for 10% off submission fees


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. Blackbird was originally founded as a festival for student filmmakers but quickly opened its doors to all types of filmmakers in the spirit of collaboration and the sharing of ideas. With this in mind, Blackbird remains a festival geared towards the learning experience and attracts a large number of media production students.

The Blackbird Film Festival takes place at the State University of New York, College at Cortland and is free for all to attend.

Blackbird Film Festival accepts all genres.

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.

Blackbird Official Submission Guidelines can be found at

Blackbird Best of Fest
World Cinema Award
Documentary Film Award
Horror Film Award
Dramatic Film Award
Comedic Film Award
Micro-Cinema Award
Animated Film Award
Animated Sequence Award
Cinema Director Award
Cinematography Award
Originality in Cinema Award
Cinematic Writing Award
Cinema Editing Award
Sound Design Award
Upstate NY Film Award

Please refer to for "Official Festival Guidelines"

1.0 Overview:
Blackbird Film Fest is a film festival located in Cortland, NY and hosted by the State University of New York, College at Cortland. Submissions must be made online (via Official Selections will be screened at the college during the festival weekend. Official Selection and award notifications will be delivered electronically. Physical prizes (certificates, plaques, trophies, etc.) will be given to the award winners at the award ceremony during the Blackbird Film Festival weekend. Award winners not in attendance can have their awards mailed to them at the expense of the award winner.

Entrants warrant that they have the legal right to enter film work to the Blackbird International Film Festival. As the Director/Producer of the Film, entrants have submitted to the Festival, entrants represent and warrant to the Festival that the Film and all parts thereof are original; that the Film does not contravene the rights of any person or entity and that entrants own or control the Film and all parts thereof and have the sole authority to submit the Film to the Festival; the Film entrants submitted to the Festival is not subject to nor threatened by any litigation.

Entrants acknowledge that no fiduciary or confidential relationship now exists between the Festival and entrants, and entrants further acknowledge that no such relationship is established by these guidelines, my submission of the Film, or by the Festival’s acceptance, review or retention of the Film.

If a film is accepted, entrants will be solely responsible for delivering their exhibition video materials to Blackbird International Film Festival. A complete press kit and an online link to your film will be needed as soon after notification as possible. Blackbird International Film Festival cannot be held liable for your exhibition print/video materials which are lost or damaged.

By submitting to the Festival you agree to be included in Blackbird International Film Festival’s promotional material (newsletters, flyers, media, etc.).

2.0 Submission Rules and Regulations
Eligibility Requirements:
2.1. Films (of any length/genre) must have been completed less than 3 years prior to the festival weekend.
2.2. All entries must be either in English or subtitled in English.
2.3. Entrants confirm and warrant that they have the required legal authority to submit the entry into the festival and to use all music, images, and content in the entry.

3.0 Submission Guidelines:
3.1. Films must be submitted digitally via
3.2. Blackbird Film Fest is only accepting completed works at this time; no works-in-progress will be considered.
3.3. The deadline for all submissions is December 1st. Late entries will not be considered.

4.0 Judging and Selection:
4.1. Each submission will be reviewed by at least one judge for first round reviews. Films selected during the first round will be reviewed again by a group of Film Professionals / Educators whom will announce Official Selections. Names of Judges will not be released until Official Selections are announced to avoid favoritism.
4.2. All entrants will be notified regarding inclusion in the Festival by early February at the latest via A member of the Festival committee will also notify each Official Selection entrant by email.
4.3. Judging decisions are final.
4.4. Submissions that are found to have violated any of the Eligibility Requirements listed above may be disqualified at any time by the Blackbird International Film Festival.

5.0 Submission Categories and Costs:
5.1. It is the responsibility of the entrant to submit films into the correct category. Incorrect submissions may be disqualified.
5.2 Entrants may choose to ADD FEEDBACK with their submission. Entrants who submit films into the ADD FEEDBACK categories will receive a copy of the Judges feedback for that particular submission. Entrants who select the ADD FEEDBACK category will receive the Judge’s report regardless of Official Selection.
5.4. Submission fees are non-refundable and will not be waived for any reason. If a submission is not selected or disqualified, entrants will not receive a fee refund.

6.0 Prizes and Awards:
6.1. All Official Selections will receive Official Blackbird Film Festival High-resolution Laurels for promotion of the film. Official Selections will be announced early February at the latest. Once Officially Selected for inclusion in the festival, entrants are qualified to receive festival awards.
6.2. Award winners and Prizes will be announced at the Award Ceremony at the end of the Festival weekend.
6.3. Festival awards will be given to award winners at the Award Ceremony. Awards can be mailed to winners at the expense of the filmmaker.


Overall Rating
  • Oliver Theurich

    Thank you, Blackbird Film Festival.
    Our Sci-Fi short film REWINDER (a film by Jean-Luc Julien) was Official Selections at Blackbird Film Festival 2018.
    Thank you for being a great part of the festival.

    July 2018
  • Elise Sievert

    We had a wonderful time at Blackbird. Sam and the army of interns did a fabulous job communicating and running a smooth festival. Great networking with other filmmakers and a wonderful awards ceremony including a delicious dinner. The campus is beautiful and it was great get-a-way from the city. Thank you Blackbird for hosting us!

    June 2018
  • Great place! Very friendly to filmmakers! Excellent communication and organization. Highly recommended!

    May 2018
  • Misha Calvert

    What a fantastic festival! They really go above and beyond to make their filmmakers feel welcome and cherished. I loved their other selections too, and the enthusiasm and passion with which the staff approach indie filmmaking in general is really uplifting. Definitely will be submitting here again!

    May 2018
  • Nick Ronan

    Top notch in every way. This is the best run festival I have ever attended. Stellar communication, great programming, and an army of exuberant interns make this festival a true gem. I am honored to have screened two films at Blackbird. The laid back environment encourages meeting other artists... And there are some VERY talented filmmakers at this festival. I couldn't recommend it more.

    May 2018