The Newark Black Film Festival (since 1974), is the longest-running Black film festival in the country and celebrates films that spotlight and heighten the historic importance of the Black experience in the United States and beyond. The festival features exclusive screenings of films created in the last three years, live in-person panel discussions with filmmakers, and throwback screenings of classics.

Since 1974, NBFF has presented the work of young, independent, Black filmmakers, showcasing early films by the likes of Spike Lee, Ayoka Chenzira, Warrington and Reginald Hudlin, Barry Jenkins, and Ava DuVernay. Other luminaries who have participated in the festival over the years include James Earl Jones, Danny Glover, Pam Grier, Donald Bogle, Richard Wesley, Euzhan Palcy, S. Epatha Merkerson, and Ernest Dickerson.

Selection Committee:

Dale E. Colston
Patricia Faison
Jeff Friday
LeRoy Henderson
Steven Hyland
LeRon Lee
Millicent Matthews
Lisa Payne
Mary Sue Price
Yvonne Michelle Shirley
Ayana Stafford-Morris
Richard Wesley (Chair)

Honoring the legacy of legendary Paul Robeson, these awards spotlight up-and-coming Black filmmakers. Winners receive $500, with a grand prize of $1000 for the festival's most notable film.

Submission of films is to be made through Film Freeway.

Entries will be screened by a panel of judges. Awards will be presented at the discretion of the judges. The judges may choose to withhold an award if no entries are considered award caliber. Winners are asked to include Newark Black Film Festival in any of their subsequent publicity materials.

Original films released since January 2021 will be considered. Films must be directed by a person who identifies as Black or must tell a story of the Black experience. We prefer non-commercial or independent films over which the filmmaker has had control of the finished piece. Films produced for or shown on television or online are eligible if they meet the above criteria. The length of selected works may dictate screening durations.

Films produced in other languages or countries may be entered if they have an English-language soundtrack or subtitles and meet the above criteria. Entrants indemnify The Newark Museum of Art/Newark Black Film Festival against possible copyright infringement resulting from the screening or exhibition of works.