<> Bijou Film Festival invites narrative film, music video, documentary, and animated works that expose and celebrate the Black/African origins of electronic music, and other art forms.
<>Those works can be:
- About the past, present, future of Black/African music from anywhere in the world (electronic music a plus)
- About Black DJ’s and/or music producers/musicians past and present
- About the house and electronic music scenes in various Black cities
- Films, music videos, or animated works that heavily feature electronic music made by Black creators.
Bijou is a 5-day immersive Black film experience complete with an eclectic mix of films, artist talks, DJ performances, and hella Black swag.
Our festival is excited to offer our audiences and makers opportunities to talk back, to connect, to expand creative networks, and spark new collaborations.
We invite participation from established and emerging filmmakers at Bijou Film Festival and look forward to connecting with you for during Juneteenth week 2023!
Bijou’s Cultural Expression Jury, made up of established multi-genre artists and art curators will award the following prizes for the feature films:
- Best Short ($100 in cash)
- Jury Prize (Black Fantastic Short of the Year, 2023)
- Best Film ($500 in cash)
- Jury Prize (Black Fantastic Feature of the Year, 2021)
- Most Fantastic Black Aesthetic ($100 Cash Prize)
- Best Music Video
- Best Animated Feature
- Best Animated Short
- Best Documentary Feature
- Best Documentary Short
- Best Experimental Feature
- Best Experimental Short
Terms, Rules, Guidelines
1. Bijou Film Festival happens online and in person. The Festival takes place annually during Juneteenth week.
2. The aim of the Festival is to highlight the Black origins and historical contributions of the global Black community to various art forms.
3. In addition to our featured films, the Festival also organizes special events such as filmmaker talk backs, discussions of Black Fantastic Otherness, contemporary DJ sets, highlights of artists working in multiple genres whose work exudes Fantastic Black Otherness. Every Bijou event will begin with acknowledgements of indigenous sovereignty, honoring of ancestors across the Diaspora and more specifically Black creators, and an affirmation of Black creative futures that are prosperous, totally liberated, and fully expressed.
4. Official Selection
4.1 Feature Films
We invite feature films from the global Black world. This section will present films that explore the Black origins of electronic music by: 1. Specifically speak to the topic 2. Heavily featuring early electronic music by Black creatives 3. Heavily feature current electronic music by Black creatives 4. Heavily feature Black electronic music makers in context with other art forms
In order to submit to this category, the total running time of the film needs to be 40 minutes or over (including credits).
We welcome narrative and documentary feature films to be presented at Bijou Film Festival.
4.2 Short Films
We invite 7 short films from the global Black world. This section will present films that explore the Black origins of electronic music by: 1. Specifically speak to the topic 2. Heavily featuring early electronic music by Black creatives 3. Heavily feature current electronic music by Black creatives 4. Heavily feature Black electronic music makers in context with other art forms
In order to submit to this category, the total running time of the film needs to be of less than 40 minutes (including credits).
We welcome narrative, documentary, music videos, and animation short films to be included in Bijou Film Festival.
4.3 Online Festival & Oakland-based in-person (social distancing w/community feel)
This program offers an immersive audience experience online & in-person, presenting fantastic representations of fantastic Black beings. Projects must be viewable via one of our accepted formats.
4.4 Honoring Our Ancestors
Bijou Film Festival honors the Black instigators who dared to create new art forms and to be the first of their kind within existing forms. One of the fathers of house music, Frankie Knuckles, and the father of Black film, Oscar Micheaux, along with others who paved the way are the Spiritual and Creative foundations on which the festival
5.1 All filmmakers must own the rights to the films they are submitting and grant Bijou film festival temporary screening rights, and additional showcase rights beyond the festival.
6. Juries and Awards
The international leadership team of wood//work collective where the concept of Fantastic Black Otherness was seeded will work together to judge accepted films for:
+ Best Film
+ Jury Prize, for the film demonstrating the most obvious expression of Fantastic Black Otherness
+ Best Director
+ Best Actor
+ Most Fantastic Black Aesthetic
7.1 Selection Procedure
Only films that have been registered can be considered for selection.
Film registrations are accepted exclusively online on FilmFreeway.
wood//work collective will accept films made anytime from the inception of electronic/house music through to our final submission date.
