​The HBCU First LOOK Film Festival & Tour is an innovative annual HBCU initiative that focuses on Diversity and Inclusion opportunities that brings together HBCU student graduates with African American creators and leaders in film, TV and broadcast industries. Combining social media and on-site interactive engagement, with a digital platform that not only showcases cinematic creative content works from filmmakers, while providing hands on career development opportunities.  

Showcase your cinematic work for a chance to win a valued prize of $5,000 

HBCU First LOOK Film Festival Submissions:


Film submissions will be accepted in the following categories from January 15, 2024 – August 28, 2024: 
- Feature 
- Short 
- Mobile 
- Animation 
- Documentary 
- Family & Faith
- Health & Wellness

1. The competition is open to U.S citizens that are actively enrolled in an Historically Black College or University (HBCU), or recent HBCU graduates within the last three years (2021, 2022, and 2023).

2. Feature films are 40 minutes in length or longer. Short films are under 40 minutes in length. 

3. Films shot completely on a mobile device are acceptable.

4. Films that are not in English must be subtitled. Ultimately, all films screened at the First Look HBCU Film Festival will be subtitled. Please provide your film with subtitles. 

5. Films that have been shown theatrically, broadcasted on television prior to the festival, or are available on DVD/VOD are not eligible for consideration. 

6. Entries must not have been publicly shown before January 1, 2024. 

7. Entries must be submitted for pre-screening via Vimeo or YouTube link. If you use a secured link, you are REQUIRED to keep us updated with passwords or your film may be rejected. You may also send a DVD or Blu-Ray. Should you choose to send a hard copy screener, please send 2 copies. Send to: First Look HBCU Film Festival, 3314 Spriggs Request Way, Bowie, MD 20721

8. If you are burning a consumer disc, write your Project Title, Film ID# and Contact information on the disc in a clear and legible fashion. Please test your consumer-burned DVD on several makes and models of players before sending it to our offices. Please use recyclable packaging. The DVD’s or Blu-Ray’s will not be returned.

9. Works in progress are not accepted. 

10. You may submit multiple entries, but must fill out a separate entry form. 

11. Films must not contain profanity, nudity or excessive violence.

Overall Rating
  • Absolutely Amazing! Thank you again for choosing "Depression among black and minority college students" as a winner!

    December 2023
  • Terrance George

    Had an awesome time at this festival. My film won best Short Film and from there I was able to network with a variety of people including celebrities and professionals in the film industry. 10/10 would do it again. Thank you, guys, for giving me a lifechanging experience! Loni Love is the goat!!!

    November 2023
  • Safiya Songhai

    This festival felt like HOME! I built friendships, familyships, connections and felt totally wrapped in love and happiness.

    This is such an important film festival for HBCU graduates, students and alumni. Every minute was inspiring and we need more events that unite the HBCU world.

    My film won best best documentary short and was a finalist for the Grand Prize.

    November 2023
  • Tramar Pettaway

    Absolutely AMAZING JOB!!! I enjoyed every film, every workshop! GREAT JOB!

    November 2023