By BHFF standards, any narrative film that is 50 minutes and longer is considered a feature film. U.S. and/or international submissions may be from any genre. Narrative features in competition are eligible for all award categories, including the Golden Palm Award. The BHFF carries on this tradition and makes way for new developments in feature films by selecting original, top-quality features to screen at the festival.
The BHFF recognizes U.S. and international documentary entries as shorts (49 minutes or shorter) and feature (50 minutes or longer). Documentary submissions are eligible for all award categories, excluding Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Animation, and Best Screenplay Awards.
Any film that is 1-49 minutes and 59 sec in duration is considered a short film. Due to being the BHFF jury and audience’ favorite category of innovation and quality, every short entry is eligible for all awards categories, excluding Best Feature.
The BHFF recognizes unique story lines, imagination, and use of technique in short (49 minutes or shorter) and feature (50 minutes or longer) entries. Animation submissions are eligible for all award categories, excluding Best Actor and Best Actress.
Great films start with exceptional screenplays. The BHFF selects feature-length or short-length screenplays for competition that will grab the reader and audience passionately and captivate them, whether the characters are likeable or not. Expert storytelling can include a number of aspects, such as: confidence, a distinctive voice, concise, yet descriptive language, well-developed characters, inspiration, conflict, romance, a mission, obstacles, drama, comedy, and the risk of loss. The BHFF looks for the heart of the story—the driving force, and it wants to see a screenplay that is concise, has cohesive and fluid dialogue, along with fundamental substance.