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 people from around the world.

Best Feature Narrative & Documentary
Best Short Narrative & Documentary
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, feature persons of African descent, or tell a story of the Black experience.

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

Shorts must not exceed a running time of 30 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 Philadelphia and North American 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.).

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 30 minutes or less; features are films greater than 30 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Films will be automatically entered into juried competition unless the entrant(s) request to be withdrawn. Entrants must make this request at the time of application.

Overall Rating
  • Shahin Izadi

    A fantastic festival! Watch out: this one is going places!

    January 2018
  • Michael Fequiere

    Dubbed as the "Black Sundance" this Festival is a true one of a kind experience. The staff are amazing, the films are top notch. The filmmaker workshops and panels are fantastic. And the audience is spectacular. Every film block has a packed house. It was truly an honor to screen my film in front of a huge audience! You feel the love at this festival.

    September 2017
  • Desharae Dauchan-Shakoor

    This is one of the best! Well curated. Great energy and community.

    August 2017
  • Terron Jones

    one of the best up and coming film festivals

    August 2017
  • Kaleb D'Aguilar


    August 2017