This February 2024, as part of Black Futures Month, the Crenshaw Dairy Mart (CDM) will host its first one-day film festival at The Miracle Theater in Inglewood, CA.
As an organization at the intersection of art and abolition, CDM is asking: how does film play a role in the visual interpretation of this intersection? CDM seeks to explore how local filmmakers shift narratives on creativity and representation of our local community and how filmmakers utilize imagination and storytelling to envision new worlds and opportunities outside of systems that were not built to sustain our creativity.
Los Angeles is home to the filmmaking industry, yet there lacks a clear and sustainable pipeline for local filmmakers of color to access opportunities and even fewer opportunities for Black filmmakers specifically to experiment, fail, and grow safely. We understand the lack of resources and the level of risk associated with exploring this field and want to provide a safe space for artists at the margins to explore all realms of their creativity.
The Crenshaw Dairy Mart believes that the marginalization of artists and arts workers of color, particularly Black creatives, combined with the historically undervalued compensation for creative labor to cultural workers, has generated a harmful and unsafe creative environment for Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color and arts workers of color.
We believe artists at the intersections of abolition and healing should have abundant resources for experimentation and creation within their community as conduits and conspirators against White Supremacist, capitalist, colonial, and imperialist regimes. We hope this hyperlocal festival provides Black and brown filmmakers from South Central, Inglewood, and across Los Angeles with the opportunity to feel seen, heard, and celebrated.
Crenshaw Dairy Mart Film Festival Submission Terms & Conditions
Entrants must fully comply with these Entry Rules and regulations, including deadlines, film length, entry material(s), and accepting terms before submission, as well as those listed below. Submissions to the 2024 Crenshaw Dairy Mart Film Festival are open October 2, 2023, through November 10, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. PT.
Call for Submissions & Category Details
The CDM Film Festival uplifts and prioritizes underrepresented, LA-based filmmakers of color with films that expand how we define and represent love. Categories include:
For the love of Spirit, Love & Practice
The theme explores spiritual practices and love as powerful tools for personal growth, healing, and community building. Films might examine different spiritual traditions within Black communities, explore how these practices influence daily life and interactions, or showcase narratives of love and compassion as forces for social change.
For the love of Ancestry and the Diaspora
This theme explores the love, honor, and respect of our ancestors across the diaspora. How does our relationships with our lineage (blood and communal) inform our art and how we move through the world?
For the love of: Rest, and the Political
This theme explores films that question our notions of productivity and emphasize the importance of rest as a form of resistance. Films could explore the political implications of rest, the systemic forces that deny rest, and the potential for rest to serve as a form of healing and protest against oppressive societal structures.
For the love of: Growing as Our Birthright
This theme explores our birthright and passion for farming, water usage/conservation, land access, food sovereignty, and agricultural access in Black communities (in the fields of sustainable agriculture and environmental justice).
For the love of: Freedom and Imagining New Systems
This theme explores abolition as a concept and practice. How do we envision the destruction of the systems that no longer serve us, and how are we imagining a world where we are all free and cared for?
ONE ENTRY FEE ($25) PER FILM SUBMISSION. The same film can be entered into multiple categories, but each new film submission requires a separate entry fee. If the filmmaker chooses to enter more than one category with the same film, please add an incremental numerical addendum in brackets after the title, i.e., "Film Title" (1), "Film Title" (2), etc., as the system requires this differentiation in the case of multiple entries with the same title.
Refunds & Waivers. The submission fee has been discounted to $25 per entry to provide equitable access to our upcoming filmmakers. CDM does not offer waivers or refunds for entry fees or other associated costs.
Who Should Submit
Priority will be given to Black and underrepresented filmmakers of color local to Inglewood, South Central, and the greater Los Angeles area. National/International filmmakers may still submit for consideration.
Screening, Selection & Notifications
Every film submitted will undergo a thorough consideration process. Each film will be screened in its entirety by the CDM Selection Committee. Films are assessed based on a blend of their overall technical skill, compelling storytelling, and unique creative vision. The films selected will all communicate a distinct perspective, challenge existing narratives, and explore new paradigms for people of the global majority.
All submissions are screened and evaluated by the CDM Selection Committee, appointed by the Executive Director. Their reports are final and confidential. The Crenshaw Dairy Mart Film Festival will screen long and short-format films received by CDM and given Official Selection status. CDM will not refund or return any materials if a film is withdrawn.
CDM Film Festival will also accept a limited number of unfinished projects to be highlighted as part of the festival’s special work-in-progress programming. A project’s final intended format must fall into one of the above categories. Unfinished narrative, documentary, and animated projects will be prioritized.
- CDM Film Festival will accept the following video formats: mp4/.mov/WMV/.avi/FLV
- Upload resolutions from 720x400px up to HD material of 1920x1080p.
- Files should not exceed 6 GB in size.
- All non-English speaking films must be presented in their original version with English subtitles.
- If accepted, all films must submit a closed caption file in .scc, .srt, or .vtt format.
Short Film Entries should not exceed 40 minutes, including titles and credits. Film types include:
- Narrative Short, Live-action dramatic, comedic, horror, sci-fi/fantasy narratives
- Documentary Short, Live-action nonfiction films
- Animated Shorts, Animated films, dramatic or nonfiction
- Musical Short, music videos, dance films, and animated music videos
- Submission copies must be submitted online (no physical media will be considered).
Only films completed after February 17, 2022 - November 10, 2023, will be considered for Official Selection unless otherwise approved. If accepted, final screening copies must arrive no later than January 15, 2024, or the entry will not be included in the festival.
Usage Rights. All entries selected for our 2024 Crenshaw Dairy Mart Film Festival have the right to use film stills and portions of accepted films for promotional purposes.
By submitting your project, you acknowledge that:
- Your film is not subject to any litigation, nor does any litigation threaten it.
- You are duly authorized to have this film screened at the festival.
- You have secured the rights to any and all music and footage used in the film.
- You fully indemnify and hold Crenshaw Dairy Mart and the Crenshaw Dairy Mart Festival utterly harmless from any and all claims whatsoever that may arise from the usage of submitted materials.
Publicity Releases. Filmmakers must confirm participation in writing and complete festival participation forms (i.e., publicity release, etc.) by December 30, 2023.