The BlackStar Film Festival is an annual celebration of the visual and storytelling traditions of the African diaspora and of global Indigenous communities, showcasing films by Black, Brown and Indigenous artists from around the world.

Best Feature Narrative
Best Feature Documentary
Best Short Narrative (ACADEMY AWARDS® qualifying)
Best Short Documentary (ACADEMY AWARDS® qualifying)
Best Experimental
Audience Awards


To be eligible for consideration:

Films must be directed by a person of African descent or who otherwise identifies as Black, Brown or Indigenous, and feature persons of African descent, or tell a story of Black, Brown or Indigenous experiences.

Narrative feature films and documentary films must not exceed a runtime of 120 minutes.

Shorts must not exceed a runtime of 40 minutes.

Non-English language works must have English subtitles at the time submitted. Dialogue lists will not be accepted.

Though not required for eligibility, preference is given to premiere status films: Philadelphia, East Coast, US, North American, and World premieres.

Note: Submissions may be in work-in-progress form; however, works that are not final cuts must be clearly marked “Work in Progress (WIP)” or “Rough Cut” with an indication of what will change or what is missing (e.g., temp sound, missing animation, etc.). If accepted, final prints/media files must be received by June 15, 2023. No exceptions.

Entrants must fully comply with these entry rules and regulations, including all deadlines, film length, entry material and other requirements.

Note: Entry fees are in U.S. dollars, are per film and are non-refundable. BlackStar reserves the right to disqualify a submission, without refund of any kind, if eligibility requirements are not met including if eligibility status changes post-submission. Shorts are films 40 minutes or less; features are films greater than 40 minutes, but not exceeding 120 minutes.

Students: Entry fees for student submissions for the Official Entry Deadline will be waived upon receipt of a photocopy of a current and valid student ID card or a letter from an accredited school that verifies enrollment. For questions, contact

Films will be automatically entered into audience competition unless the entrant(s) request to be withdrawn. Entrants must make this request at the time of application.

Please note that recipients of the juried Short Narrative and Short Documentary Awards are eligible for consideration in the Live Action Short and Documentary Short categories of the Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy's rules.

Overall Rating
  • Helia Behrooz

    It was an honor to have our short "A Morsel Of Love" be part of the BlackStart. Very inclusive, organized, and communicative. Until next time... Thank You

    August 2022
  • André Luís Lopes Neves

    We are very glad to participate in this amazing festival, with great team, films and events. Thank you so much for everything

    August 2022
  • Jo Rochelle

    Had a fabulous time at BlackStar. It was a very well organized festival with wonderful films and great events. I was invited to participate on a panel and thoroughly enjoyed the question and answer portion after the screening of my film. Looking forward to attending BlackStar again in the near future!

    August 2022
  • Evelyn Mercedes Muñoz Marroquín

    Being part of this festival was a wonderful experience, the team always had a great communication with me, even though I couldn't make it in person. This festival was a great opportunity for us to premiere in US. Our best wishes to BlackStar Film Festival!

    August 2022
  • Jasmin Mara López

    So much love for this festival! From their beautiful programming to the genuine care they extend to audiences and filmmakers, BlackStar melted this little heart.

    August 2022