Late deadline: April 22

Film submissions are closed. All will be notified of their status by June 15, 2018

Have any questions? Email


Films must be directed by a person of African descent or who otherwise identifies as Black, feature persons of African descent or who otherwise identify as Black, and/or tell a story of the Black experience. Though not required for eligibility, preference is given to Philadelphia premieres. Non-English language works must have English subtitles at the time submitted. Dialogue lists will not be accepted.


  • February 1, 2018 – Submissions Open
  • March 31, 2018 – Regular Deadline
  • April 22, 2018 – Late Deadline
  • June 15, 2018 – Notification Date


Rules & Regulations


Narrative feature films and documentary films must not exceed running time of 120 minutes.

Shorts must not exceed running time of 30 minutes.

Entry Fees

Entry fees are per film and 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.


Films will be automatically entered into juried competition unless the entrant(s) request to be withdrawn.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

Awards & Prizes
• Best Feature Narrative & Documentary
• Best Short Narrative & Documentary
• Best Experimental
• Best Music Video
• Audience Awards



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

  • Works-in-progress
  • Submission Limits
  • Feedback
  • Festival Pass
Submissions may be a work-in-progress; 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.). The deadline to receive the final print is June 15, 2016.
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.
Due to the high volume of submissions, we are unable to speak individually to applicants.
Festival Pass
All accepted directors will receive an all-access badge to the festival. Additionally, each director will receive 2 comp tickets to their film screening to distribute as s/he sees fit.
  • Year of production
  • Premiere Status
  • Travel to the Festival
Year of production
There is no official timeline for film completion, however priority is given to recently produced films (as of March 2013).
Premiere Status
Preference is given to Philadelphia premieres at minimum, but premiere status is not required.
Travel to the Festival
Directors should be prepared to cover their own hotel and airfare accommodations unless contacted otherwise.

Looking for Youth Submissions info?

If you or your organization is interested in submitting a film made by folks under the age of 22, click on link below.

Youth Submissions