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SUBMISSIONS

The regular deadline for film submissions is March 1st.

ELIGIBILITY


Films must 1) be directed by a person of African descent or who otherwise identifies as Black, Brown or Indigenous, and 2) feature persons of African descent, or tell a story of Black, Brown or Indigenous experiences.

Narrative feature films and documentary films must not exceed a runtime of 120 minutes, and short films must not exceed a runtime of 40 minutes.

Non-English language works must have English subtitles at the time submitted. Dialogue lists will not be accepted.

Though not required for eligibility, preference is given to premiere status films: Philadelphia, East Coast, US, North American, and World premieres.

Entrants must fully comply with these entry rules and regulations, including all deadlines, film length, entry material and other requirements.

Additional Notes

Submissions may be in work-in-progress form; however, works that are not final cuts must be clearly marked “Work in Progress (WIP)” or “Rough Cut” with an indication of what will change or what is missing (e.g., temp sound, missing animation, etc.). If accepted, final prints/media files must be received by June 7, 2024. No exceptions.

Please be advised that all accepted film prints are REQUIRED to have open captions (either burned in or .srt files) upon upload. Non-English language films are required to have captions burned into the print.

DATES & DEADLINES


Jan 8
Submissions Open

Feb 1
Early Deadline

Mar 1
Regular Deadline

Apr 1
Late Deadline

May 8
Notification Date

Aug 1-4
Festival Dates

RULES & REGULATIONS


Duration

Short films must be 40 minutes or less.

Features films must be greater than 40 minutes, but not exceeding 120 minutes.

Entry Fees

Entry fees are in U.S. dollars, are per film, and are non-refundable. BlackStar reserves the right to disqualify a submission, without refund of any kind, if eligibility requirements are not met, including if eligibility status changes post-submission.

Students: Entry fees for student submissions will be waived upon receipt of a photocopy of a current and valid student ID card or a letter from an accredited school that verifies enrollment. For questions, contact [email protected].

Competition

Films will be automatically entered into audience competition unless the entrant(s) request to be withdrawn. Entrants must make this request at the time of confirmation.

Recipients of the juried Short Narrative and Short Documentary Awards are eligible for consideration in the Live Action Short and Documentary Short categories of the Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy’s rules.

Awards & Prizes

• Best Feature Narrative
• Best Feature Documentary
• Best Short Narrative (Academy Awards® qualifying)
• Best Short Documentary (Academy Awards® qualifying)
• Best Experimental
• Audience Awards


FAQs

Works-in-progress

Submissions may be in work-in-progress form; however, works that are not final cuts must be clearly marked “Work in Progress (WIP)” or “Rough Cut” with an indication of what will change or what is missing (e.g., temp sound, missing animation, etc.). If accepted, final prints/media files must be received by June 7, 2024. No exceptions.

Submission Limits

There is no limit to the number of films you can submit. Please fill out separate entry forms and pay entry fees for each film.

Feedback

Due to the high volume of submissions, we are unable to provide feedback for individual films or speak individually to applicants.

Festival Pass

All accepted directors will receive one (1) all-access badge to the festival. Additionally, each director will receive a minimum of two (2) comp tickets to their film screening to distribute as they see fit.

Year of production

Priority is given to recently completed films (in 2023 and 2024).

Premiere Status

Though not required for eligibility, preference is given to premiere status films: Philadelphia, East Coast, US, North American, and World premieres.

Travel to the Festival

The 2024 festival will be a hybrid event with online and in-person components. Stay tuned for more updates as we near closer to August.


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