2023

SUBMISSIONS NOW OPEN

14th Berlin Independent Film Festival

The Berlin Independent Film Festival is at the epicentre for low-budget filmmaking in Europe.

While the Berlin Independent Film Festival is not connected with the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale), BIFF runs at the same time, and not far from the European Film Market and draws on all the film industry power gathered in Berlin for those events.

As well as a offering plenty of screening opportunities for indie films, BIFF is developing into a crucial business hub for the low-budget film industry. BIFF hosts workshops and networking social events where attending filmmakers help each other out with marketing advice and EFM tips.

With an emphasis on showcasing new filmmakers achieving great things with tiny budgets, BIFF’s exciting programme of films and events combines a commitment to indie filmmaking ideals with a solid understanding of their potential in the marketplace.

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News

Natasha Marburger is the new Festival Manager of the Berlin Independent Film Festival (BIFF).

She is also the Festival Director of both the London Independent Film Festival (LIFF – which has been running for 20 years) and the Los Angeles International Film Festival (LAIFF). She is a Film Producer having made features, shorts, corporates and music videos, with a number of projects in production at the moment, and she therefore has a wealth of knowledge in the filmmaking industry and an insight that makes festivals really amazing for filmmakers. She successfully launched a pitching event at LIFF last year, which also ran at LAIFF, and will also be part of BIFF 2023. This is a speed-pitching mini market that connects selected projects with industry professionals. There will also be other opportunities during the festival.


News archive is being updated – please check social media for past information.


2023 Submissions are closed.

for screenplay submission information, see here. 

The BIFF team will present another fantastic festival of independent filmmaking from February 16-19, 2023 at one of Berlin’s favourite independent cinemas, the Babylon, Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 30, 10178.

The Berlin Independent Film Festival is dedicated to showcasing emerging international film talent.

https://filmfreeway.com/festival/biff

The alternative is to pay via Paypal and complete the submission form.

We accept only digital submissions for consideration.  Please use our festival submission platform FilmFreeway. If digital submission is impossible for you, drop up an email and we’ll work something out.

Deadlines:

Early — ending Sept 15, 2022;
Regular — ending Oct 20, 2022;  
Late — ending Nov 17, 2023, and Final Dec 15, 2022

Fees for feature films are €85 early, €90 regular, €95 late .
Fees for short films are €55 early, €60 regular, €65 late.
Fees for music videos: €35 early, €40 regular, €45 late

Fees for feature scripts are €55 early, €60 regular, €65 late.

Please send any related press materials, including electronic press kit, and photos to info@berlinfest.com.

Although due care will be exercised, BIFF cannot assume any liability for damage to entries.

1. If selected to be showcased during the event, all screening copies must be received by Jan 21st, 2023

2. Films which have been broadcast on Television, Cable or have had an international theatrical release prior to BIFF are NOT eligible for any competition but may be screened, out of competition.

3. Non-English language produced films must have English subtitles or be dubbed in English.

4. All entrants certify that they have been given full rights to use any and all music in their films.

5. Film Producers are responsible for insurance and shipment costs of films to BIFF.

 

1. All film entries will be considered for the Awards competition. Award winners will be selected by a panel of active film industry professionals. All films go through a screening process and are reviewed by at least two film industry professionals.

2. Winners agree to participate in the publicity for the Festival as well as other promotional events, including the website.

3. Jury Film Award categories:

Best Feature (over €100k)

Best Micro-budget Feature (under €100k)

Best No-Budget Feature (under €10k)

Best Documentary

Best Sci-Fi / Horror Feature

Best Female Director Feature

Best LGBT film

Best Short Film

Best Short Short Film

Best UK Short Film

Best Short Documentary

Best Animated Short

Best Experimental Short

Best Horror / Sci-Fi Short

Best Music Video

Screenplay Awards categories:

Best Feature Screenplay

Best Sci-Fi / Horror Screenplay

Best Comedy Screenplay

Best EU Screenplay

1. Filmmakers or screenwriters accepted and are attending the festival are responsible for travel, lodging, and all other expenses.

