The National Black Movie Association in collaboration with The White House Initiative on HBCUs will host the inaugural #ReelHBCU Film Festival during National HBCU Week, September 24-28, 2023. All aspiring filmmakers attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities are encouraged to submit a short film of 10 minutes or less for a chance to win a scholarship.

First Place Winner: $5000
Second Place Winner: $2500
Third Place Winner: $1250

The Reel HBCU Film Contest and Festival
National HBCU Week 2023 Edition
Rules and Regulations

Applicant Eligibility:

Applicant must be a student attending a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in the United States of America. All students applying must be at least eighteen years of age at the time of submission.

The applicant must be a current Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior or Graduate Student. Applicant must have a cumulative college grade point average of at least 2.0 on a 4-point scale and be accepted into an accredited HBCU full-time between August 2023 and December 2023.

Distribution of Payments:

The first-place winning recipient will receive a one-time, $5000 award, second-place winning recipient will receive a one-time $2500 award, third-place winners will each receive a one-time $1000 scholarship to be applied towards qualified expenses, including undergraduate/graduate tuition, fees, books, and on-campus room and board for the Spring 2024 academic semester. Funds are provided directly to the student after proof of eligibility is submitted and confirmed by December 1, 2023. The winning recipient should receive all funds by December 31, 2023.

Winner Selection and Announcements:

The winner will be announced at The Reel HBCU Film Festival event on Tuesday, September 26, 2023. All entries will be reviewed after the deadline on August 31, 2023 by a panel of judges. Each entry will be judged by content, creativity, and film aspirations. All entries must be submitted via FilmFreeway.

Conditions of Award:

If the student withdraws from the university prior to the end of the semester or term during the Fall 2023 academic year, the student is no longer eligible to receive this scholarship and will forfeit the award.

College/University Approval:

The HBCU must be accredited and listed on the official website of the U.S. Department of Education.

Responsibilities of Recipients:

The recipient must be actively enrolled full-time as a Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior or Graduate Student during the Fall 2023 semester, for the entire academic semester without interruption.


The National Black Movie Association, Organizer of The Reel HBCU Film Festival reserves the right to alter or discontinue this program at any time and without notice. All submissions become the property of the National Black Movie Association and may be reposted or displayed online, in whole or in part, without notification. The National Black Movie Association has full editorial control of each submission and shall be entitled to use, alter, or delete submissions for any purpose whatsoever without compensation to applicants.

Contest Terms and Conditions:

The rules of the competition and the prize for each winner are as follows:

1. The promoter of this competition is the organizer of The National Black Movie Association.

2. Applicants must be at least 18 years old to participate.

3. Only students attending Historically Black Colleges or Universities in the United States are eligible to participate.


5. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter The Reel HBCU Film Festival.

6. The route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are available via FilmFreeway. Individuals may enter to win by clicking on the participation link on the FilmFreeway website. Upon clicking the participation link, applicants must provide their name, contact information, current HBCU, email address, and provide their short film or film project of ten (10) minutes or less. The applicant must also submit an introduction video stating the name, school, and area of interest in filmmaking.

7. Closing date for entry will be August 31, 2023 at 11:59:59pm EST. After this date no further entries to the competition will be permitted.

8. Only one entry allowed per applicant.

9. A total of three (3) finalists will be chosen based on judges’ score: One (1) First Place Winner will receive $5000, One (1) Second Place Winner will receive $2500, and One (1) Third Place Winner will receive $1000.

10. The final Winners will be chosen by a live voting experience at The Reel HBCU Film Festival on Tuesday, September 26, 2023.

11. The finalists will be notified by phone, email and/or letter within ten (10) business days of the closing date. The finalists must attend The Reel HBCU Film Festival event on September 26, 2023 in Crystal City, VA,. If the finalist cannot be contacted or does not confirm the award within 48 hours of notification, the scholarship organizer reserves the right to withdraw the award from the winner and pick a replacement winner.

12. The winners will receive a one-time, $5000, $2500, or $1000 scholarship to be applied to qualified educational expenses.

13. The prizes are not transferable.

14. The winners agree to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material. Any personal data relating to the winner, or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current federal and state data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant's prior consent.

15. The scholarship organizer may make the winner’s name available publicly at any time in association with the scholarship and event.

16. The scholarship organizer accepts no responsibility for entries not received for whatever reason.

17. The scholarship organizer reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the organizer’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the scholarship organizer.

18. The scholarship organizer is not responsible for inaccurate award details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.

19. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by the District of Columbia law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of the District of Columbia.

20. The Reel HBCU Film Festival is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social network. You are providing your information to the organizer and not to any other party.

21. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these rules and regulations.

Additional Questions:

Contact the National Black Movie Association at if you have questions about The Reel HBCU Film Festival.