The annual Seattle Black Film Festival (formerly the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival - LHAAFF) is a major season program of LANGSTON, showing provocative films and works about the Black experience from independent filmmakers.

For twenty years, the festival has been bringing stories and experiences by and about Black people to the big screen in the heart of Seattle's historically Black neighborhood. Housed at the historic Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, the festival features film screenings, hands-on workshops, panel discussions, and in-depth chats with filmmakers, industry professionals and local community leaders.

As Seattle grows as a seat of activism, progressive ideology, innovation and technology, the Seattle Black Film Festival is a hub for filmmakers and audiences to exchange ideas with Black film as a catalyst for discussion.

The event is the culmination of a year’s worth of community-building through a series of smaller events and partnerships that provide audiences with unique cinematic and cultural opportunities, resulting in the community-wide film festival. The festival focuses on established names and emerging talent in Black media and connecting audiences with filmmakers and filmmaking through interactions in and outside the theater.

Films are selected from entries screened by panels and curated from current and vintage offerings. The festival takes pride in showcasing independent film celebrating Black brilliance, from emerging and established filmmakers from around the world and in our own backyard, connecting filmmakers and the community.

Prizes to be awarded at the 2023 festival include*:
-Narrative Feature
- Narrative Short
- Documentary Feature
- Documentary Short
- Local Film
-Audience Award

*Additional awards may be given at the discretion of the jury

- To be eligible, films must be by or about Black people (people of African descent). While our goal is to celebrate and lift the work of Black filmmakers, we will consider films that features Black people as a predominant focus of the work.
- While the SBFF emphasizes premieres and new works, we will consider all works including vintage and archival.
- Screened films must be submitted as a digital file (.mov, .avi or .mp4, Apple Pro Res or .h264 formats).
- Films must have a stereo sound.
- Films receiving a theatrical or festival screening in King County, WA or adjacent WA counties prior to, or within one month prior to the SBFF Festival dates will not be considered for the Festival. Exceptions will be made under special circumstances. Please contact the festival at if you agree to any other screenings directly before or after the SBFF, other than those listed on your application.
- Works in progress may be submitted as long as a digital file will be available for screening during the Festival.
- All accepted entries must forward the final digital screening file for their film by February 15, 202.
- Previously submitted works are eligible for re-submission.
- By submitting your film, you agree that your submitted work may be screened at the festival without further consent.
- By submitting to the festival, you agree that your film may be screened in any of the following ways; in-person screening event, fully virtual screening event, hybrid (in-person and virtual screening event), or VOD (video on demand). Please contact the festival at if you have questions on possible screening formats or venues.
-Prior official selection filmmakers are eligible for a submission waiver. Contact with the name and year of your film.

- All works must be submitted via ONLINE SCREENER through the FilmFreeway platform only. No other formats will be accepted.
- There is no limit to the number of submissions per submitter, provided they are separate submissions and the required submission fee is paid for each.
- Filmmakers will be notified via email of submission status by February 15, 2021.

Accepted works must have an electronic press kit materials uploaded to FilmFreeway, or submitted via link to no later than February 15, 2022. An Electronic Press Kit (EPK) will include high-resolution production stills, key art, bio and filmography of the director, production notes and full cast and crew credits.
If these items are not submitted by February 15, 2022, SBFF reserves the right to disqualify the entry.

- Your submission will not be considered until the submission fee is paid in full via credit/debit card or other methods accepted by No exceptions.
- Submission fees are fully non-refundable and will not be returned under any circumstances.

By submitting the work, I state that I am authorized to submit this film/video to the Seattle Black Film Festival (SBFF or "the Festival") for consideration and have read, understand and agree to all entry requirements. I hereby release the Festival from all liability resulting from its exhibition of my film/video. The Seattle Black Film Festival reserves the right to remove a film from the festival program, and that the film not be screened, for any reason or for no reason and shall not be liable for any refund or claims of any kind arising out of such removal. I agree that if the SBFF accepts my film for exhibition at the Festival, I will comply with these terms and conditions.

Submission of an entry gives the SBFF permission to use the work or excerpts of the accepted work, including trailers, visuals and audio, photos, graphics/art or any information provided in promotional documents and activities related to the festival.

All submitters fully indemnify Seattle Black Film Festival of any liability issuing from the screening or handling of the submitted work.

Overall Rating
  • What an amazing line up of films and outstanding hospitality. We loved this festival!

    May 2023
  • Amber Henry

    Seattle Black Film Festival is valuable and top notch!

    May 2023
  • Darryl Foster

    Sadly I couldn't make it across from the UK to be there in person, but I was very honoured to have my film play at the Seattle Black Film Festival. I received excellent online communication; I just wish I could've been there! See you next year for sure :)

    May 2023
  • Miro Alleyne-McCarthy

    Honoured and thrilled to be selected for the Seattle Black Film Festival. Though unable to travel there, the communication and sense of inclusion I still felt from all these thousands of miles away made me feel like I was part of the great occasion. Thank you to the organisers and everyone who helped.

    May 2023
  • Had an inspiring time at Seattle Black Film Festival screening TONGUE IN CHEEK by Tai Brown for the first time! The docs and films were top tier and truly centered Blackness, it was diverse with both comedy and drama. The programmers were so welcoming and made sure that I was informed with what to expect. The Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute was such a beautiful space with a large professional theater. The festival did a Q&A in front of the audience after our screenings and it was exciting being able to talk about our filmmaking journey. I highly recommend submitting to this festival, good luck!

    April 2023