Bengaluru International Short Film Festival from August 28

The 11th edition of the Bengaluru International Short Film Festival (BISFF) will be held from August 28 to September 5. This is the second consecutive year that the Oscar-accredited BISFF will be presented in a digital avatar due to the pandemic regulations. Film buffs can register on and watch a plethora of short films from different categories.

The BISSF, last year, was approved as an Oscar Academy Qualifying Festival for the Short Film Awards. The winning short films in the International and Indian Competition sections of BISFF 2020 are eligible for consideration in the Live Action Short Film Category of the Academy Awards, without standard theatrical run, provided the film complies with the stringent Academy rules. (

Besides screening films, the organisers have requested contributions which can be made to “BISFF through a link on their website, to express appreciation to the film-makers and support a worthy cause with indigenous NGO, Vidyanikethan”.

BISFF, which aims to make cinema accessible to all, was created to promote young/amateur film-makers to screen their shorts to a discerning audiences, besides finding constructive and critical feedback from achievers in the field.

New segments

This year too, there will be competitions in segments such as International, Indian, Karnataka, let’s include, and animation. ‘Kindness Matters’ and ‘Women in Cinema Collective’ are the two new segments introduced to the fest this year. The former “aims to support the #KindnessMatters global campaign, which is collecting one million stories of compassion and kindness to achieve sustainable development and peaceful societies under the Sustainable Development Goal 2030”. UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education (MGIEP) has partnered with BISFF under this category and the segment will feature all the short films focusing on kindness and compassion. (

‘Women in Cinema Collective’ will feature short films created by women and this segment is powered by Kshamata, an organisation that works towards a world free of exploitation, where women can live confident lives, with a clear sense of positive identity and self-worth.

The jury includes Ken Atchitty, American producer; Svetlana Naudiyal, director – MUBI India; Till Hastreiter, German film-maker; actors Priyanka Upendra and Sudha Belawadi; Ricky Kej, music composer; Abel Caine, UNESCO MGIEP representative, and Sowmy Rajendran, critic.

The other addition is that the fest will showcase a compilation of short films from ‘Short Export – Made in Germany 2021’. This is supported by the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore.

The organisers received 3,000-plus submissions from across 87 countries, of which 300 films were shortlisted, which has 32% first-time film-makers and 30% are women film-makers. The fest will also include workshops — Editing as a process, a masterclass by Andrew Bird on August 29, 7.30 p.m; SCRITE, emerging script writing platform, August 31, and OTT/Channel (get your movie selected).

Anand Varadaraj, festival director, BISFF, said, “BISFF has completed a decade and it is a proud moment for all of us. This year too, amidst the ongoing pandemic, we have decided to host the festival online.”



Prakash Belawadi, actor, director and mentor for BISFF, said, “BISFF, that has grown over the past 10 years into an international event that Bengaluru can proudly own, has built a fellowship and network of short film enthusiasts and experts from around the world. The online structure has helped us create more inclusive spaces for new ideas and new imagination.”

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