Thank you to the Ford Foundation for their generous support.

The 4th annual Detroit Black Film Festival
This year's theme - " Cinema × Cuisines × Cocktails "

Join us for the 4th Annual Detroit Black Film Festival!
The festival takes place Wednesday, September 27 - Sunday, October 1st, 2023 at 3 locations:

Location 1: Carr Center, 15 E. Kirby, Detroit, MI 48202
Location 2: Marlene Boll YMCA Theater, 1401 Broadway, Detroit, MI 48226
Location 3: DoubleTree Hotel, 525 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226

Look forward to an unforgettable 5 days of celebrating the rich diversity and talent within the black film community.

View the TRAILERS on the DBFF INSTAGRAM page.


All Access Festival Pass - $200
All Movie Screenings
Creatives x Content & Conversations with Bryan Smiley
Awards Ceremony
Taste of Black Spirits: "The Cocktail Concierge" Event

Festival Pass - $100
All Movie Screenings
Creatives x Content & Conversations with Bryan Smiley
Awards Ceremony

One Day Screening Pass - $25
All Movie Screenings for the Day

Individual Tickets
One Hour Block of Movies - $15
Creatives x Content & Conversations with Bryan Smiley - $30
Awards Ceremony - $40

From thought-provoking documentaries to captivating narratives, this year's festival promises to showcase a wide range of compelling stories that highlight black experiences. Get ready to be immersed in a world of captivating cinematography, powerful performances, and thought-provoking discussions.

We can't wait to see you at the 4th Annual Detroit Black Film Festival.

Dear Filmmakers,

On behalf of the Detroit Black Film Festival, we extend our heartfelt thanks. It was our honor to screen such unique and powerful stories.

We are pleased to announce the 2023 Detroit Black Film Festival awardees:

Best Director
Gregory Allan Williams

Best Short Film
We Were Meant to

Best Feature Film
Gaining Ground: The Fight for Black Land

Best Drama

Best Documentary
Feature Film
Let The Church Say

Best Documentary
Short Film

Best Animated Film
Street Light

Best Student Film
Speak Up Brotha!

Debut Filmmaker Award

Breakthrough Film Award
Electric Pioneers

Independent Spirit Award
Intimate Betrayals

Independent Spirit Award
Die Willie Die

Independent Spirit Award

Best Screenplay

Best International
Feature Film
Purple Don’t Cry

Best International
Short Film
The Perfect Knight

Festival Choice Award
Feature Film
The SixTripleEight

Festival Choice Award
Short Film
Green Trip

Festival Choice Award
Short Film
Black is Beautiful

Films must be submitted via digital download.
Short films can be up to 45 minutes in length.
Feature Films can be up to 100 minutes in length.
Films must be in English or have English subtitles.

All entries will be viewed by the selection committee. Filmmakers will be notified if selected or not, via email.

Filmmakers retain all of the rights to their film / intellectual property.

Overall Rating
  • Gregory Williams

    A wonderful festival experience! Great interaction with other filmmakers and audiences. The Q&A’s were insightful and encouraging. The festival curators genuinely care about filmmakers and about the Detroit arts community. Honored and grateful to be selected for inclusion. Your compassion and hard work was evident throughout the festival. Our best to all.

    January 2024
  • It was an honor to have my documentary selected in the Detroit Black Film Festival. Thank you for this amazing opportunity!

    October 2023
  • Ken Sagoes

    We are honored and deeply grateful that our film “The Secret Weapon: Yesterday IS Today,” was selected to be a part of your festival. The festival is well-organized with great communication. May the festival continue to provide filmmakers a platform that fosters creativity and self expression.

    October 2023
  • Jamie Burton-Oare

    I couldn't have asked for a better place to Premiere my short film! This festival is phenomenal. The personal touches were everything for me and our team. The festival encouraged networking and made it easy amongst filmmakers. The festival worked collaboratively to ensure a successful screening. Detroit is beautiful downtown and easy to get around also. The people in the city are smart, grounded, and real supporters. I highly recommend this festival. The creators Marshalle and Lazar Favors are a dynamic duo.

    October 2023
  • Richard E Haywood

    Great people, great festival.Looking forward to next year.

    October 2023