Made possible by Bank of America

The Newark Museum of Art celebrates the 48th anniversary of the Newark Black Film Festival by continuing its legacy of presenting films that heighten the historic importance of the Black experience in the United States. The festival has screened 943 films to audiences since its inception in 1974. Produced by The Newark Museum of Art, the Newark Black Film Festival is back for the first time since 2019 in a fresh new format. We are proud to reintroduce this beloved event to our film community.

Paul Robeson Awards

The festival has historically featured the Paul Robeson Awards, a biennial competition which provided filmmakers the chance to submit and screen their films as part of the festival. The Paul Robeson Awards have now merged with the main festival to create a competition, where all films are eligible for awards each year. The Newark Black Film Festival once again commemorates the life and cinematic achievements of Paul Robeson through the presentation of these awards.

Selection Commitee:

Dale E. Colston

Patricia Faison

Jeff Friday

LeRoy Henderson

LeRon Lee

Millicent Matthews

Lisa Payne

Mary Sue Price

Yvonne Michelle Shirley

Ayana Stafford-Morris

Richard Wesley (Chair)

The winner of each category will receive a check for $500. Categories include Long Narrative, Short Narrative, Long Documentary, Short Documentary, Animation, Experimental, Web Series. A grand prize of $1000 will be presented to the best film of the festival.

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 2019 will be considered. Films must be directed by a person who identifies as Black or must tell a story of Black experience. Non-commercial or independent films over which the filmmaker has had control of the finished piece are preferred. Films produced for or shown on television or online are eligible if they meet the above criteria. If the length of selected works dictates, the screenings may be abbreviated.

Films produced in other languages or countries may be entered if they have an English-language soundtrack or subtitles and meet the above criteria.

Entrant indemnifies The Newark Museum of Art/Newark Black Film Festival against possible copyright infringement resulting from screening or exhibition of works.