The Denton Black Film Festival (DBFF) in its 9th year is an inclusive, Black cultural experience with film at its heart and spotlights on other forms of storytelling, like spoken word, art, music, comedy, and dance. We also highlight social justice issues through films and panel discussions. After pivoting to a virtual experience in 2021 and 2022 we look forward to returning to an in-person Festival with virtual components. We anticipate over 10,000 attendees and our plans for 2023 DBFF include an interactive tech expo, various workshops, panels and events hosted by the DBFF Institute (DBFFi). Launched in 2018, DBFFi connects creatives with insight into the film industry to help them hone their craft.

In our competitive program awards are provided in each category and have included Panavision camera packages, cash prizes, trophies, and certificates. Finalists for each award category are determined by the submission team's ratings and announced prior to the Festival's opening day.
The selection of award recipients in each category are accomplished through a ranking system by appointed jurors which includes industry professionals and film enthusiasts. Award winners are announced at the Awards Celebration and on social media at the end of the Festival. Winners not in attendance will receive their awards via mail within two weeks of the Festival's closing.
Note: Award eligibility is subject to any restrictions or conditions imposed by applicable laws and regulations (international, federal, state or otherwise), and the award recipient is responsible for all applicable taxes, tariffs, insurance, and similar charges or costs (if any).
For international filmmakers, awards and prizes will have free shipping, but the filmmaker is responsible for any duties, taxes, special fees, etc. Certain prizes may not be available internationally and may only be available in the USA. No alternate or additional compensation will be provided in this situation.

Screening Filmmaker Benefits:
– Two VIP Experience (All Access) Festival privileges for filmmaker and one guest
– Six complimentary tickets + discounts for additional tickets may be requested.
– Special filmmaker events i.e. panels, workshops, award programs, mixers, etc.
– Access to any special VIP spaces
– Discounted hotel accommodation rates are available for all filmmakers and Festival
attendees. Deadline dates for reservations apply.

* Categories, awards and benefits are subject to change at the discretion of DBFF.

Eligible films must be:
1. Written, directed, or produced by Black filmmakers; OR
2. Prominently feature Black actors; OR
3. Feature subject matter which relates to the Black community and/or Black experience.
Filmmakers of all races and ethnicities are welcome to submit when one of the previously mentioned criteria are met.

Open to U.S. and international entries. Films made in a language other than English must have English subtitles.
Films completed after January 1, 2020 and submitted through FilmFreeway with paid submission fees are eligible for the Competitive program and awards. Invitational films may be included in Festival programming, but are not eligible for awards.
Films must be submitted through FilmFreeway with an online screener with HD, YouTube or Vimeo as the preferred methods.
Films must be completed by the final submission date as works in progress are not accepted.
Selected films will be provided at the filmmaker’s expense in the specified exhibition format by the date specified by DBFF.
College student category films must provide proof of student status at the time of production by uploading to FilmFreeway or sending a copy of a dated student ID or unofficial transcript showing enrollment in good standing to This proof should be provided when the film is submitted for consideration.
Press kits, photo materials, trailers, teasers, or any other promo materials should be provided through FilmFreeway at the time of submission.
Film submissions attest original work with no disputes regarding ownership or copyright. The submitted work does not defame or invade the rights of any person living or dead and DBFF.
Submitted films may be utilized for promotional purposes of the Festival, limited to private screenings, and preview-only copies for press and supporters, unless otherwise arranged with DBFF.
Submission fees are non-refundable, and once submitted a film may not be withdrawn without a written request and then at the sole discretion of DBFF.
All submissions and selected entries will be handled with the utmost care. However, DBFF cannot accept responsibility for losses, damages or additional charges incurred during shipping, due to file errors, due to authoring errors, due to normal wear and tear, or due to equipment failure.
DBFF is not responsible for any claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) arising from or in connection with any claim (including those of third parties) involving music clearances, copyright, trademark, credits, publicity of any film submitted to or screened by DBFF.
Reproduction Agreement:
Submission grants DBFF and its affiliates permission for accepted films (3 minutes maximum) and related marketing and promotional materials to be reproduced and distributed solely for purposes of jurying, education, and promotion of the festival.

Overall Rating
  • Excellent film festival! Honored that "Becoming Black Lawyers" was selected for inclusion in this year's Denton Black Film Festival. Extremely well-organized and well-executed. Wonderful job all-around - even virtually - which is no easy feat! I genuinely look forward to participating in the in-person festival in the future. Grateful to have been a part of this excellent event! Kudos to Harry Eaddy, Festival Director, Linda Eaddy, Director of Film Programming, and Sarah Hodge, Coordinator of Film Programming!

    April 2022
    Response from festival:

    As we are getting ready for 2023 DBFF we are reflecting back on 2022 and it was such a pleasure to have your film and participation in the virtual festival. We plan to be back in person and hope you will remember us.

  • Denton Black Film Festival is one of the Best Film Festivals. PERIOD! I was very sad we could not attend due to Covid, but the virtual version has been executed at the highest level. The the founders and team behind the festival are extremely organized and professional. It has been an honor and privilege to bring our film, United We Heal, to this festival. I have nothing but respect for the founders. You really have to care to put together something this amazing. The events, while virtual, were so well put together. 10 outta 10 all around!!

    February 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thanks so much for your review. We work hard to earn your respect for what we do. Hope you will be able to join us in person for future festivals. It was wonderful having your film as part of 2022 DBFF.

  • Arthur Cartwright

    Great film festival. I can only imagine how it would be in person. Look forward to being apart next year!

    February 2022
    Response from festival:

    We loved having your film "Derrick" as part of 2022 DBFF. We are looking forward to an in person festival for 2023 with some virtual and hope you will check us out in the future.

  • Christopher Kensil

    Excellent festival! The organizers did a great job putting on this event! Kudos to everyone involved! Great job DBFF!!

    February 2022
    Response from festival:

    Chris- It was great e-meeting you and having your film as part of 2022 DBFF. Hope you will think of us in the future with any new projects.

  • AKin Productions

    Very organized! Detailed, lively and great festival to be apart of in showcasing filmmaker's and their work!

    February 2022
    Response from festival:

    Loved having "The Nest" as a part of 2022 DBFF. We will be back in person in 2023 and hope you will remember us for any future projects.