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.

Core Values

Artistry – 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.

Board of Directors

Sam Toles


Anna Scime

Vice Chair

Stephen A. Manuele


Renée M. Saracki


Renee Russell


Joshua McMurray



John J. Fink

Artistic Director

Tilke Hill

Festival Director

Jessica Gruszewski

Programming Coordinator

Holly Pilato-Scharnweber

Community Coordinator

Charlene Budziszewski

Marketing Coordinator


Milfor Lake

Marketing Intern

Brian Verso

Programming Intern

Amal Elhelw

Production Intern