Mission Statement

Buffalo International Film Festival (est. 2006) champions regional, national, and international films that push the limits of independent cinema – presenting quality films from around the world to WNY residents and visitors. BIFF is committed to amplifying diverse voices and exhibiting cutting-edge programming in narrative, documentary and experimental film. A proud supporter of local filmmaking and the arts; BIFF also offers workshops, seminars, industry panel discussions, fiscal sponsorship and professional development opportunities, as well as an Offscreen series of art, music and performance.



We provide Western New York audiences and visitors access to the very best offerings in contemporary local, national, and world cinema.

Community Collaboration

We connect filmmakers, and WNY film and arts communities through collaborations and partnerships that align with local efforts to provide access to an increasing quantity of quality filmmaking resources in WNY. We contribute to WNY’s thriving cultural ecosystem through the implementation of this world-class festival.

Education & Engagement

We provide educational, financial and logistical support to local institutions, makers, and audiences by offering quality programming, as well as seminars, workshops, classes, internships and career development resources for film arts professionals.

Diversity & Inclusion

We celebrate the diversity of our community through programming and community partnerships that reflect and represent the rich and eclectic cultural fabric of WNY.


Sam Toles, Chair

Paige Sarlin, Vice Chair

Stephen A. Manuele, Secretary

Renée M. Saracki, Treasurer

Tammy McGovern, Board Member

Keith Poplawski, Board Member

Meg Knowles, Board Member

Renee Russell, Emeritus


Anna Scime, Interim Executive Director

John J. Fink, Artistic Director

Holly Pilato-Scharnweber, Community Coordinator


U-Myah Chaney, Marketing Intern

Liv Paolini, Programming Intern

Ethan Menges, Communications Intern