12th Annual

The Buffalo International Film Festival

October 10, 2019 to October 14, 2019

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Film Market
Submit Online
1428 Hertel Ave
Buffalo NY 14216
Phone: 9736153124

OPEN CALL FOR ENTRIES • Select a Category of Entry to continue.

Narrative Feature
American & international narrative feature films over 45 minutes in length.
Documentary Feature
American & International documentary feature films over 45 minutes in length.
Short Film (Documentary or Narrative)
American & International, Narrative & Documentary films under 45 minutes in length.
WNY Narrative Feature
Narrative Feature Films produced in or by Western New York residents, over 80 minutes in length.
WNY Short (Documentary or Narrative)
Narrative & Documentary Short Films produced in or by Western New York residents, under 45 minutes in length.
WNY Student Film (Any Length, Any Genre)
Exclusive discounts for students at all levels from elementary to graduate school, residing in or attending school within a 120-mile radius of Buffalo, NY - including Southern Ontario, Buffalo, Rochester, Jamestown, Syracuse, NY and Erie, PA. For works under 60 minutes.
Episodic & New Media
Short form media for television, web and new platforms! Makers may submit up to 90-minutes of content - a single episode or multiple episodes edited into a single video for consideration. BIFF may choose to screen one or multiple episodes. Preference will be given to work not publicly available yet.


Mission Statement

Buffalo International Film Festival (est. 2006) champions regional, national, and international films that push the limits of independent cinema – presenting quality films from around the world to WNY residents and visitors. BIFF is committed to amplifying diverse voices and exhibiting cutting-edge programming in narrative, documentary and experimental film. A proud supporter of local filmmaking, BIFF also offers workshops, seminars, industry panel discussions, fiscal sponsorship and professional development opportunities.


BIFF is founded under the following principles:

• Artistry – We provide Western New York audiences and visitors access to the very best offerings in contemporary local, national, and world cinema.

• Community Collaboration –We connect filmmakers, and WNY film and arts communities through collaborations and partnerships that align with local efforts to provide access to an increasing quantity of quality filmmaking resources in WNY. We contribute to WNY’s thriving cultural ecosystem through the implementation of this world-class festival.

• Education & Engagement – We provide educational, financial and logistical support to local institutions, makers, and audiences by offering quality programming, as well as seminars, workshops, classes, internships and career development resources for film arts professionals.

• Diversity – We celebrate the diversity of our community through programming and community partnerships that reflect and represent the rich and eclectic cultural fabric of WNY.


Jess Gruszewski (Filmmaker Relations Coordinator); John Fink (Filmmaker); John Fink (Filmmaker); John Fink (Filmmaker); John Fink (Lead Programmer); Lukia Costello; Lukia Costello; Lukia Costello; Tilke Hill


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 WithoutABox 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 80 minutes. Preference will be given to work which has not premiered online. Work that was first publicly available (online) prior to September 1, 2019 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, 2019 including online streaming, video on demand, and DVD will not be considered.
6. - Films that have premiered prior to April 1, 2018 (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 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 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 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 info@buffalofilm.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, 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 info@buffalofilm.org for support.