The August Wilson African American Cultural Center (AWAACC) is a performing arts center, named for Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, and Pittsburgh native, August Wilson. Our programming focuses on exhibiting and celebrating art and expression from Black culture across the African diaspora.

From age-old classics to contemporary work, the Black Bottom Film Festival (BBFF) presented by Citizens, illuminates and celebrates African American cinema and uniqueness of Black people on film. The festival screens short and feature films rooted in the recurring themes of spirituality, race, family conflict, honor, duty and the struggle of the working-class; themes ever-present in August Wilson’s American Century Cycle plays. In particular, the festival celebrates African American filmmaking pioneers and history makers. The BBFF fosters an examination of how Black filmmakers use art to inspire, challenge, confront, and influence American culture. We are pleased to partner with Howard University on programming and educational offerings.

The August Wilson African American Cultural Center believes that creativity is boundless. We invite you to share your creativity on film with us.
Special Guests
Dr. Jacqueline Stewart, President of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and first African American host of Turner Classic Movies
Maya S. Cade, Creator and curator of Black Film Archive and scholar-in-residence at the Library of Congress

Tickets can be purchase at: https://awc.culturaldistrict.org/production/91832/black-bottom-film-festival

Industry Luminary Award
Given to an individual or organization that has championed the rich history of the Black experience in film.
The 2023 Industry Luminary Award will be presented to Dr. Jacqueline Stewart, President of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and host on Turner Classic Films

Juried Film Awards:
Best of Show – Short Film
Best of Show – Feature Film
Best of Show- Documentary

Film Submission Rules, Terms & Conditions

For the purposes of our festival, SHORT FILMS can have a maximum runtime of 25 minutes.
Filmmakers are responsible for sorting out the copyright on their own materials. All films and projects submitted must be free from any legal disputes.
By submitting to us, you give us the right to screen your film in front of a live audience.
We may promote clips from your film on social media, based on the provided content.
We reserve the right to change the date and/or venue of the festival. All filmmakers will be informed about any changes via email.

We place no restrictions on your work in terms of premiere status or whether your work has previously been made available online. We do ask that any public viewing or free streaming access online of your project be taken down from moment of official selection & acceptance through the entire duration of festival (regardless of screening virtually and/or in-person) until the closing night of festival on October 29, 2023.
Any technical issues with submitted films are 100% the responsibility of the filmmaker. The programming team will reach out if there is concern your film will not pass QC by DCP standards.

We cannot provide refunds.
By submitting to us you agree to our terms and conditions. We reserve the right to update our terms and conditions.

Overall Rating
  • Safiya Songhai

    This was a lovely event with a gorgeous venue. They had rare speakers there like the granddaughter of the Nicholas Brothers and a descendant of Oscar Micheaux. We were well taken care of by the festival and met lots of really supportive audience in the Pittsburgh community. I loved it. Thank you organizers. I hope to meet again.

    November 2023
  • This is one of the best festivals I have attended this year and we are in over 58 of them. Noel and Courtney lead this event with such talent, expertise and inspiration. We got a tour of the permanent exhibition at the August Wilson Cultural Center. There were so many informative panels. I loved that there were historical films programmed as well as new films. I met so many new friends and filmmakers and loved the networking element as well. Pittsburgh was great! It is such a fun walking city - not too big. The people were so welcoming. I would highly recommend this festival to any filmmaker with aligned endeavors.


    Maryann Garger

    November 2023
  • Chezale Rodriguez

    I'm honored to have had "Dear Ancestors" be selected as part of this year's festival and alongside such great talent! Unfortunately, I could not be in attendance but my family represented on my behalf and had nothing but wonderful things to say about their experience. I do hope to attend in the future. Thank you BBFF & congratulations to everyone involved!

    November 2023

    An amazing time was had. Excellent curation, the venue is awesome to witness, and great opportunity for networking. Thank you so much for having "Ursula" in this year's selections!

    November 2023
  • Very well organized. Very hospitable and professional. The festival provided great networking opportunities and excellent films to view as well as an educational, and historical component for seasoned and emerging filmmakers! It was excellent

    November 2023