The Black X Film Festival is a three-day film festival started by a collective of queer Black artists and accomplices to showcase Black creators, and to support Black-led charitable organizations. Through providing this free event of music and film, we showcase the radical multifaceted expressions of the Black experience. All films selected by the judges are guaranteed an online showing with the potential for an in-person screening as conditions allow.

We intentionally named the film festival, BLACK X, to play into the multiplicity of meanings of ‘X’; where X may be seen as an abbreviation of eXperience, a celebration of Black eXistence, and an homage to Malcolm X. ‘X’ is a crossroads offering the opportunity to choose to employ Black success as a revolution of social order, over the violent complacency that has shaped and characterized contemporary society.

Through foregrounding EMERGING AND MID-CAREER ARTISTS, we will provide the artistic space for professional recognition and payment for the creative labor of Black artists. The generated financial support through fundraising, affords the FAIR COMPENSATION of Black artists, and the donation of funds to organizations that are working on the ground for Black lives.

We look forward to seeing what you have made and your contributions to the Contemporary display of the Black eXperience!

Share this with a filmmaker who’d like to be a part of our annual festival!

Questions? Need a financial hardship waiver? Contact us at

All accepted filmmakers are compensated equally based on money collected via sponsors and our fundraiser. Audience and jury award winners receive additional compensation.

Films will be evaluated based on artistic merit and a focus on the Black experience. We welcome emerging and mid-career artists. A special welcome to first time filmmakers and explicitly no-budget films. We welcome music videos, shorts, feature-length films, experimental art films, web series, pilot episodes, fiction and nonfiction.

Submitted films MUST have BOTH Black directors and Black writers. For music video submissions, both the video director and musician(s) must be Black.

No more than 2 submissions per person.

This open call welcomes domestic and foreign filmmakers (f* the notion of nation-state designations and citizenship).

In order to be considered, your film profile on FilmFreeway must include a director bio, cast and crew list, photos, and film synopsis.

- All non-English films must have subtitles to be viewed
- Subtitles are not required for the INITIAL submission of English films
- ALL accepted films must have English subtitles hard-coded into the digital file AT LEAST ONE MONTH PRIOR to the festival’s premiere date. This date will differ for LATE EXTENSION films.

If you need extra support with subtitles, check out the resources below:

Resources for subtitle transcription: (3 hours free)

This is not an exhaustive list of transcription services. Please search for other options you may prefer.

Overall Rating
  • Eboni Zamani

    A great film festival. I enjoyed participating this year!

    November 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your review and rating. We appreciate you!

  • Darren Lorenzi

    When we heard about this festival from a friend we were excited to enter for a spot and thought our film would do well there. We ended up getting accepted and started following them on social media and letting our friends know in preparation. From that moment we realized this festival was not set up for success, we never got any other notifications from them through out the time (even as the festival was pushed back) and when the final program came out noticed our film was not on the list. After reaching out on social media we were told that while they enjoyed and loved our project we didnt respond to them in time for it to be included and that we should have seen an email with more details. We looked and there was no email sent to us at all. When I brought this up I was basically told "sorry" and that was it. Between the lack of communication and the constant social media posts asking people for money we realized this festival seemed to only be set up to make money for the hosts and not provide the platform it advertised. We wont be submitting to this festival in the future at all.

    October 2021
    Response from festival:

    Hello Darren, we checked our records and saw you did open the final email we sent to filmmakers the day you reached out to us on social media.

    As we've stated––and records can prove––the team of co-founders does not receive any funds aside from reimbursements for purchasing supplies and services specifically for the festival. Money raised from the film festival goes to Black-led non-profits, filmmakers, a production team, our fiscal sponsor, and a very small reserve to pay for the following year's festival. This is something we are transparent about on our GoFundMe page.

  • I actually didn’t get to screen because I found out later that my entire film needed to be closed captioned. I didn’t know that upfront. So while I was accepted, it was never comminuted that I had to caption the entire film.

    October 2021
    Response from festival:

    Hello Muhammad, we sent correspondence noting films required subtitles––with adequate time to do so––due to making sure all films we screen are accessible to those with disabilities and various needs. However, due to your review we'll be sure to add a section about subtitles––which are a standard––to our updated festival description so we'll attract filmmakers committed to accessibility for as many viewers as possible.

    EDIT: Copy noting the need for subtitles was already in the rules.

  • Yolonda Johnson-Young

    Thank you to the Black X Film Festival for doing a great job with their 2020 event. Grateful that Finding Elijah was among the selection of films screened.

    October 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so very much for allowing us to share Elijah's story with our audience. Much love and respect to you Ms. Johnson-Young.

  • Onyinye Alheri

    diverse selection of work from the black diaspora; nicely done!

    October 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your review and five-star rating, Onyinye!