2. Filmmakers or screenwriters accepted into BIFF – will receive the following:

Two(2) festival passes per submitted film to see all the festival films FREE
Admittance for filmmakers to the “Opening Night Party”

All stated information, eligibility and submission guidelines, terms and conditions of entry, and entry information is subject to change by the Berlin Independent Film Festival, without notice.

3. BIFF Nominees agree to participate in the publicity for the Festival and related promotional platforms, including BIFF events, website, social media, international press coverage and allowing BIFF to link to third party websites such as Vimeo hosting their film trailers.

When is the next festival?
BIFF will run February 16-23 2023 at Babylon in Berlin, Germany. The same time as the European Film Market.

Where are the selected films shown?
BIFF films are shown at a the Babylon in downtown Berlin.

Will I receive feedback or comments on my film?
No. Due to the high volume of submissions received every year, we are unable to provide feedback on your film.

What is the shipping address for packages?
Mail your screeners to our London Submissions Dept:
BIFF
Office 2
72 Great Titchfield St.
W1W 7QW
London, UK

How many films do you accept in the festival?
We the next festival line-up will include about 70 films. 10 features and 60 shorts.

What are the screening format for selected films?
The projects selected for the Festival mainly screened off DVD, OR Blu Ray. We accept both NTSC and PAL. If your film is accepted, our Screenings Dept. will discuss screening formats with you. Due to technical constraints, BIFF cannot accept 16mm screening copies (but 35mm can be arranged in special circumstances).

Which Preview Copy Formats do you accept? 
Entries must be submitted on DVD. BIFF accepts both PAL and NTSC formats. Region 2 (Europe) and region 0 (no region) are preferred but we accept DVDs in all regions. We recommend that you TEST your disk on a stand-alone DVD player BEFORE sending it to our offices.

Can I submit a work-in-progress or “rough cut”?
Works-in-progress are welcomed. Our programmers are very used to watching rough cuts, and will judge the film accordingly.

Does your deadline refer to arrival or postage dates?
We will accept all submissions with a postmark dated on or before our deadline. Please see our Rules and Regulations.

Will my screener be returned to me?
No. Due to the large volume of titles received by our Submissions Team, we are unable to return your screeners.

Do you waive fees for starving student filmmakers and/or established artists?
No. The reality is that it costs time and money for us to administrate the entire film submission process. We’re not getting rich off this, but we do have to cover our basic costs.

I have two shorts and they’re both on one dvd. Do I have to send them as separate entries?
Yes. Each work you submit must be submitted separately, and only one submission per DVD.

Do you consider requests for deadline extensions?
Please contact us if you need an extension. Before requesting an extension, please understand that the later we receive your film, the less time we have to view it. This means that your video can be viewed fewer times and by fewer people on our programming team.

Should I send a publicity kit with my submission?
No. We will require an electronic press kits ONLY if your film is selected. In keeping with our efforts to become a carbon neutral festival, we request that you do not send press kits, photo stills or any other propaganda materials.

Programme and Tickets

This is a chance for our filmmakers to mingle with each other and other VIP’s. Details by invitation only.

The Berlin Independent Film Festival (BIFF) will be hosting a mini-market speed-pitching event. Filmmakers will have to submit their feature film pitch decks, and those chosen will be able to pitch to industry professionals. 

The SMASH website will allow you to create a pitch deck for free and to submit your pitch to the BIFF mini-market.

Click on CREATE YOUR FREE PITCH and share your SMASH snapshot with pitch@biff.org with SMASH BIFF in the subject line by February 12th midnight!

The mini-market speed-pitch will take place on February 17th, details TBC.

If you are selected you will be notified by midnight on Tuesday 14th February and will be invited to a SMASH pitch session ahead of the mini-market to help you pitch the best you can.

Your pitch deck should include an overview of your feature film or slate, synopsis, cast ideas, images/mood board, budget, team/production notes, similar films.

