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.

PLEASE NOTE: Eligible films must be by or about Black people (African Americans or of African descent). 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.

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 may 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 in our posession by September 20, 2024
- Previously submitted works are eligible for re-submission.

- All works must be submitted via ONLINE SCREENER (strongly preferred method of submission). No other formats will be accepted.
- 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 on or before September 1.

You must have your electronic press kit materials available for submission to GIBFF no later than September 8, 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 September 24, 2024 GIBFF reserves the right to disqualify the entry.

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
  • Safiya Songhai

    The warmth and hospitality envelope you at The Gary International Black Film Festival. My film won Best Documentary Short film and this was an incredible honor. I appreciate their communication, talk back sessions with filmmakers, and the award they present. It was beautiful. I can't wait to return.

    November 2023
  • Tiffani Bliss Brown

    This is one of my favorite festivals I've attended this year. I had the honor of having my film show on opening night and could not have been more pleased with the warmth and reception from the audience and the GIBFF team as well. From the moment I arrived, the team at GIBFF took great care to make sure I felt welcomed, comfortable and informed. Additionally, the workshops were awesome...informative and well planned with plenty of interaction and time for Q &As. This year was my first experience with GIBFF but it won't be my last.

    November 2023

    Greatly enjoyed my time there

    October 2023
  • TShombi Basemore

    Thank you for selecting my feature for the top award. This is our 1st win. Thank you GIFF.

    October 2023
  • We were honored to have our film play here. The Festival is so well organized and communicative. I highly recommend.

    October 2023