BHFF is a true celebration of cinema and the mavericks who do what it takes to get their vision to the screen. The festival spot lights the mountain towns of Hill City, Hot Springs, and other Black Hills Communities to promote world-class films and powerful workshops.
The filmmaker is the star of the Black Hills Film Festival. 2023 will be our fourteenth annual festival with live screenings at multiple venues around the area which are solidly attended by an engaged community of artists and cinephiles and paired with great receptions and mixers. The Festival also has virtual film presentations to an International audience.
Producers Kevin Costner ("Dances with Wolves"), Jerry Bruckheimer ("National Treasure: Book of Secrets") and Director Chloe Zhao (Nomadland) knew great locations when they selected the Black Hills of South Dakota, Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands for scenes in their films. Over the years, BHFF has hosted professionals such as Actors Stephen Lang (Avatar, Gods and Generals) and Connor Trinneer (Star Trek: Enterprise, American Made), Native American Director Chris Eyre (Smoke Signals), Producer Sean Covel (Napoleon Dynamite, Carter and June), Casting Director Rene Haynes, and Executives from Warner Bros Studios.
Will your film shine among the best from around the world? Enter now!

Winning films in competition receive custom bronze sculptured trophies - the coveted “Bronze Fedora” valued at over $1,000.

1. Films that have been screened in South Dakota within a 100 mile radius of the Black Hills Film Festival to a paying public audience are not eligible for competition for prizes at the Black Hills Film Festival.
2. Only one title per entry.
3. Films must have been completed after January 1, 2020.
4. All films must be the completed final version for consideration. NO ROUGH CUTS.
5. All films submitted must be available for exhibition on Blu-Ray, .MOV or DCP formats depending on the assigned venue. BHFF will notify accepted films of presentation format needed including electronic.
6. International or Non-English speaking films must be subtitled or dubbed in English.
7. All physical copies of entries except DCP will become the property of the Black Hills Film Festival and WILL NOT BE RETURNED.
8. BHFF reserves the right to decline awarding a prize in any category.
9. Films may not be withdrawn after acceptance into the Festival.
10. Final presentation copies must be received at BHFF headquarters by the date requested in acceptance email or it will not be screened and no refunds given.
11. BHFF does not provide room, board or travel for filmmakers.
12. The entrant acknowledges and agrees that all matters not covered by these regulations, and questions arising from them, will be decided by Festival organizers or programmers at their discretion.

Selections: Films will be selected and entrants will be notified on or about June 30, 2023.
Promotional Usage: Participants agree that all materials related to their film may be published in the Festival Program, on the Web Page, in all other promotional materials in all media. Posters, images from the film, and film clips or trailers may be used independently to promote the Black Hills Film Festival.
Clearances: If selected for screening, all commercial/private property including trademark and/or copyrighted materials shown and recorded in the project must come with authorized permission for screening. The filmmaker remains entirely liable for any claims that may occur in result of screening the film.
Notification: Upon filmmaker notification, BHFF requires press kits for each film, sent to the Festival electronically complete with: a. One (1) to three (3) color photos representing the film to be used for advertising and the Festival program (not production stills), provided as digital images in the .jpeg, .tif, or .gif format b. Short description of the film and c. Two (2) Exhibition Digital or Blu-ray copies of the selected film (defined in your notification) for screening. ALL ITEMS MUST BE RECEIVED by the due date listed in your notification otherwise the film will not be shown and no refunds given.

Overall Rating
  • Joe Nyquist

    I had a wonderful experience with everyone involved in this gem of a festival. Great people, great line up, and great festival.

    May 2021
  • Black Hill is excellent. The organizers were really good and had several meetings with the filmmakers. Despite the fact that COVID-19 shook up the festivals this year (2020), it was still a great experience. I would have loved to be there in person, but it is a superb and professional team.

    April 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you James. It was a pleasure presenting your film at the 2021 Black Hills Film Festival. Hope to see you at future festivals where you can enjoy the great sites and hospitality of the Black Hills.

  • Since I could not travel it’s not fair for me to review. But they did keep me updated, which I greatly appreciate

    April 2021
  • Jesse Cowan

    Special thanks to Kyler Flock, who gave an excellent and engaging post-festival interview. I had a great time at Black Hills Film Festival! Thanks again for the wonderful forum, and may you have an excellent year!

    March 2021
  • Ken Sagoes

    We are deeply honored that our short film “The McHenry Trial - Don't Judge a Kid by Their Hoodie" was included in your festival. The event is well-organized with great communication. May the festival continue to provide filmmakers a platform that fosters creativity and self expression.

    March 2021