SHORTS BLOCK 1
Omnia by Leon Hipp
Lucinda´s Pandora by Sylvia Piechocki Gonzalez
Libre – A Celebration of the Queer Body by Arthur Lopes
The Earth Will Swallow It All by Dominik Ritszel
Evening Ritual by Nanna Hauge Kristensen & Ruth Storm

SHORTS BLOCK 2
Separate Powers by Joschua Keßler
Six Feet of Separation by Toni Nordli
Gardez by Julian Isfort
A Panfemale Future by Rachel Donaldson Clarke
Carry On by Sophie-Kristin Siebert
Burly Girls by James David Kevin Tancill

FEATURE

The Bystanders, by Gabriel Foster Prior, starring Seann Walsh, Scott Haran, Georgia Mabel Clarke, Andi Jashy, Lauren Douglin, 94 Min

An off-the-wall, sci-fi/comedy set in the dimension of Bystanders. Invisible immortals who watch over their subjects and intervene in their lives, often not for the better

SHORTS BLOCK 3
Res Pola by Marc Comes & Pola Sieverding
CoronaFAUST by Nicole Felden
To Build a Stage by Kevin Sepp
The One-Way Ticket by Melika Rezapour
Room Upon Room by Angela Nina Yeowell & Robert Erwin Heim
A Poem is a City by Tracey Snelling & Arthur Debert

SHORTS BLOCK 4
Last Apartment Berlin by Markus Bräutigam
Obsession by Moira Sophia Grohé
Into The Light by Dennis Schigiol
Kamakiri by Masato Riesser
Illusion by Sihan Chen

FEATURE

Pink Puzzle, by Mike Adler, starring Robert Gulyás, Inessa Bonet, Sohel Altan Gol, Hugo Grimm, Selam Tadese, 85 Min.

Pink Puzzle” sheds light on the glittering world of Berlin’s fashion scene, in which selfishness and superficiality are the fuel of success. At the same time, however, it opens a door gap to the Berlin neighborhood milieu and the night scene. 

The BIFF 2023 award-winning filmmakers. Details by invitation only.

 

SHORTS BLOCK 5
Weekend Cowboy by Mads Erichsen
Hidden by Paul Riordan
Divorce Day by Victor Martini
Hadi, Go! by Imran Ahmed
Machen by Tarek Shayne Tabet
Keep Live Alive by Julia Patey

SHORTS BLOCK 6
Oh Claire! by Alexander Graeff
Koza by Leyla Giraud
Scrap by Isam Karahasanovic
Life In Sand by Lionel Reinhardt
You Have Won by Sebastian Nozon

FEATURE

Under Spanish Skies, by Nathan Buck, starring Amr Waked, Philippe Brenninkmeyer, Nahéma Ricci, 89 Min

Haunted by a dark past, Leah, a shy artist, craved a place and a companion that made her feel secure… she found both when a high school romance bloomed into a marriage for life, and Neil, her husband, built an isolated farm for her in the remotest hills of Andalusia. But then, a fast cancer ravaged his body … and suddenly, he was gone, leaving Leah once again alone.

Pitch Event

The Berlin Independent Film Festival (BIFF) is a supporter of independent filmmaking in the epicentre for low-budget filmmaking in Europe. BIFF is not associated with the Berlinale, but it runs at the same time, and in the same city as the European Film Market and draws on all the film industry power gathered in Berlin for that event. As such, BIFF is hosting a speed-pitching mini-market, which was launched at the London Independent Film Festival in 2022, and ran again at the Los Angeles International Film Festival 2022, and successfully matched filmmakers and their projects to industry professionals. More information is coming soon.

The speed-pitching mini-market has been created in collaboration with SMASH, who are a platform dedicated to creating a pitch deck: https://www.mysmash.media 

To submit, filmmakers must send their pitch presentations to BIFF via the SMASH platform and projects will be selected according to what the industry professionals are looking for. More information on who will be in attendance and what they are looking for. Please see the programme section for more information.

