The Denton Black Film Festival (DBFF) has experienced amazing growth from 800 attendees during our inaugural year of 2015 to an attendance of over 5,000 in 2018. Our 5th year will be our biggest and best year yet! The "Heart" of the festival features films from emerging and established filmmakers showcasing a mixture of narrative, documentary shorts, and feature-length films. Against the backdrop of giant screen viewings, filmmakers experience larger audiences, interactive Q&As with the audience after screenings, pre-festival promotional opportunities, workshops, panels, and networking opportunities. Our goal is to support filmmakers in honing their craft and providing films to "Entertain, Educate, and Inspire" our festival-goers. To round out this "Black Cultural" experience, additional entertainment venues provide Spoken Word, Art, Music, Comedy, and more located in the city’s bustling historic Square.

DBFF is presented by 501 (c) 3 non-profit Denton African American Scholarship Foundation (DAASF- The Foundation seeks to provide scholarships for eligible students preparing them as leaders for tomorrow.... change agents for a Global society.

At DBFF we take pride in being fair in the selection of Award and Prize recipients. in each category appointed Jurors, including industry professionals and film enthusiasts. review and rate the films eligible for competition. Note for 2019 we have added an award for Best Texas Feature and Best Texas Short Film to support Texas filmmakers.

*2019 DBFF- Stay tuned for the Announcement of Awards and Prizes available for competitive films winners.
Check out 2018 Festival Awarded Honors and Prizes
Best Narrative Feature- $20,000 Camera Package (Sponsor -Panavision)/ DJL Mavic Pro 4K Drone (Sponsor- Lewis Taylor Productions)/ DBFF Trophy and Certificate

Best Documentary Feature- $1000 Cash Prize/DBFF Trophy and Certificate

Best Short - DJL Mavic Pro 4K Drone (Sponsor-Lewis Taylor Productions)/ $250 Cash Prize (Sponsored by POORCHILD FILMS) /DBFF Trophy and Certificate

Best College Short- $150 Cash Prize/ DBFF Trophy and Certificate

Runner Ups and Honorable Mentions in each category received DBFF Trophies and/or Certificates.

2019 Award and Prize Categories:
-Best Narrative Feature
-Best Documentary Feature
-Best Short Film
-Best College Student Short
-Best Texas Feature- Submit in the appropriate category with requested info and ID -Submission also eligible for consideration for Best Narrative or Documentary Feature for the festival.
-Best Texas Short - Submit in the appropriate category with requested info and ID- -Submission also eligible for consideration for Best Narrative or Documentary Shot for the festival.

Benefits for Films Selected for Screening:
-VIP All Access festival privileges for Filmmaker and one Guest
-Complimentary Tickets (Tickets limited to Six. Discounts for additional tickets may be requested) for film production team at filmmaker’s screening
-Special Filmmaker Events -i.e. Panels-Workshops, Award Program- Mixers, etc.
-Access to VIP Designated Lounge
-Discounted hotel accommodation rates

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).

*Awards and benefits listed above are subject to change at the discretion of DBFF.
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.

• Eligible films must be written, directed or produced by Black filmmakers, OR prominently feature Black actors, OR with subject matter which relates to the Black community. Filmmakers of all races and ethnicities are welcome to submit as long as 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 shown theatrically, sold, or having been distributed on broadcast, cable, satellite VOD or DVD by opening day of the festival may be submitted, but are not eligible for competition.
• Only films completed after January 1, 2017 are eligible for competition and awards.
• Films must be completed by their submission date as works in progress are not accepted.
• Competitive Films must be submitted through FilmFreeway with an online screener (HD-YouTube-Vimeo), as the preferred method.
• Films not selected for screening during the film festival may be chosen to screen during any pre and/or post-festival event. The filmmaker will be notified of all screenings.
• Films selected for any screenings (pre, during and post-festival) will be provided at the filmmaker’s expense in the exhibition format specified by the date set by DBFF.
• Collegiate Filmmakers Only: With submission provide proof of student status at the time of production by sending a copy of student ID or unofficial transcript showing enrollment in good standing to
* Press kits, photo materials, trailers, teasers or any other promo materials should be provided through submission process at FilmFreeway.
• 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 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, the 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 the DBFF and 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
  • Miriam Pollock

    The leadership of this festival is, extremely, invested in the filmmakers. Very warm, welcoming and professional!

    March 2018
  • Antoine Allen

    Amazing film festival that make you feel like home.

    March 2018
  • Regina Udalor

    Wasn't able to attend the festival, but they were professional and very good communication. Will still put my film for Denton Black film Festival in future.

    February 2018
    Response from festival:

    We appreciate the time you took to rate DBFF. We strive to be the Best and want to provide both filmmakers and our audiences with a quality experience. Hope to see you at 2019 DBFF we are planning an amazing 5th year celebration.
    DBFF Team

  • Loki Mulholland

    The Denton Black Film Festival really does a great job of making you feel welcomed as a filmmaker. The community appreciates independent film and there's lots of great places to eat. I can't wait to submit my next film to this festival.

    February 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for taking time tp provide a review. We want to be an exceptional festival and want the feedback. It was great having you at the festival. Always a special treat for our audiences when the filmmaker is in attendance. We look forward o any future projects and hope you can join us for our 5th year celebration in 2019. We're planning already for a special time!

  • Cheryl Fabio

    Small town feeling and a great place to receive and make an impact. I was only there for the last two days of the festival. A growing festival committed to identifying programs reflective of Denton's Black Community. Please hold dear the importance of Documentary Films to our community, we can't turn away from those sometimes difficult stories. If we do, we lose the record and recycle the pain. Our film took home an Honorable Mention for Best Documentary. Thank You. I'll be watching Denton Black Film Festival's growth. Thank you for including us!

    February 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for taking the time to rate us. We embrace the small town feel in that we want a festival where everyone can feel welcomed. Documentary feels are valued here. Each year we take pride in providing not only films which entertain, but those that also educate and inspire. It was our pleasure to screen your film "Evolutionary Blues- West Oakland's Musical Legacy". Good luck to you with the film and any future projects.