Bengaluru short film festival gets Oscar accreditation

Bengaluru short film festival gets Oscar accreditation

Anand Varadaraj. Credit:

The Bengaluru International Short Film Festival (BISFF)  is completing ten years this year. While that by itself is cause for celebration, the festival has been approved as an Oscar Academy Qualifying Festival for the Short Film Awards.

“The Oscars don’t take individual entries for short films, as there would be way too many entries to filter through. Instead they select festivals around the world that focus on short films to confer an accreditation to,” says Anand Varadaraj, the founder and artistic director of BISFF.

They were recommended to The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the guys who give out the Oscars) by the Carter Pilcher, the chief executive of Shorts International, a leading short film entertainment company. He is also a member of the Short Film and Feature Animation Branch of The Academy. 

It took around a year and a half after the recommendation for their accreditation to come through. 

After a long wait, the festival got their credentials last week. “We’re the first short film festival in the country to receive this honour,” says theatre artiste and mentor to the festival, Prakash Belawadi. 

But what exactly does this mean?  “The winning films from the Indian and International competition sections  are automatically 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,” says Anand. 

This is a great way for Indian filmmakers to have accessibility to such prestigious laurels.  Anand adds that this would increase the quality of entries they receive. 

The submissions for BISFF 2020 are now open and they are accepting entries of fiction films under 30 minutes, made during the period of January 2019 to January 2020. Instructions regarding the application can be found on

“In the first edition, we received just 40 entries. Last year we had over 3,500 entries out which we screened over 300 of them,”  he says. 

BISFF 2020 also intends to add a minimum of two categories to the existing program. The first being one specially curated by Ricky Kej, a special adviser to the festival,  for UN Sustainable Development Goals. And the second, a category dedicated to the Diversity & Inclusion mandate, which the Festival Committee has given itself, inspired by the Inclusion Summit.

To submit your film, visit