Saturday 4th April is now officially known as BFF Sofa Shorts Day! You hit the sofa we’ll bring the shorts…..films that is. What you wear is up to you!

Join us to celebrate the best new Northern Irish/Irish fictional short films from the comfort of your own home.

One of our many loved events each year is our BFF Short Film Competition supported by Queen’s Film Theatre which showcases the island’s best new fictional short films. Supporting the local film industry has been a festival tradition from the very beginning, and in this 20th anniversary year we have another incredible line-up of emerging talent. To ensure our audiences don’t miss out we are taking the competition online!


The Short Competition Films are split into 4 groups:

Short Film Competition: Films 1 – 4

Short Film Competition: Films 5 – 7

Short Film Competition: Films 8 – 10

Short Film Competition: Films 11 – 14

The Official Selection Films are split into 2 groups:

Official Selection Shorts: Films 1- 4

Official Selection Shorts: Films 5 – 7


This is how it works. For one day only (Saturday 4th April) you will be able to view all 14 ‘in competition’ shorts and 7 ‘official selection’ shorts. Simply visit between 10am and midnight to view all 21 films at your leisure.

Join us on twitter, facebook and instagram throughout the day on Saturday 4th April to share your thoughts about the films, meet the filmmakers and share in a collective experience using the hashtag #bffsofashorts.

The winner of the ‘in competition’ programme will be announced by our judging panel on Sunday 5th April at midday and will receive a prize of £500. The winning film will then be available to watch for a further 2 hours from midday to 2pm.

This year we are grateful to have four independent judges on our panel:

Sarah Edge – is a professor of Photography and Cultural Studies at Ulster University, where she lectures in feminist film theory and production and the history, theory and practice of photography.


Sara Gunn Smith – Sara joined Film Hub NI in 2014 as Marketing and Audiences Offer, where she developed and delivers initiates to increase and diversify audiences for independent film. These include the early Cinema Day celebration, and the Collective network. She works with a range of film exhibitors across NI to develop and enhance their audience engagement. She also produced The Cursor Project documentary, and is on the board of the NI Science Festival and Belfast Media Festival.


Cian Smyth – has 20 years experience working in the arts and films actors through which he has worked with NI Screen, the UK Film Council and ACNI. He was a Producer at Hull Uk City Of Culture 2017, an Artistic Advisor to 1418Now and Chairperson of Outburst Arts.


Don O’Mahony – Senior Programmer with Cork Film Festival, Don O’Mahony has been involved with the organisation since 1999, mainly programming world cinema features and Irish content. Since 2016, Don has been in charge of the Festival’s extensive short film programme and he has programmed ‘Free Radicals’, the Festival’s experimental film strand, since 2004.

Belfast Film Festival is delighted to partner with Queen’s Film Theatre’s new young brand LUMI to award one film from the BFF Sofa Shorts for it’s fresh ideas. 

From the Official Selection and In Competition short films of Belfast Film Festival 2020, LUMI will award one film the newly established title.

The LUMI Award highlights and stands by films which have innovation and diversity at their heart, whether embedded in your project’s storyline, soundtrack, cinematography, technology or your characters. In particular, LUMI are looking for films which deal with the diversity in young people, how we communicate and view the world, and how this is affected by technology.

Between the 1st and 9th April, when the festival was due to take place, we will be offering our audiences the opportunity to watch a selection of unique online events which we will be announcing very soon.

Stay tuned for further updates!