The Bermuda International Film Festival (BIFF) is one of the biggest annual spring events that showcases world-class films. The festival promotes famous movies from the world’s top filmmakers and presents new talents from around the world.

Since 1997, the Bermuda International Film Festival has brought major film works to the beautiful island of Bermuda. When it was first launched, there were only 22 films that were screened over 7 days in Hamilton’s two theatres. Since then, the BIFF has expanded to become a recognized international event. It has received widespread recognition around the world and from its own islanders as an important event on the international film festival calendar.

BIFF is a showcase of the top and best independent films from around the world. Their line-up includes: winners from the world’s leading fests, new features, docs and shorts from emerging directors, and an event dedicated to showing films from a selected country.

There are only 50 festivals around the world that have the same lineup as the Bermuda International Film Festival. The opening night of the first ever Bermuda International Film Festival saw the screening of ‘Whole Wide World‘, which starred a young actor Renee Zellweger and Vincent D’Onofrio. The film showed to a packed theatre which was a sign of just how popular the festival would become.

In 2002, the festival expanded to include screenings in Southside Cinema as well. By 2007, yet another theatre was added as audience numbers grew too large for the existing 3 theatres. The Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute or BUEI is considered a world class screening venue and is reflective of the festivals status as an international film event.

The festival mainly consists of a narrative and documentary films, short films, controversial late-night shows, and a smaller number of Bermudian films. To add to the screenings the festival also includes other special events, filmmaker question and answer’s, panel discussions, master classes and other film related events.

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The Bermuda International Film Festival today

The festival’s desire to win international prestige became a reality when its Best Narrative Short Film winner was selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science for the Short Film-Live Action Oscar in 2004. In the following few years two other short films that won the price at the festival went on to win an Oscar: Wasp in 2005 and Toyland in 2009.

Brooke Burfitt

Since then, many short films that have been selected for entry into the festival have gone on to win Oscar nominations. These include Miracle Fish in 2010, Death of a Shadow, Asad and Henry in 2013, and Everything Will Be Okay in 2016.

The Bermuda International Film Festival also honors submissions with its Audience Awards. These are given out by the festival’s supporters who every year converge in Bermuda from around the globe. The festival also presents Special Juried Awards to films deemed worthy of extra attention.

Since BIFF became a qualifying festival for Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, many rising filmmakers around the world have submitted their films to the Bermuda Shorts Competition. Winning this prize gives the filmmakers a chance to qualify for the Live-Action Short Film Oscar awards without needing their film to have a theatrical release.

This year’s festival will take place over 8 days. The preparations are still yet to be finalized for many of the events, workshops, and film screenings. The vast majority of the screenings will be held at the Hamilton City Hall Arts Centre.

Today the BIFF screens between 65 to 75 films in four different theatres. Aside from its March film festival event, the BIIF also showcases a program of screenings from the BIFF Film Academy. School screenings programs take place in March and October. It also holds eight weeks of film production summer camps for kids ages 7-16.

The BIFF team are thrilled with this year’s Oscar nominations for the Best Live Action Short Film category because the top two shorts of 20th BIFF Shorts competition have been nominated. These winners were ‘Watu Wote’ (All of Us) and the runner-up was ‘My Nephew Emmet’. We wish them the best of luck.

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Past films that Bermuda International Film Festival has showcased

The Bermuda International Film Festival has been a home for some of the best independent short films from around the world. These films include:

  • Watu Wote
  • My Nephew Emmet
  • Whole Wide World
  • Wasp
  • Toyland
  • Miracle Fish
  • Death of A Shadow
  • Asad
  • Henry
  • Everything Will Be Okay

This year’s BIFF is shaping up to be a great event. It features a large variety of fantastic independent short films. The 2018 Bermuda International Film Festival has a staggering 621 submissions competing for the Best Short Narrative Film. This is a really great sign of just how healthy the international short film industry has become.


Tickets for the 2018 Bermuda International Film Festival are available now. There are a variety of passes available. The passes vary in price according to how much access to the festival they allow. For more information, you can visit this link: Tickets to BIFF.

You can also visit BIFF’s Premier Ticket HQ Outlet at the 2nd Floor Innovation House (RamRe House), 46 Reid Street, Hamilton Bermuda.

If you want to contact BIFF’s Premier Tickets at its Customer Support Hotline: 441-278-1500, Fax No.: 441-278-1507 or if you want the quickest response, you can email them at Representatives are available from Monday to Friday office hours.

Richard Dreyfuss and Carrie Fisher during 10th Annual Bermuda International Film Festival – Getty Images

Entering your film

For those aspiring filmmakers out there who wish to enter their films, you can submit your entries to Bermuda International Film Festival and get a chance to become one of the nominees of the Oscar’s Academy Awards for Independent Short Films.

Entry for this year’s festival is already closed. However, independent filmmakers can submit entries  for the 2019 Bermuda International Film Festival. All entries will be carefully scrutinized by the BIFF Jury. Winners will be informed that their film has been successful and will then be invited to attend the festival.

Before submitting your film you must read the rules and regulations for submissions. Be sure that your entries meet these terms. Failure to do so will mean your film will be rejected.

You can follow this link to BIFF’s Rules & Terms to view their submission rules. You can also check the festivals official website for entry deadline dates and to find more information on fees.

The Bermuda International Film Festival runs from 17th March until March 25th 2018.


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