The San Antonio Black International Film Festival (SABIFF) is pleased to present SABIFF 2023. Festival dates run OCTOBER 5 - OCTOBER 8, 2023. OPEN CALL for our “Films in Competition” begins on January 15, 2023, and ends on July 16, 2023. The Early Bird Special ends on March 31st. SABIFF accepts all original, quality video/film narratives, documentaries, animation and music videos from around the world, with diverse perspectives on the Black experience. Films that are created by, for, and/or about Black perspectives, with Black Creatives in leading production roles are welcomed. Imaginative, genres, and authentic subject matters are encouraged.

The mission of the San Antonio Black International Film Festival (SABIFF) is to showcase quality films, advocate for, and support filmmakers of African descent. We expose audiences to the myriad of subject matters, stories, voices, and diverse images of Black people throughout the global African Diaspora who have been historically under-represented. SABIFF affirms that multitudes of quality Black films deserve presentation to audiences thirsting for alternative independent cinema in the Alamo City and virtually. SABIFF believes that the elevation of Black history, culture, lives and diverse narratives are empowering to people and platforms which in turn inspire positive and progressive social change. #BlackFilmsMatter

SABIFF provides a philanthropic service that connects humanity and teaches cultural pluralism by bringing the world to disparate and isolated audiences. SABIFF amplifies films created by people who identify as and represent data specific to Afrocentrism. The African proverb “it takes a village to raise a child” holds true in the independent film world for African-descent storytellers. It takes a village to create moving narratives and images reflective of one’s ethnic identity, history, and experiences that are consciously and unconsciously inherent in our physical and cultural DNA. After a documentary and narrative film is completed, the subsequent challenge is exhibition and distribution to global audiences. Therein lies the importance of SABIFF–a boutique film festival whose specific goal is to reach and impact marginalized communities in San Antonio, TX–and throughout cyberspace, to eager audiences in other virtual corners of the world.

About SABIFF 2023
This year will mark SABIFF’s 5th year of empowering events. Our hybrid events will be held both virtually and physically, in the "Alamo City.” In addition to the Films in Competition, SABIFF 2023 turns our lens to Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) Creatives, and celebrate HBCU alumni change-makers who have made great strides as professionals in the independent filmmaking, as well as media and entertainment industry. Our theme, "HBCU LUV" will be highlighted at our opening night film presentation, the Ankh Achievement Awardees, panels, and the closing film. Scheduled programming will center on HBCU talent, with essential roles both in the independent realm, and in the animation industry.

San Antonio is hailed as the 7th largest city in the United States, and a 'military city.' As the second largest city in Texas, San Antonio is widely known for tourist attractions which include: the Alamo, the five-time NBA champion SPURS basketball team, delicious Tex-Mex cuisine, the 750 ft. Hemisphere Tower, and its beautiful River Walk, which runs through the downtown area. SA also is home to St. Philip's College, a HBCU that celebrates 125 year aniversity in 2023. San Antonio is an up & coming city full of possibility and exploration. SABIFF’s expansion of the arts, culture, and storytelling through Black films, adds to the city’s commitment to broaden equity, diversity, and inclusion.

SABIFF 2023 welcome's San Antonio audiences in town, and viewers across the world-wide-web to join us the first weekend in October (10/5 - 10/8), as we celebrate diverse storytelling, culture and the arts through filmmaking, festivities, and of course, some down-home San Antonio hospitality!

*Black Heritage Things to do in San Antonio

A physical SABIFF 2023 Award will be presented to winning filmmakers in each category (10) at our annual Awards Brunch the closing day of the festival with a few surprises.

*Best Narrative Feature Film *Best Narrative Short Film
*Best Documentary Feature Film *Best Documentary Short Film
*Best Student Film *Music Video
*Best Animation Film *Best Actor in a Film *Best Actress in a Film *Audience Choice Award
(voted on by the viewing audience)

SABIFF 2023 OPEN CALL Submissions are being accepted for the following categories:

• Documentary (features and shorts)
• Narrative (features and shorts)
• Animation
• Student films
• Music Videos

All submissions must have subjects/subject matters by, for and about people of the African Diaspora (Black people of African descent from around the world). Films must consist of a Black Creative in a key role(s) which include, but are not limited to the: director, producer, writer, primary actors, and key crew positions.
All entries must be in English, or have English subtitles.

The entry fee of $$ are non-refundable.

Completed films/videos must have been created after January 1, 2018. The film submitted can not be older than 5 years old.

No Works-in-Progress films, or Film Scripts are accepted.

