The Ottawa Black Film Festival (OBFF) is about discovery and Inclusion. OBFF wants to showcase the most relevant Black films from here and abroad while creating a space to debate major cultural, social and socio-economic issues.


The Ottawa Black Film Festival is dedicated to giving unique voices in cinema the opportunity to present audiences with new ways of looking at the world. OBFF’s ambition is to encourage the development of the independent film industry and to promote more films on the reality of Black people from around the Globe.

History of the Festival

Festival rules and regulations

I- GOAL The goal of the Ottawa Black Film Festival (OBFF) is to: promote independent author’s films from Canada and around the world, promote cultural and cinematographic diversity in Canada, promote Black cinema and stimulate the development of quality cinema, discover and encourage new talent, encourage meetings between Black filmmakers and professionals working in the film industry from here and abroad, cultivate opportunities for North-South co-productions, encourage the development of the Black Film Industry here and abroad.

II- DATE The 4th annual Ottawa Black Film Festival (OBFF) will run in Ottawa from March 22 to 25th, 2024.

III- SELECTION The Selection Committee selects and invites the films that will be presented in the Competition, Out-of-Competition, Retrospective, For a Certain Perspective categories… Only films that meet the following criteria may be selected and invited to be part of the Official Selection:

Must have been made in the 24 months preceding the Festival.
Must not have previously been distributed and/or released in Nova Scotia theatres (unless an exception is made by the festival).
Priority will be given to previously unreleased works.
Must NOT have been broadcast on television or on the Internet.
Must NOT have been released on the market on VOD, Blue-Ray, DVD or else.
Must respect the goal of the Festival as defined in Paragraph I (GOAL).
IV-PROGRAM The upcoming Halifax Black Film Festival will include the following categories: Narrative features Documentaries Retrospectives Short Films Tribute

V-AGREEMENT Submitting or sending a film to the Festival implies that the producers or their representatives agree to these rules and regulations.

FILMS THAT HAVE BEEN REGISTERED AND SELECTED MAY NOT BE WITHDRAWN FROM THE FESTIVAL. The Executive Management of the Festival has the power to settle any cases that are not covered under these rules and regulations. Once selected, no film may be withdrawn from the program during the Festival. Invited films may only be shown in the Festival’s theatres until the Festival has officially closed.

VI- TRIBUTE By invitation only, this section is dedicated to the great men and women of cinema: Screenwriters, directors, actors, producers, directors of photography, composers, etc.

VII- EXCLUSIONS Industrial, advertising or educational films are not eligible for any of the categories (competitive or non-competitive). Racist, pornographic and political propaganda films, as well as films based on gratuitous violence, are not eligible.

VIII- PROMOTION AND PUBLICATION OF AWARDS Films selected to be part of the Official Selection agree to use the “Official Selection” logo of the Ottawa Black Film Festival in all their publicity. By participating in the Festival, the award winners and distribution companies agree to use the Ottawa Black Film Festival name or logo, as well as the award they received, in all their promotions and advertisements (posters, ads, etc.).

IX- DEADLINE The deadlines for registering films are available on the Festival’s FilmFreeway page. Registration, payment and film screener link must be done online through FilmFreeway.

X- AUTHORITY The President of the Fabienne Colas Foundation, the organizing body of the Festival, has the authority to settle any cases not covered under these rules and regulations. Submitting a film does not mean that it will automatically be selected for participation in the upcoming Ottawa Black Film Festival. Only those films selected by the Selection Committee shall be screened. Participation in the Halifax Black Film Festival means you agree to abide by the aforementioned rules and regulations and respect the pre-selection conditions. These rules and regulations apply to all Official Selection categories (Competition, Out-of-Competition, For a Certain Perspective, retrospectives, invited films, other views, etc).