Discover. Connect. Inspire.


The Blackbird Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in central New York state that celebrates and supports independent filmmakers from around the world. At the Blackbird Film Festival, we strive to curate an inclusive festival atmosphere - an environment where experienced professionals and first time filmmakers can strike up conversation and perhaps take something away from one another.

Founded in 2015 initially as a festival for young filmmakers, the Blackbird Film Festival opened submissions to all filmmakers in 2016 with the hope of encouraging collaboration, inspiring creativity and sharing perspectives from around the world. With this in mind, Blackbird remains a festival geared towards the learning experience and attracts a large number of media production students and film enthusiasts. Additionally, Blackbird is largely a student-run event that provides internship opportunities for students interested in media production, event planning, marketing and public relations. Each academic year, Blackbird supports over 40 student interns as they work together to bring the festival weekend to life. Also, it is important to note that Blackbird is committed to supporting female filmmakers by ensuring that at least 50% of our annual lineup of films are made by women.

​Whether you're a filmmaker or just a film enthusiast, we hope you will join us this year and experience what makes the Blackbird Film Festival one of the "Top 100 Best Reviewed" festivals according to FilmFreeway!​

Blackbird Film Festival accepts and supports all genres (of cinema and people).


Blackbird Film Fest entrants are required to pay the submission fee in order to participate in the festival. These fees support the various event costs (venues, supplies, promotional material, staff, etc.) For this reason, submission waivers will not be given for any reason. Thank you for your understanding.

Additional information about Blackbird's judging process and submission statistics can be found at

Each season, Blackbird hosts a catered Award Ceremony Dinner for all accepted filmmakers. During this celebration, Blackbird "Best Of" Category Awards (such as Best Dramatic Short, Best Documentary, etc.) are announced. Additionally, Blackbird also also announces Audience Choice Awards for each of the various screening blocks.

Exact award specifications (trophies, medallions, money, etc.) vary from year to year based on sponsorship support.

Please visit to view submission rules and guidelines.

Overall Rating
  • Rodrigues David

    THANK YOU so much 🙏🏻 for the selection as finalist and your sympathy !!
    The whole team of the film « Leaving to live » thank your warmly.
    I really recommend the Blackbird Film Festival to all filmakers.
    All the Best ! 🍀

    April 2021
  • Dilek Ince

    An absolutely wonderful experience to be part of this festival! The team was amazing, very kind and very welcoming. The festival did an incredible job creating a sense of community among the filmmakers. Everything was very professionally run and the communication was great. Thank you for a wonderful experience!!

    January 2021
  • Rafael Kent

    They are so kind and human and did a very good work in this transition to a virtual festival. Always with great information and preoccupation with us.

    November 2020
  • Portlynn Tagavi

    They did a great job organizing this during covid and though I'm sad I couldn't be there in person I'm really honored that this festival included our film. The quality of the festival and the line up of films was amazing!

    November 2020
  • Caroline Sweet

    The team did such an amazing job recognizing and acknowledging all the films and creators that are a part of the festival. They were warm, welcoming, inviting and all that in spite of Covid! Can’t wait to be there in person. A must do festival.

    November 2020