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 and brown 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, 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 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Films will be automatically entered into juried competition unless the entrant(s) request to be withdrawn.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
  • Nadhege Ptah

    It's number one in my book. It's the best experience for an artist to be involved with this festival. The quality and care of the filmmakers were the top priority, organized, well programmed and progressive overall. I plan to attend every year with or without a film in the festival.

    September 2018
  • Christopher Ortega

    If you have not been to Blackstar film festival you have no idea what you are missing out on. This festival is such a community experience. It truly altered the way I approach my own storytelling and has inspired me to think about the black artist collective. This is more than a festival, it is a revival, it is an oasis, it is where you will truly feel validated and affirmed artistically. I owe the staff at Blackstar my deepest gratitude for their hard work and support for filmmakers. I've made lifetime friends in the matter of 1 week at Blackstar.

    August 2018
  • Ellie Foumbi

    I can't say enough about this festival! I had the most INCREDIBLE time. The communication was amazing as were all the events. the screenings were really organized and well advertised. Probably one of the best festival experiences I've had in a while. I look forward to submitting new work next year.

    August 2018
  • Menelek Lumumba

    This Festival Changed my life.

    August 2018
  • Shahin Izadi

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

    January 2018