Rules of Eligibility

Current Rules & Eligibility:

All films must be submitted for consideration by September 19th 2014. 

A feature film will be eligible for an Award if:  

It is intended for theatrical release, AND has had a public screening to a paying audience either on general release in the UK OR has screened at a British-based film festival between 1st December 2013 and 30th November 2014.

Where there is any major studio substantially funding a film, the total budget must not exceed $20M. Films are not defined as “independent” strictly on the terms of financing.

It has been produced or majority co-produced by a British company OR is in receipt of at least 51% of its budget from a British source or sources OR it qualifies as a British Film under the DCMS guidelines AND includes sufficient creative elements from the UK

A feature film must be no less than 70 minutes in length.

Films that have been entered previously are not eligible. Re-issues of previously released films are not eligible.

Best British Feature Documentary: In 2003 the British Independent Film Awards introduced this new award. Eligible films must be non-fiction. They should be photographed in actual occurrence, or employ partial re-enactment, stock footage, stills, animation, stop-motion or other techniques, as long as the emphasis is on fact and not on fiction. (Further eligibility criteria as with other feature films above).

Best International Independent Film: BIFA also consider foreign independent films. Foreign films must have a British theatrical release during the eligibility period stated above

The Douglas Hickox Award is to be given a British director for their debut feature film. The estate of Douglas Hickox shall present a cheque for £500 to the winner. 

British Short Film Award submissions: Any British short films that has been accepted as part of the Official Selection at one of BIFAs recognised film festivals [See here] OR has won an award during the eligibility period. Any variations are at the sole discretion of BIFA. A short film must be no longer than 40 minutes (including credits).

All eligible films submitted for consideration will be viewed by the BIFA Pre-Selection Committee.  Members vote by secret ballot firstly to draw up a long list then again to determine the nominations. All nominated films are then viewed by an independent Jury appointed each year. The winners are announced during the evening of the Awards Ceremony.  [See Voting Policy]

The Special Jury Prize will be decided entirely at the Jury's discretion.

The Variety Award recognises an actor, director, writer or producer who has helped to focus the international spotlight on the UK 

The Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Film by an Actor (male/female) to be decided by the Advisory Committee with the input of the Harris family.

Under exceptional circumstances, inclusion and consideration of films which do not strictly comply with the above criteria will be subject to the discretion of the British Independent Film Awards Advisory Committee.

All decisions made by BIFA and its members are final and no correspondence will be entered into as to why particular entries were or were not nominated.

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