We’ve got a new name, but that’s not all that’s changing…


For its twentieth edition, the festival is debuting a number of exciting transformations, including offering more days of film screenings, a slate of new events and workshops, and the introduction of new submission guidelines which will open up the festival to films from around the country and the world.

Bainbridge Island Film Festival, to be held Nov. 10-12, 2018 at the Historic Lynwood Theatre on Bainbridge Island, will showcase its broadest ever mix of selections in a variety of categories. Films will be selected through juried review by local film professionals, students, and enthusiasts.

The festival was known until this year as Celluloid Bainbridge Film Festival and has been organized by Arts & Humanities Bainbridge since 1999. For its first seventeen years, BIFF showed only films made on Bainbridge Island or by island filmmakers. Beginning in 2016, the festival expanded its reach to the rest of the Pacific Northwest, welcoming submissions from all of Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, and British Columbia in hopes of finding the very best films from our unique region. This year sees BIFF embrace an even broader vision as the festival welcomes all submissions regardless of origin.

Opening up the festival’s entry requirements to include a larger field of contributors will increase BIFF’s regional profile as well as the interest and entertainment value for festivalgoers,” says longtime BIFF festival organizer Pernell Tyus. “We’re looking forward to screening a diverse array of high quality films.”

At the same time as it becomes more outward-looking, BIFF will continue to hold to the vision of highlighting and supporting local films and filmmakers that has guided the festival since its inception. Screen time will be allotted specifically for films with an island connection, and local films will be judged in their own category. Local filmmakers and film students are strongly encouraged to submit their works. In addition, the festival’s workshops will be aimed at empowering participants to create and market their own films. Festival organizers hope that BIFF will serve as an important resource for the local filmmaking community.

Submissions are now being accepted for the 20th annual Bainbridge Island Film Festival. All submissions are accepted online at filmfreeway.com/festival/bifilmfest. Early-bird submissions with discounted submission fees are accepted until May 15; our regular submission period runs May 16-June 30; and late entries will be accepted with increased submission fees until July 15.

Highlights from the 2017 festival

A sampling of 2017’s selection of films

The weekend kicked off Saturday evening with an Opening Night Reception at Manor House Restaurant. Festival attendees mixed with visiting filmmakers and industry professionals while enjoying fine food and drink. After the reception, we headed across the street for a screening of the festival’s featured films: “The United Guys Network,” a comedy short from Vancouver, BC director Tabatha Golat and writer Montgomery Burt; “The Story of Bainbridge,” a 1960s-era documentary tour of Bainbridge Island produced by the Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island; and “Another Man’s Treasure,” a documentary about the Rotary Auction directed by the island’s own Steve Stolee. Check out the 2017 Photo Gallery for some unforgettable images from the event by Christina Servín Photographs & Art.

Saturday’s festivities were followed by a full day of screenings on Sunday. The festival presented a delightful and eclectic mix of drama, documentary, comedy, student films, and more, and many filmmakers were on hand to chat with the audience and answer questions about their work.

It was a tremendous pleasure to present these films to the Northwest community. The festival is honored to feature both established and up-and-coming cinematic voices and we look forward to presenting more great films in the years to come! Thanks to everyone whose participation makes this event possible.