The primary objective of the Columbus Black International Film Festival is to showcase Black filmmakers locally, nationally and internationally, while highlighting a spectrum of stories told by people of the African diaspora.

This festival will also provide an advantage for filmmakers and the community to learn about the film industry through educational workshops and panel discussions, a safe space to showcase film and an opportunity to network with the filmmakers in the city.

Columbus is the heart of America and home to some of the most creative Black filmmakers in the country. This festival that will showcase new and emerging talent as well as talent that has represented our city for years.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
Short films:
Directors, Screenwriters and/or producers MUST be of African Descent Short films: running time; 5-20 mins, NOT TO EXCEED 20 mins Filmmakers will need to send us a digital copy of the film in MOV. or MP4 format for screening purposes..

Feature films:
Directors, Screenwriter and/or producers MUST be of African Descent Feature films running time; 90 mins, NOT TO EXCEED 90 mins Filmmakers will need to send us a digital copy of the film in MOV. or MP4 format for screening purposes.

Music videos:
Directors, screenwriters, producers and artist MUST be of African Descent Running time NOT TO EXCEED 6 minutes Filmmakers will need to send us a digital copy of the film in MOV. or MP4 format for screening purposes.

Short Documentary film:
Directors, Screenwriters and/or producers MUST be of African Descent Short films: running time; 5-15 mins, NOT TO EXCEED 15 mins Filmmakers will need to send us a digital copy of the film in MOV. or MP4 format for screening purposes.

Homegrown, a film made by a Columbus native or a filmmaker exclusively residing in Columbus Ohio; running time guidelines will apply

Screenplays:
Short: Screenwriters MUST be of African Descent 5 pages minimum, NOT TO EXCEED 30 pages

Feature: Screenwriters MUST be of African Descent 90 pages, NOT TO EXCEED 90 pages

Filmmakers will need to send us a digital copy of the film in MOV. or MP4 format for screening purposes.

Filmmakers must be cleared for all copyrighted materials including movie posters and trailers. All films must be made after 2017. Any films that do not meet this basic criteria will be disqualified.

Films and script must be made after 2019.

CBIFF’s goal to present filmmakers with notoriety and accolades for being officially selected to be screened at our festival and to win awards based on exceptional talent bringing great stories using film as a medium. CBIFF will gather together a panel of judges that will choose winners in each category. Throughout the festival we will give attendees the opportunity to vote on the film they liked the most and award the filmmaker with the Buckeye Audience Choice Award. On the last day of the festival we will present awards for the following categories:

Best Feature Film
Best Short Film
Best Homegrown Film
Best Music Video
Best Documentary Film
Best International Film
Best Feature Screenplay
Beat Short Screenplay
Best Animated Film
Buckeye Choice Award

Secure Online Screeners (Vimeo or YouTube links) are the preferred submission method.

• Films must be a Columbus premiere.

• If accepted, filmmakers will need to provide the following:
- a digital copy of their completed film (Vimeo or Google Drive ONLY)
- name of film
- director's name
- run time
- synopsis
- 2 high-res images from the film (NOT posters)
- photo credit information (who you would like those photos to be credited to)
- film or director's Twitter handle (optional)
- film website (optional)

• Entry title, name of entrant, and FilmFreeway tracking number must be on all materials and containers.

• Separate applications are required for each film — even if one entity is submitting more than one film.

• Please let us know if your email address changes between the time of receipt of entry and notification of results. Otherwise, you will not be advised of or receive any award you may have won.

• All winners will receive customized laurels suitable for print and/or web usage. All winners will also receive awards in person or by mail. (If you cannot attend, please provide a mailing address, and we'll send the award to you.)

• Liability: Although every possible care will be taken with your entry materials while in our possession, we cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage. Do not send any original materials.

• All students MUST upload a copy of their student ID, otherwise, the film will be disqualified.

JUDGING CRITERIA

• The Best of Division winners will be considered for the Best of Festival Award. A special panel will determine this special award.

The following criteria are applied during the judging process:
- Target audience
- Credibility
- Purpose
- Organization and development
- Concept and creativity
- Technical proficiency

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

The entrant has full rights to submit the entry and authorize its use.

Promotion Rights: Producers or distributors who enter the festival grant permission for their entries to be presented at any festival screening or event unless we are otherwise notified at the time of entry.

Publicity: Images, trailers, and reproducible still images may be used in festival programs and publicity materials, including for use by media.

Archives: We keep the winning entries for the festival's archives.

Entrant has read and agrees to abide by all festival rules.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Shelton Johnson

    Excellent film festival for networking and just watching great films. Definitely worth submitting to.

    October 2020
  • Madu Dube

    Great Festival, a big thank you to the Director and the team for this event. It was such an honor being selected & winning the best international film award. I will definitely be submitting more work in the near future.

    September 2020
  • The CBIFF was a first class event. Cristyn and her group stayed true to the festivals mission through this pandemic by giving black filmmakers a voice and platform for their creativity to be discovered. That’s important now more than ever.
    I was also humbled to be awarded “The Best Homegrown Award“. We will definitely be back with our next project.

    September 2020
  • Simone Dill

    I absolutely enjoyed my time at the festival and I loved how they accommodated and adjusted at the last minute because of the pandemic. They were still able to create the same atmospheric energy as if we were all together

    September 2020
  • Seku Browne

    From start to finish this festival was phenomenal. I thoroughly enjoyed everything from the films to the Q&As. But most importantly, I was impressed by Cristyn Steward and her team and how smooth everything went and how professional this festival was.

    September 2020