Submissions for the 2023 BlackStar Film Festival are closed.
The BlackStar Film Festival is an annual celebration of the visual and storytelling traditions of the African diaspora and of global Indigenous communities, showcasing films by Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists from around the world.
Films must be directed by a person of African descent or who otherwise identifies as Black, Brown or Indigenous, and 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.
Shorts 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.
Note: 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 15, 2023. No exceptions.
Entrants must fully comply with these entry rules and regulations, including all deadlines, film length, entry material and other requirements.
Dates & Deadlines
January 9 – Opening Date
February 1 – Early Deadline
March 1 – Preferred Deadline
April 1 – Late Deadline
May 9 – Notification Date
August 2–6 – Event Date
Rules & Regulations
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 for the Official Entry Deadline 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].
Films will be automatically entered into juried and audience competition unless the entrant(s) request to be withdrawn. Entrants must make this request at the time of application.
Awards & Prizes
• Best Feature Narrative
• Best Feature Documentary
• Best Short Narrative (Academy Awards® qualifying)
• Best Short Documentary (Academy Awards® qualifying)
• Best Experimental
• Audience Awards
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 15, 2023. No exceptions.
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.
Priority is given to recently completed films (in 2022 and 2023).
Though not required for eligibility, preference is given to premiere status films: Philadelphia, East Coast, US, North American, and World premieres.
The 2023 festival will be a hybrid event with online and in-person components. Stay tuned for more updates as we near closer to August.
Visit the 2022 BlackStar Film Festival site. Explore the schedule and watch panels from last year’s event.