Past Editions

FEATURES:

Under Spanish Skies by Nathan Buck

Pink Puzzle by Mike Adler

The Bystanders by Gabriel Foster Prior

SHORTS: 

Weekend Cowboy by Mads Erichsen
The Earth Will Swallow It All by Dominik Ritszel
Res Pola by Marc Comes & Pola Sieverding
Six Feet of Separation by Toni Nordli
Koza by Leyla Giraud
CoronaFAUST by Nicole Felden
Evening Ritual by Nanna Hauge Kristensen & Ruth Storm
Life in sand by Lionel Reinhardt
A panfemale future by Rachel Donaldson Clarke
Separate Powers by Joschua Keßler
Libre – A Celebration of the Queer Body by Arthur Lopes
Divorce Day by Victor Martini
Omnia by Leon Hipp
Keep Live Alive by Julia Patey
A Poem is a City by Tracey Snelling & Arthur Debert
You have won by Sebastian Nozon
Obsession by Moira Sophia Grohé
Illusion by Sihan Chen
Lucinda´s Pandora by Sylvia Piechocki Gonzalez
Into The Light by Dennis Schigiol
Oh Claire! by Alexander Graeff
Carry On by Sophie-Kristin Siebert
Hadi, Go! by Imran Ahmed
Hidden by Paul Riordan
Last Apartment in Berlin by Markus Bräutigam
Machen by Tarek Shayne Tabet
The One-Way Ticket by Melika Rezapour
Kamakiri by Masato Riesser
Scrap by Isam Karahasanovic
Room Upon Room by Angela Nina Yeowell & Robert Erwin Heim
Gardez by Julian Isfort
To Build a Stage by Kevin Sepp
Burly Girls by James David & Kevin Tancill

Audience Award for Best Feature
Precarious by Weston Terray

Best Drama Feature
One Punch by Darcy Yuille

Best Comedy Feature
Shellfish by Hunter Hopewell

Festival Director’s Award for Best Feature
The Fusion Solution by Jeff Mehiel

Best Documentary Feature
Any Given Day by Margaret Byrne

Best Environmental Documentary
Land of the Free: In the Shadows by James Ganiere

Best Short Documentary
When They’re Gone by Kristen Hwang

Best Screenwriting Short Film
Shutter the Doors by Sheri Sussman

Audience Award for Best Short Film
One Last Time by Ernesto Rowe

Jury Award for Best Short Film
Maenad Fever by Tamara Cook

Festival Director’s Award for Best Short Film
Aska by Clara Milo

Best Comedy Short
I Mustache You by Shara Ashley Zeiger

Best Drama Short
Meet the Sky by K.J. Edwards

Best Animated Short
Sina ma Tinirau by Vilsoni Tausie Hereniko

Best Horror Short
The Maid by Kristin Goodman

Best Sci-Fi Short
Orbital Christmas by Mitsuyasu Sakai

Best Experimental Short
Hejleh by Lauren Merage

Best Feature Screenplay
Might Come a Windstorm by Jill Elaine Hughes

Best Comedy Screenplay
Rebranding Henry by Daniel Keith

Best Sci-Fi/Horror Screenplay
Mind Out of Time By Rapsodies

FEATURES:
3.14… by G. Gotham Smith
Any Given Day by Margaret Byrne
One Punch by Darcy Yuille
Precarious by Weston Terray
Savage Land by Campbell Dalglish & Dr. Henrietta Mann
Shellfish by Hunter Hopewell
The Fusion Solution by Jeff Mehiel

SHORTS:
An Eye for An Eye by Phoenix Shi
Aska by Clara Milo
Emily’s Do by Gary Beeber
Hejleh by Lauren Merage
Here & Gone, Extended by Taylor Graham
I Mustache You by Shara Ashley Zeiger
June by Dwayne Cameron
Kepley by Michael Grant & Stephanie Katherine Grant
Kintsugi by Justine Kaneda
Land of the Free: In the shadows by James Ganiere
Maenad Fever by Tamara Cook
Meet The Sky by K.J. Edwards
One Last Time by Ernesto Rowe
Orbital Christmas by Mitsuyasu Sakai
RunRainbow by David A. Holcombe
Seedtime by Connie Zheng
Shutter the Doors by Sheri Sussman
Sina ma Tinirau by Vilsoni Tausie Hereniko
The Decipio by Jason Gullifer
The Grave of Saint Oran by Jim Batt
The Heartbeat Of Life by Giuseppe Malpasso
The Long Night by Terry Aderholt
The Maid by Kristin Goodman
The Package by Marc Desaulniers
The Pratt in the Hat by Susan Hillary
Two Different Eyes by Juho Lee & Juseung Lee
When They’re Gone by Kristen Hwang

