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2019 BISFF Rules and Regulations

Updated: Aug 30, 2019


2019 Beijing International Short Film Festival

Film Submission Rules and Regulations(EN)

北京国际短片联展 2019 作品报名章程及规则


  • The Festival · Vision · Mission

  • Program

  • Awards and Jury

  • Entry conditions

  • Submission of Films

  • Deadlines

  • Selected Films

  • Screenings

  • Award Winners


1. The Festival


The Beijing International Short Film Festival (BISFF) is a beloved short film festival in China. During ten festival days, hundreds of filmmakers and artists present their work to a large audience. The festival is a hub where our visionary team organises and stimulates film-related activities to accompany a quality program—robust, eclectic, adventurous—and where emerging talent meets prestigious guests. This is what makes BISFF unique: every year it attracts distinct personalities from the field, who rediscover the magic of cinema at the heart of one of the world’s most dynamic cities.

BISFF 2019 will be held in Beijing at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art and other venues from November 29 to December 9, 2019.

For more information about BISFF, please visit www.bisff.co.

* At BISFF, we represent the strength and impact of short films, filmmakers and film-related art, contributing to a culture built on foundations of mutual respect and dignity. BISFF aspires to create an environment where everyone has the freedom to express him or herself, without fear of harassment, intimidation, discrimination, sexism, or other disrespectful behaviors.

2. Vision


BISFF embraces short films, a vibrant film category that deserves more attention both from the industry and the audience in China.

We believe in the power of short films to encourage meaningful conversations and infuse positive social change. We welcome and motivate both emerging talents and established filmmakers from all backgrounds in their artistic endeavors. We collectively strive to expand the creative space for film citizenship and celebrate the diverse forms of cinema. We accept challenge head-on. We are BISFF!

3. Mission


We aim to provide a show case for various genres of short films around the world every year and promote independent filmmaking of artistic merits, acknowledging and appreciating new perspectives and expressions, creating a space for inspiration to spark, a platform that stimulates cross-border conversations with contemporary art and technology worlds. Our programming tackles issues of contemporary social and aesthetic relevance, representing the strength and impact of independent cinema.

4. Program


The Festival is composed of variant screening sections, consisting of respective requests for submission films.

Competitive Sections (open to online submissions):

  • Nebula - International Competition for Fiction Short Film presents consists but not limit of a selection of live action or animated short films up to 45 minutes, with evident narrative structures and intention of portraying figures or events.

  • Fresco - International Competition for Non-Fiction Short Film offers a selection of films exploring new narrative forms and innovative film language in the practices of depicting non-indirectly reality. The maximum length of submission film is 45 minutes.

  • Mirage - International Competition for Experimental Short Films Films included in this section are unclassifiable in terms of genres and styles, representing the most hybrid and up-to-date forms of cinematic creativity. The maximum length of submission film is 45 minutes.

  • Tide - Chinese Short Film Competition is dedicated to Chinese-language filmmakers from Chinese speaking regions. This selection showcases short films of various forms (fiction, non-fiction and experimental) and themes, presenting the dynamic landscape of Chinese emerging talents. The maximum length of submission film is 45 minutes.

  • Halo - Chinese Student Short Film Competition is a selection of student films that represent the cinematographic and cultural universe of the next generation, which focuses on short films made by Chinese-language filmmakers in schools from all over the world. The maximum length of submission film is 45 minutes.

Non-Competitive Sections (not open to submissions):

  • Echo is dedicated to the development process of moving-image. It offers works from historical filmmakers to whom the Festival pays special tributes, presents newly restored works in film history, also explores untraditional representation and multiplex context.

  • Astro is a selection of highlight works of one major filmmaker or group. This section is designed to honor auteurs who achieve heuristic influence on the modern moving-image, to enable the audience to (re)discover an important auteur and inspire academic discussion.

  • Neutron is a special program reserved for medium-length films from 45 minutes to 75 minutes. All genres are eligible. This section is dedicated to recent outstanding films, not yet released in China, all of which have received critical acclaim and/or awards at other international festivals.

  • Other ad hoc sections and special screenings.

* Out of curatorial or practical concerns, the submitted projects may be assigned to a different competition/screening section. The Selection Committee will seek the opinions and approval of the filmmakers and/or producers and distributors before making such adjustments.

5. Awards and Jury


The Jury will be invited by the Director of the Festival. Persons directly associated with the production or exploitation of a film in competition may not serve as jurors. A Jury composed of five personalities from the world of cinema, art and culture will award the following prizes:

  • International Competition

Nebula Award for Best International Fiction Short Film

Fresco Award for Best International Non-fiction Short Film

Mirage Award for Best International Experimental Short Film

* The Jury may also award a maximum of two special mentions, the nature of which will be clearly defined by the Jury; and one Outstanding Contribution Award (acting, cinematography, set design, editing, music, etc.)
  • Chinese Competition

Tide Award for Best Chinese Language Short Film

Halo Award for Best Student Project

The Jury may also award a maximum of two special mentions, the nature of which will be clearly defined by the Jury; and one Outstanding Contribution Award (acting, cinematography, set design, editing, music, etc.)
  • Partnership Awards

Separate sets of rules and regulations will be determined for different partnership awards. For further information, please follow BISFF official announcements on our website and social media accounts.

