A film challenge to honor the black experience.


This contest is inspired by the swelling impact of the Black Lives Matter movement and is meant to add to the many voices intent on the urgency of recognizing, honoring & lifting up Black Stories in the United States & around the world. Filmmakers from within San Diego County and throughout the globe are invited to participate. Filmmakers will have until February 15th, 2021 to write, edit, shoot, and submit an under 15 - minute film based on or inspired by their experiences.


The black experience is one that has many faces, voices, and tones. This competition is looking for films that honor the black experience in a way that is not solely limited to the pain, struggles, and valid anxieties of black people across the world. We also seek stories that acknowledge black everyday life: black joy, black excellence, black humor, black cuisines, black spirituality, and black sexuality.


*The Black Lives Matter Film Challenge is associated with the worldwide movement but not associated with The Black Lives Matter organization and we are not a part of any political party.*

Multiple awards will be given in many categories, including “Best Film”.

The “Audience Choice Award” will be given to the film that gets the most “likes” and “shares” on social media.

”Best of” Selections will be awarded.


“Best of” selection of films will be screened in a special 2021 San Diego Film Week Screening. Selected films will also be released online on an ongoing basis leading up to the 2021 San Diego Film Week.


Film Consortium San Diego is a social venture that stimulates film and television production in the region and increases networking, employment, education, funding, and distribution opportunities in film, television, and new media. The Film Consortium holds various networking, screenings, and award events including the San Diego Film Awards, San Diego Film Week and produces the annual Local Film Showcase at the GI Film Festival San Diego.


Filmmakers will have to do the following:

Write, shoot, and edit an under the 15-minute narrative film, documentary film, or experimental film regarding the black experience. The film can be based on a true or fictional story.

These rules apply to each participating production team. The Film Consortium SD may add to or amend these rules at any time prior to the beginning of the official timed period.

Please email any questions to filmconsd@gmail.com


The Black Lives Matter Film Challenge 2021 will accept film submissions until Feb 15th, 2021.

The participating filmmakers must submit their film by the competition deadline in order to qualify for the competition (this includes submitting the film to the Black Lives Matter Film Challenge on FilmFreeway.) Only films that meet the deadline will be officially part of the competition and be eligible for awards.


Each participating filmmaker will be asked to choose optional elements that they are encouraged to use in its film. These selected creative elements include types of camera movements, shots & edits. The elements must be seen on screen.


Each team will choose two optional creative elements that should be used in their film. This is not required but highly encouraged. The final list of creative elements include:

Dutch angle
Slow Motion
Hero Shot
Jump Cuts
Zolley Shot
Freeze Frame
Dolly shot
Jump Scare


Animal safety, like cast and crew safety, is an important part of the Film Con Challenge. Films that result in the death or mutilation of an animal will be disqualified.


Any type of video or film camera may be used. There is no limit to the number of cameras. The use of a Panasonic Lumix camera is encouraged but not required.


Participating groups are encouraged to work with a composer and/or musicians to write and record music for the films. It is permissible for a participating group to use pre-recorded music; however, the participating group must have the rights to any music used in its film and must provide releases for all music used. As with music, pre-recorded sound effects are allowed, but you must have the right to use them. Note: Song parodies (i.e., use of identifiable pre-existing compositions with new or altered lyrics or music) may not be included in the film without a signed release from the composition's rights holder. This rule applies without regard to whether the song parody arguably constitutes "fair use" under the US or international copyright law.


The finished film must be a maximum of 15 minutes in duration—not including end credits. The film story may not be longer than 15 minutes.


Credits at the end of each film are limited to a maximum of 60 seconds. The 60 seconds is considered additional to the length of the film, as stated above. (That is, a film may be 15 minutes long, with an additional 60 seconds of credits, for a total running time of 16 minutes.)


Your film must be submitted with the following media:

Online via FilmFreeway: filmfreeway.com/BlackLivesMatterFilmchallenge


We recommend you make sound levels relatively even throughout your film. (If your film has uneven sound or sound that peaks, it may be modified to protect the playback equipment.)

Projection specs vary from theater to theater and are beyond the control of the Black Lives Matter Film Challenge. If your film is very dark, it may be difficult to see in a theater.

All films received on the evening of the deadline (on-time and late) will be eligible, presuming they meet the eligibility requirements.


To be eligible for the competition, Entries must be the original adaptation work of the entrant; must not infringe third-party's rights; must be suitable for publication (i.e., may not be obscene or indecent); must not contain obscene or pornographic material; may not contain defamatory statements about any person, company, organization or entity; may not invade privacy or other rights of any person, company or entity; may not in any other way violate applicable laws and regulations, and may not contain any copyrighted elements (other than as owned by the Entrant and/or FCSD). Entries containing prohibited or inappropriate content as determined by the FCSD, in its sole discretion, to be inappropriate will be disqualified. FCSD reserves the right to make the final determination as to which Entries are eligible. FCSD also reserves the right to refuse to screen a film or to make an announcement at the screening regarding the content of the film.


