're both located in major metropolitan areas, it’s impressive that they each still maintain an open, small-town atmosphere, even as Buffalo expands the scope and the scale of its festival, compared to years past.

    June 2016