The Festival Director will be assisted by his staff of programmers, as well as by a group of correspondents and international consultants, each responsible for different geographical areas, in order to select the Projects.
Selection will be made under the following criteria: latest aesthetics and expressive trends in international cinema, films demonstrating innovation and creative originality.
7.2 Submission Deadlines
Following deadlines must be met without exception:
Early Submission Deadline: March 24th, 2023
Regular Submission Deadline: April 28th, 2023
Late Submission Deadline: May 26th 2023
All the films must be registered by May 26th 2023
All the screeners have to be received by June 7st 2023
7.3 Registration Fees
It is free to enter.
7.4 Materials to submit
Films are to be submitted in their original version for the selection process. Films in English do not require translation. Films in other languages must be subtitled in English.
All Projects must be uploaded via FilmFreeway Secure Online Screener system, via a Vimeo link entered directly on the online application.
Bijou Film Festival reserves the right to disqualify any Project that is not submitted via one of these formats.
* All filmmakers should be prepared to provide headshots, bios, and any additional promotional photos you have for your project immediately. We encourage filmmakers to add your photos and bios to the Film Freeway website for your own ease. If we can, we'll pull your items from the site.
If your project includes non-English dialogues, please ensure all subtitles are hard-coded to your video file (we do not accept a translated list of dialogue on paper).
Projects must be complete to be accepted. wood//work collective encourages the submissions of short clips (10-59 seconds) for use in our social media promotions of the festival. Trailer submissions are also encouraged alongside your film.
7.7 Premiere Status
Bijou Film Festival's commitment to inclusion of as many Black creatives as possible means that we do not require “premiere status” for our films. Please note if our festival will be the premiere screening of your film, and we will include that in our promotions leading up to the festival.
All the submitted films will be notified by June 9th 2023. Early submissions will receive earlier notification.Bijou Film Festival's team will be in contact with all accepted filmmakers to answer any process questions.
8. Selected Films/Projects
Bijou festival team will notify all accepted filmmakers utilizing the contact information provided. It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to ensure that the contact information provided on the submission form is correct.
9. Participants Obligations
No film may be withdrawn from the festival program after its participation has been publicized. During the festival, no participating film may be screened outside the festival venues prior to its official presentation at the festival.
Participation in the festival requires the unconditional adherence to all regulations set out in these guidelines.
The Directors of Bijou Film Festival reserves the right to rule on any cases not provided for in these guidelines.
9.1 Filmmaker Agreement
Selected films will receive a Filmmaker Agreement to be duly completed and returned no later than June 9th 2022. Receipt of the form by the Festival implies the legal acceptance of the invitation by all concerned and will be considered definitive and irrevocable.
The invitation of a project to participate must remain confidential until the announcement of the program by the Bijou Film Festival. Failure to comply will result in its exclusion from the selection. The general scheduling and screening times are the sole responsibility of BFF.
All the material required for the Festival catalog (synopses, cast and credits, biography and a complete filmography of the director, photographs of the director, of actors and scenes from the film in b/w and color, plus a brief director’s comment on the film) must reach the Festival as soon as possible, but no later than June 9th 2023.
9.4 Press Material
The presenters of films participating in the Festival must send the promotional material for distribution to the press and potential buyers (press book, digital images of the film and the director, video material, audio clips, etc.) under separate cover, at their own expense, no later than May 28th 2023, in the quantities that will be requested after the invitation.
9.7 Official Logo
All forms of promotional activity after the presentation of the program Bijou Film Festival should feature both the Bijou Film Festival and wood//work collective logos, and include exact promotional wording provided by the festival to the participants.
All participants in the film festival, in addition to promotions, networking opportunities, and introduction will also receive any or all of the following: wood/work collective swag, Bijou festival swag, one or more item signifying your participation in the movement to elevate and celebrate Black Fantastic Otherness.
11. Usage Rights
The participant declares and guarantees that he/she is the holder of all usage rights necessary for the use of the film in the context of this agreement and that he/she is in a position to effectively grant Berlin Film Week these rights. The participant affirms that any third parties involved in the production and distribution of the film have agreed, where necessary, to its use in the context of Bijou Film Festival as specified in this agreement. The participant guarantees that by using the film in the context of this agreement, no rights of third parties, including persons depicted in the film, are infringed.