The Gary International Black Film Festival (GIBFF) is a dynamic weekend cinema feast located just 30 minutes from downtown Chicago in Gary, IN. The GIBFF brings filmmakers and engaged audiences together for a powerful weekend of indie Black Cinema.

The GIBFF uses film as a catalyst for stimulating cultural activity to enhance the ‘cultural capital’ of our hometown of Gary, IN by celebrating black culture through independent film and discussion. It is our goal to bring films of the highest quality that reflect the depth and transcendence of black people.

The Gary International Black Film Festival honors filmmakers who submit through the entry process. GIBFF audiences vote for awards for the following:
Best Narrative Feature
Best Documentary Feature
Best Narrative Short
Best Documentary Short
Best Youth Film
Other Awards by descretion
Winners are announced via press release.

Awards are generally non-cash, unless sponsored for the festival in the current year.

A festival-appointed jury may select a Jury prize for submitted and curated films at their discretion.

- Eligible films must be by or about Black people (African Americans or African Diaspora). While our goal is to celebrate and lift the work of Black filmmakers, we will consider film that features Black people as a predominant focus of the work.
- While the GIBFF emphasizes premieres and new works in categories including narrative and documentary features/shorts, we will consider all works including vintage and archival.
- Festival screenings may be shown on Blu-Ray or Digital formats
- Film must have a composite optical sound.
- Films receiving a theatrical or festival screening in Lake County, IN or adjacent IN counties prior to, or within one month prior to the GIBFF Festival dates will not be considered for the Festival. Exceptions will be made under special circumstances. Please contact our office if you agree to any other screenings directly before or after the GIBFF, other than those listed on your application.
- Works in progress may be submitted as long as a final copy will be available for screening during the Festival.
- All accepted entries must be postmarked by September 27, 2019
- Previously submitted works are eligible for re-submission.

- All works must be submitted via ONLINE SCREENER (strongly preferred method of submission) or BluRay format. No other formats will be accepted. BluRays will not be returned without stamped self addressed envelope and each must include film title and contact information. GIBFF is not responsible for materials lost or damaged in transit.
- There is no limit to the number of submissions per submitter, provided they are separate submissions and the required submission fee is paid for each.
- Filmmakers will be notified via email of submission status by September 1, 2018

You must have your electronic press kit materials available for submission to GIBFF no later than September 23, 2019, if accepted as an official selection. An Electronic Press Kit (EPK) will include high-resolution production stills, key art, bio and filmography of the director, production notes and full cast and crew credits.

If these items are not submitted by September23, 2019, GIBFF reserves the right to disqualify the entry.

- Your submission will not be considered until the submission fee is paid in full via credit/debit card or other methods accepted by No exceptions.
- Submission fees will not be returned and are non-refundable.

By submitting the work, I state that I am authorized to submit this film/video to the Gary International Black Film Festival (GIBFF) for consideration and have read, understand and agree to all entry requirements. I hereby release the Festival from all liability resulting from its exhibition of my film/video. The GIBFF reserves the right to remove a film from the festival program for any reason or for no reason and shall not be liable for any refund or claims of any kind arising out of such removal. I agree that if the GIBFF accepts my film for exhibition at the Festival, I will comply with these terms and conditions.

Submission of an entry gives the GIBFF permission to have excerpts of accepted work, including film trailers, shown in all promotional activities related to the festival.

Although every possible care will be taken with tapes, films, drives and files while in our possession, we cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage. Do not send original or master prints, tapes, files or drives. Please keep the GIBFF notified of any address/phone number changes.

Overall Rating
  • Joyce Fitzpatrick

    This small festival was well worth participating in. The founder was easy to reach and communicate with and their staff was very accommodating. I'd enter this festival every year if I could! Great for film makers!

    November 2018
  • Michael Kunke

    My first time entering the Gary International Film Black Film Festival I was really impressed with the line of communication. Waiting for next year.

    November 2018
  • Menelek Lumumba

    Excellent. Great Crowds and Staff.

    November 2018
  • Dre Robinson

    Very good communication and everyone was so friendly. They made us feel like celebrities. We were so encouraged by their mission and all of the hard work that they put into the festival. Cant wait to come back.

    October 2018
  • The communication was quite clear and thorough, which I really appreciated. I was proud to have my film selected to be a part of thise lineup and also appreciate the fact that GIBFF pays recognition to experimental films like mine. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend (lodging would’ve been quite a ways away from the event sites, which means additional transportation costs), but kudos and thank you to the organizers for providing access to these films in a community with limited access! It looks like it was a remarkable weekend!

    October 2018