The decisions of the Jury are final.

6. Entry conditions


A Selection Committee made up of film experts will assist the Artistic Directorship in the scouting and selection of works for the Festival.

  • The selected films of competitive sections must have been completed after March 1, 2018.

  • Films selected for International Competitions must not have been previously released in China or shown in other film festivals in mainland China. World/International premieres are favored.

  • All Chinese productions and co-productions in Chinese Competition must not have been commercially released or broadcasted in China before the festival (this includes festival selection, theatrical release, National TV broadcasting and VoD release). For any previously planned screenings, please contact the programming team with written explanation.

  • Films submitted for previous editions of the Festival may not be submitted again, not even in a new version.


7. Submission of Films for Pre-selection

All films sent to the festival must be submitted by completing the online form, via platforms:

FilmFreeway, Festhome for international participants (Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan included);

ZOOMOV for Chinese mainland participants.

  • Submission is subject to a registration fee to be paid during the online submission process.

  • Films must be uploaded during the submission process.

  • All films must be submitted in their original language with English or Chinese subtitles. For preselection, English-language films do not require subtitles.

  • Screeners can be private (password-protected) downloadable links (Vimeo, Youtube, etc.) or DVDs (-R if possible) to be sent to the address given at the end of the submission form.

  • The festival keeps the viewing material for the sole purposes of documentation, promotion and viewing by professionals on its premises for a maximum period of one month after the festival, and will only return the viewing material upon formal request by the sender.

8. Deadlines

Films completed between March 1, 2018 and March 1, 2019: Online submission should be completed and viewing material be sent with a postmark on September 15, 2019 at the latest.

Films completed from March 2, 2019 onwards: Online submission should be completed and viewing material be sent with a postmark on October 25, 2019 at the latest.

* There is no guarantee that films registered or sent and postmarked after the above-mentioned deadlines will be previewed.

9. Selected Films

Filmmakers and production companies having their film selected at the festival will be contacted -by November 15, 2019 around the time when the official selection is announced on the Festival website.

The producers and distributors of the selected films agree not to withdraw the films from the Festival program after it has been announced, and not to screen or broadcast the film in China before the end of the Festival, with the exception of press or professional screenings they may organize.

The producers and distributors of all films selected undertake to make mention in their publicity and advertising materials (posters, press-kits, trailers, website, etc.) of the selection of the film for the Beijing International Short Film Festival, by featuring the official logo which will be supplied by the Festival. The logo must not under any circumstances be modified or altered without the prior permission of the Festival. Any publication featuring the logo must be approved by the Festival.

Films in the competitive sections may have up to three public screenings during the Festival, and in non-competitive sections, up to two public screenings.


10. Screenings


The accepted screening formats include: 16mm, 35mm, DCP, Digital files (contact festival staff for details). Blu-ray is only accepted as back-ups. The Festival prefers the original exhibition format of the completed work. Only quality prints or digital copies will be accepted. The Festival reserves the right to refuse to allow the participation of any film that fails to meet the technical requirements for a public screening of good quality.

The delivery deadline for subtitle files and film information is November 17, 2019. The delivery deadline for all cinema presentation material is November 20, 2019.

The participant is liable for all costs of transportation and customs clearance for both outward and return shipment. If the return shipment of the selected films entails costs, these will be billed to the participant before the end of the year. The Festival reserves the right to refuse any shipments entailing additional costs.

As far as possible, the Festival will respect the wishes of participants concerning return shipment of their films. The Festival accepts no liability for any forwarding errors that may result from a lack of instructions, or from erroneous information provided by the participant. As a rule, films will not be returned before the end of the Festival. Films will be returned to participants within the two weeks following the end of the Festival.

More details for Subtitles and versions please turn to BISFF 2019 Technical Guidelines.

11. Award Winners


The producers and distributors and the buyers and sellers of rights to awarded films undertake to make mention in their publicity and advertising materials (posters, flyers, press-kits, trailers, website, etc.) of the winning of an award at the Beijing International Short Film Festival. The official logos of the various awards will be supplied by the Festival. The logo must not under any circumstances be modified or altered without the prior permission of the Festival. Any publication of a logo must be approved for press by the Festival.

The producers and distributors of award-winning films also undertake to add to the start of all prints released for distribution the official award logo, provided by the Festival, in the context of a theatrical release or a presentation at other festivals.

The submission and participation of a film in the Beijing International Short Film Festival imply acceptance of the Rules and Regulations for submission. In any unforeseen eventuality, the decision of the Festival Directorship is final.

Copyright @Beijing International Short Film Festival

Beijing International Short Film Festival

Website: www.bisff.co · Email: contact@bisff.co

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Copyright@ Beijing International Short Film Festival / 北京国际短片联展 / BISFF2019