Format: Please submit the film that you would want exhibited if selected in an
MP4, 1080 x 1920 format (a link of the winning films are also required w/ the MP4 format)

No web-series are accepted at this time UNLESS it can be presented as a STAND-ALONG narrative or documentary. Otherwise, only single features, shorts, narratives, documentaries, animation films, and/or music videos are accepted.

At the time of OPEN CALL submissions, film/video works MUST NOT be available for monetary profits based on public viewing on distribution outlets such as: Networks, Public Television Broadcast, Movie Theaters, YouTube, Vimeo, etc) or on Video On Demand platforms (Amazon, Prime, I-Tunes, etc).

Based upon their Open Call submission, the filmmaker (producer or director) agrees to make available, and allow SABIFF permission to use any photographs, bios, video excerpts/trailers in the required format (MP4, quicktime file, link), and any other media associated with the film, for use in SABIFF 2023 trailers, website postings, social media outlets, publicity, and promotions at the discretion of the film festival needs.

It is the sole responsibility of the filmmaker to ensure that the film submitted and ALL material screened is owned, legally cleared, by the Filmmaker/Filmmaker's company. SABIFF is not responsible for any legal issues associated with the filmmakers film entry to SABIFF 2023's Open Call.


As the submitter of entry, I have read and have complied with all of the San Antonio Black International Film Festival rules. (See recommended format needs below)
I acknowledge that the submission is my/our original work and there are no disputes regarding the ownership of the submission as well as the footage in the said project.
I warrant the submitted material does not defame or invade the rights of any person living or dead, and I fully indemnify the Festival against any claim made for such violations of law. To the best of my/our knowledge, all of the statements herein are true and correct.

I understand that failure to adhere to the Festival rules will result in disqualification and forfeiture of entry fee.

The individual submitting the film hereby warrants that they are authorized to commit the film for SABIFF 2023's screening(s), and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

I agree to hold the San Antonio Black International Film Festival (SABIFF 2023) harmless from any and all claims, demands, losses, damages, judgments, liabilities, and expenses (including attorney’s fees) arising out of or in connection with any and all claims of third parties, which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

FORMATS: Please note the necessary formats for accepted film submissions. We are capable to handle most kinds of mp4, mov, and m4v files, however, as advance notice for selected video/films, we recommend the following video settings for BEST live streaming results when streaming via our platform.

- Format: mp4
- Video codec: H.264 (AVC)
- Audio codec: AAC
- fps: 30 max (Higher fps may cause disruption of stream)
- Video duration: At least 1 minute
- Orientation: Landscape, Portrait, Square
- Audio bitrate: 128 kbps
- Video bitrates: 1500 kbps - 6000 kbps
- 360-degree Video bitrate: 5000 kbps - 10000 kbps

Overall Rating
  • Anthony Reed

    It was an honor to have been selected for our documentary to be shown at this film festival, especially as a Texas resident.

    November 2022
  • San Antonio Black International Film Festival is a great film festival, and filmmakers will soon crowd the streets of San Antonio to be a part of this film festival's beautiful festivities. I love this festival because the programming is fantastic and it's a beautiful city to explore on top of it. I'm telling you, the festival is of such high quality that you'll feel like you're amongst the best when you leave, whether you win an award or not.

    November 2022
    Response from festival:

    Awesomeness! Thank you Hisonni, we appreciate you! Congratulations on your wonderful film. We look forward to seeing future works.

  • Linda Palmer

    Great festival run by wonderful people, with the focus squarely on the filmmaker: The goal being to help them network with like-minded cinephiles, to help take their careers to the next level! A truly international fest with both in-person and virtual events. Well worth the entry fee!

    October 2022
    Response from festival:

    Much appreciated Linda! It was such a pleasure connecting w/ Deon, and look forward to more Civil Disobedience in SA

  • Maurice Lockhart

    Was a great experience Thank you for accepting are film and letting us be apart of your festival.

    October 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Maurice... keep animating positive stories!

  • Cassandra Joseph

    Great festival. The SABIFF Team put together an amazing festival which also featured animation.

    The Festival included a balance of various types of film, packed with lots of informative workshops, that created many dialogs around the representation of minorities. The Team was easy to work with and as a Director I felt very included and seen. San Antonio is a beautiful place to host, In-person. I look forward to see the festival grow and will definitely recommend to others.

    October 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Cassandra! We are so glad you could attend, and appreciate the positive feedback. Wonderful meeting you and your aunt, showcasing and learning more about Vwe’ Kafe’. We are honored that you came from T&T to SA!