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Buffalo International Film Festival

Buffalo International Film Festival, a major world event highlights regional and international film. Since 2004, BIFF screens year-round through The Buffalo Film Society & promotes historic theaters esp. the world’s 1st movie theater opened in 1896 in Buffalo NY.  The main festival takes place in October. The festival added competitive entries in 2011.



Submit to BUFFALO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, Buffalo, NY, USA October 4-8, 2018

July 6, 2018 Extended Deadline / August 10, 2018 Notification Date


Find your audience in New York State’s 2nd largest metropolitan area - Buffalo, NY!

Buffalo International Film Festival, now in its 12th year, is Western New York’s premiere cinematic event! Featuring films, performances, panels, mixers, pop-up installations, and NEW for 2018 EPISODIC and NEW MEDIA!

Over the past 3 years BIFF has had the honor of hosting the Western New York premieres of Marshall, Tower, Women Who Kill, Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present, Infinity Baby, Bitch, Lovesong, Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge, Endless Poetry, Crash Pad, Woman on Fire, Bang: The Burt Berns Story, Mercy, Off The Rails, and many more!

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. BIFF is proudly curated from our open call, with approximately 75% of our line-up programmed from submissions each year.

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 a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a platform for global content makers and our 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. 
We are proud to support state and regional pro-film initiatives through workshops, seminars, industry panel discussions and fiscal sponsorship opportunities. To learn more about our mission please visit:

“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 -- is poised to make a serious leap in profile in 2018." - Jeff Simon, The Buffalo News

Awards & Prizes

BIFF's juried prizes include awards in the following categories:

- "Gold Bison" Best Narrative Feature 
- Best Feature Film, Documentary 
- Best Short Film, Documentary 
- Best Short Film, Documentary 
- Best Feature Film, Documentary 
- Best WNY Student Film 
- Best WNY Short 
- Best WNY Feature 
- Best Episodic Project 
- “The Supersnipe Animation Award" (Best animated film, any length)

BIFF Audience Award (Feature Film) - A balloted award voted on by BIFF audiences!

BIFF Boundary Breaker - issued by the executive staff of BIFF 
- Awarded to an individual artist for groundbreaking work

Rules & Terms

Thank you for your interest in the Buffalo International Film Festival (BIFF). BIFF welcomes submissions from all over the world. Our festival aims to provide Western New York audiences with the finest in current contemporary cinema from around the world and around the region.

To ensure you 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. Vimeo links are strongly prefered for review. 
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 or documentary 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, no longer than 90 minutes. Preference will be given to work which has not premiered online. Work that was first publicly available (online) prior to September 1, 2017 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 publically in the United States within a 100-mile radius of Buffalo, NY, prior to the festival, October 4-8, 2018. 
5.- Feature films and shorts available direct to United States consumers via home video mediums prior to September 25, 2018 including online streaming, video on demand, and DVD will not be considered. 
6. - Films that have publically premiered prior to April 1, 2017 (either domestically or internationally) are not eligible for consideration. 
7.- Exhibition formats for the Buffalo International Film Festival 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. 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.- At any time 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 “picture-locked” edits. 
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 August 10, 2018 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 digression 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 said 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 prior to the Notification Date (August 10, 2018). 
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, nor will submission fees be refunded in any such case.

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 programing and juried awards consideration.

BIFF’s programing team is available to assist should you have any questions. Please email for support. 




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About Buffalo International Film Festival

Summer Edward

Buffalo International Film Festival , a major world event highlights regional and the international film. Since 2004, BIFF screens out-of-competition year-round & promotes historic theaters esp. the world’s 1st movie theater opened 1896 in Buffalo NY


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