The Entrant should not distribute their entry/video in any way prior to receiving its official FCSD premiere screening. This includes uploading the video to any website or screening the film for groups of anyone other than the team. The Entrant is encouraged to make a trailer of their film and distribute that instead. This trailer should be no longer than 60 seconds.


To be certified as an Official Film Entry, each participating group's film/video production must follow all rules herein. The Film Con Challenge Organizers reserve the right to screen only certified Official Film Entries.


No Entries (media or documents) will be returned.


FCSD and Project Parties may, in their sole discretion, disqualify Entries deemed to be inappropriate or otherwise non-compliant.


All costs associated with the production of the Entry are solely the responsibility of the Entrant.


Eligible Entries will be judged based on the judging criteria stated below.


By submitting an Entry into the FCSD, each Entrant warrant and represents that the Entrant owns all rights to the Entry he/she is entering in this Project, including, without limitation, the video or digital recording, and the performance contained in each Entry, with the exception of any assets provided by the FCSD for use by Entrants in connection with this Project. Each Entrant further warrants and represents that the Entrant has obtained permission from each person who appears in the Entry to grant the rights to the Project Parties described in these Official Rules, and will submit copies of such permissions to the Project Parties. By submitting an Entry, Entrant agrees to the Official Rules, and further agrees to indemnify and hold the FCSD, Project Parties and their respective affiliates, officers, directors, agents, co-branders or other partners, and any of their employees (collectively, the Project Indemnities), harmless from any and all claims, damages, expenses, costs (including reasonable attorneys' fees) and liabilities (including settlements), brought or asserted by any third party against any of the Project Indemnities due to or arising out of the Entrant's Entry materials in this Project, or the Entrant's conduct during and in connection with this project, including but not limited to trademark, copyright, or other intellectual property rights, right of publicity, right of privacy or defamation. Entrant agrees to release, indemnify and hold harmless FCSD and the Project Parties from any and all claims that any advertising, presentation, web content or any other material subsequently produced, presented, and/or prepared by or on behalf of FCSD or the Project Parties infringes on the rights of Entrant's work as contained in any Entry.


Entries will be judged by a process in which qualified panels of judges will evaluate the eligible entries based on the following judging criteria:
Artistic Merit (e.g., Story, Creativity, Entertainment Value) (45%)
Technical Merit (30%)
Adherence to the Assignment (25%)


The top entry will be declared the winner. In the event of a tie, additional third-party judges will be called upon to judge the tied films and give a new score based on the above criteria. Entrants agree that the FCSD has the sole right to decide all matters and disputes arising from this FCSD and that all decisions of FCSD are final and binding.


By participating, Entrants agree to these Official Rules which are final and binding in all respects. The FCSD is governed by the laws of the state of California, and all claims must be resolved in California courts or the Federal courts located in California.


No liability or responsibility is assumed by FCSD or Project Parties resulting from any user's participation in or attempt to participate in the Film Con Challenge (FCSD) or ability or inability to upload or download any information in connection with participating in the Project. No responsibility or liability is assumed by the FCSD or Project Parties for technical problems or technical malfunction arising in connection with any of the following occurrences which may affect the operation of the Project: hardware or software errors; faulty computer, telephone, cable, satellite, network, electronic, wireless or Internet connectivity or other online communication problems; errors or limitations of any Internet service providers, servers, hosts or providers; garbled, jumbled or faulty data transmissions; failure of any email transmissions to be sent or received; lost, late, delayed or intercepted email transmissions; inaccessibility of the Website in whole or in part for any reason; traffic congestion on the Internet or the Website; unauthorized human or non-human intervention of the operation of the Project, including without limitation, unauthorized tampering, hacking, theft, virus, bugs, worms; or destruction of any aspect of the Project, or loss, miscount, misdirection, inaccessibility or unavailability of an email account used in connection with the Project. FCSD and Project Parties are not responsible for any typographical errors in the announcement of prizes or these Official Rules, or any inaccurate or incorrect data contained on the Web Site or social media sites maintained by the Film Consortium San Diego. Use of Web Site and the FCSD's social media sites is at the user's own risk. FCSD and the Project Parties are not responsible for any personal injury or property damage or losses of any kind which may be sustained to user's or any other person's computer equipment resulting from participation in the Project, use of the Web Site or the download of any information from the Web Site. By participating in the Project, Entrant agrees to release, indemnify and hold FCSD and Project Parties harmless from any and all claims, damages, or liabilities arising from or relating to such Entrant's participation in the Project.

Project Organizer
Film Consortium San Diego
Mailing Address:
2801 B Street, #30
San Diego, CA, 92102