 

 

Best Romance Feature
Lust Life Love by Stephanie Sellars & Benjamin Feuer

Best Drama Feature
Ruby by Juliet Ellis

Best Horror Feature
The Reckoning by Neil Marshall

Best Sci-Fi Feature
The Unhealer by Martin Guigui

Best Thriller Feature
The Subject by Lanie Zipoy

Best Documentary Feature
TOPOWA! – Never Give Up by Philip Sansom & Inigo Gilmore

Best Actor
Charlotte Kirk for The Reckoning

Best Short Documentary
We Travel vy Ethan Payne & Brian Foster

Audience Award for Best Short Film
The Bag by Samira Navidi

Jury Award for Best Short Film
Black Key by Yuchen Gao

Festival Director’s Award for Best Short Film
Inner Selves by Meriem Sakrouhi

Best Animated Short
In Solidarity – The Migration Blanket by Salma Zulfiqar

Best Experimental Short
We Agree on the Sun by Writer, Artistic Director, and Producer Sarah Rosenthal; Film Director-Editor Team Amelia Tierney and Jonah Belsky; and Dancer-Choreographer Ayana Kathryn Yonesaka

Best Horror Short
BOB by Johannes Schmidt

Best / Sci-Fi Short
Accepted by Stefano Di Pietro

Best Music Video
Love Song by Yuki Kubo

Best Short Short
Who We Are by Alexis Sallee

Best German Language Short
One Last Job by Sophia Vester

Best Feature Screenplay
Ramona At Midlife by Brooke Berman

Best Sci-Fi Screenplay
City of Silence by E.B. Hughes

Best Comedy Screenplay
Two Sisters by Francesca Van Horne

FEATURES:
TOPOWA! – Never Give Up by Philip Sansom & Inigo Gilmore
Ruby by Juliet Ellis
The Reckoning by Neil Marshall
The Unhealer by Martin Guigui
Lust Life Love by Stephanie Sellars & Benjamin Feuer
The Subject by Lanie Zipoy
No Ordinary Love by Chyna Robinson

 

SHORT FILMS:
We Agree on the Sun by Sarah Rosenthal, Amelia Tierney, Jonah Belsky, and Ayana Kathryn Yonesaka
The Shadow of Your Smile by Carlos Ospina
Leo by Fabienne Mahé
New Dutch Herring by Ruben van Duijn
The BAG by Samira Navidi
BOB by Johannes Schmidt
Accepted by Stefano Di Pietro
Sheltered by Charlotte Rose Manning
This One’s for Emily Post by Cronin Cullen
The Others by Jeanne Koepp
Driven by Keir Beck
One Last Job by Sophia Vester
Man Of Fire by Heather Schmidt
We Travel by Ethan Payne & Brian Foster
In Solidarity – The Migration Blanket by Salma Zulfiqar
Proof of Loss by Katherine Fisher
The Cat by Mary Apick
Who We Are by Alexis Sallee
Goodbye Home by Jonathan Chong
Oldboy’s Apples by Brad Hock
Black Key by Yuchen Gao
Hairdryer by Jinglu Ji
Unblinded by Paul Jerndal
Love Song by Yuki Kubo
ORO by Francesca Malinverno
Inner Selves by Meriem Sakrouhi
Daughters of Revolution Eritrea – Peace in Time of War by Christine Vogelsang
A Circle Line Train by Martin Venier
The Shadow Of Your Smile by Carlos Ospina
Pride of Katanga by SJ Finlay

Contact us

If you have any any questions, please check out our FAQ

or write to us at info@berlinfest.com

 

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