The Black August Film Festival will be held August 17 - 18, 2024, at the Flintridge Center in Pasadena. The festival will welcome films about social issues around the world.

Black August is an annual commemoration and prison-based holiday to remember Black freedom fights and political prisoners and to highlight Black resistance against racial oppression. It takes place during the entire calendar month of August.

Black August was initiated by the Black Guerilla Family in San Quentin State Prison in 1979 when a group of incarcerated people came together to commemorate the deaths of brothers Jonathan P. Jackson (d. August 7, 1970) and George Jackson (d. August 21, 1971) at San Quentin State Prison.

Last year we showed 30 films from 8 different countries and over 300 people came to support and view the films. The winner of our best feature film was Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story inked a deal with Hulu TV less than a month later. Our Best Documentary winner, Zinzun: A Revolutionary Activist was a featured Social Justice film at the Durban International Film Festival in South Africa. It was also the winner of the Social Justice Award at the San Francisco Black Film Festival.

This year we plan to show 60 films and we already have films submitted from 10 countries, so it should be even more exciting than last year.

There will also be added vendors and other things to do during the weekend of the festival.

Best Short Film
Most Educational Film
Best Foreign Film
Best Feature Film
Best Social Justice Film
Best Short Documentary
Best Feature Documentary
Black August Award
Mood of Militancy
Best Music Video

We warrant the submission of my/our original work and there are no
disputes regarding the ownership of the submission.

We also warrant the submitted material does not defame or invade the rights of any person living or dead and I/we fully indemnify the festival against any claim made for such violations of law. To the best of my/our knowledge, all of the statements herein are true and correct.

We understand that failure to adhere to the festival rules will result in disqualification and forfeiture of the entry fee.

We agree to hold the Black August Film Festival harmless from and defend them against all claims, demands, losses, damages, judgments, liabilities, and expenses (including attorney’s fees) arising out of or in connection with any and all claims of third parties, we/the.

For digital submissions, filmmaker signatures are kept "on file." Include ALL relevant terms and conditions in the box below. For example, if your terms and conditions refer to your general rules, paste them below too.

BAFF is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the festival for promotional purposes.

The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless BAFF from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

Overall Rating
  • The Black August Film Festival was one of the high points of my year. Director Dennis Haywood was an excellent host and made us feel welcome and included immediately. The films were well attended with standing room only for several showings, including my bloc. The event is very well organized and the staff and other filmmakers couldn't have been more supportive. My music video, "The Ghost of Orval Faubus" has been accepted at several other festivals now but Black August was first to recognize my work and I will always be grateful for a great experience.

    October 2023
  • Thank you Black August Film Festival! Communication, attention and passion for community and mission, and giving an amazing platform to filmmakers was wonderful! I wish we could have been there in-person this year but seeing all the blessed happenings made our hearts warm. We are so proud to have been part of the Official Selection with our film Assaman this year!

    September 2023
  • A Spectacular Cinematic Experience: Black August Film Festival in Pasadena, CA

    I recently attended the Black August Film Festival in Pasadena, CA, and was blown away by the exceptional cinematic experience it provided for both seasoned film enthusiasts and newcomers. In this review, I will discuss the festival's remarkable communication, high-quality films, warm hospitality, networking opportunities, and an impressive lineup of filmmakers and talent. However, there is room for improvement in the execution of the discussion panels, and a minor adjustment could enhance the overall festival experience.

    The festival's exceptional communication was evident from the moment attendees registered. The organizers went above and beyond to keep participants informed with timely emails, a user-friendly website, and clear signage on-site, making it easy to navigate the festival. Their dedication to ensuring everyone knew where to go and when was commendable.

    The selection of films showcased a diverse range of voices, perspectives, and genres, from thought-provoking documentaries to captivating narratives. The quality of filmmaking was consistently high, presenting stories that resonated with attendees profoundly and emotionally, leaving a lasting impression.

    The festival's warm hospitality added a delightful touch to the event. Attendees were greeted with a genuine welcome, and vendors offered delicious food and unique products, contributing to a sense of community and making the festival experience all the more enjoyable.

    The ample networking opportunities provided a chance for emerging filmmakers and industry professionals to connect, fostering collaborations and future partnerships. The festival offered an invaluable platform for newcomers and seasoned professionals to exchange ideas and experiences.

    The festival boasted an impressive lineup of filmmakers and talent, demonstrating a high level of creativity and skill, showcasing the industry's diversity and depth of talent. It was a testament to the festival's commitment to celebrating excellence in filmmaking.

    However, the discussion panels could benefit from dedicated moderators to keep discussions on track and ensure adherence to the festival's timetable. This minor adjustment would help enhance the overall festival experience.

    In conclusion, the Black August Film Festival in Pasadena, CA, was an exceptional cinematic event that left a lasting impression. Its outstanding communication, high-quality films, warm hospitality, networking opportunities, and the caliber of filmmakers and talent contributed to its success. While there is room for improvement in the execution of the discussion panels, this minor issue did not detract from the overall excellence of the festival. I look forward to attending future editions of this remarkable cinematic celebration.

    September 2023
  • Jennifer Dyer-Seymour

    I loved going to the Black August Film Festival. I screened my film there and everyone was very supportive and encouraging. The other films I saw there were awesome and thought-provoking. The Q/A after the films allowed everyone to talk about their films and get into a dialogue with others. Overall, this festival was a great experience and I hope I can show here again!!

    August 2023
  • JayTee Thompson

    The Black August Film Festival was truly an exceptional experience for our team, and we are immensely honored to have had our feature film, "Heart N Soul," showcased among such remarkable talent. The highlight of the festival was our director, JayTee Thompson, receiving his accolade for Best Director.

    We wholeheartedly recommend the Black August Film Festival to filmmakers and storytellers alike. It's not just an opportunity to share your work with a passionate audience but also a platform where your artistry is celebrated and recognized. Our journey with this festival has left an indelible mark on our hearts, and we can't wait to return.

    Thank you to the Black August Film Festival for creating such a welcoming space for filmmakers to shine. We are deeply grateful and look forward to future collaborations with this exceptional festival.

    August 2023