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 eighteen 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 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 2021 festival include*:
- Best Feature Film
- Best Short Film
- Best Direction
- Student/Youth Filmmaker Award
- Local Hero Award

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

- 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 film 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 our office if you agree to any other screenings directly before or after the LHAAFF, 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 be received by March 12, 2021.
- Previously submitted works are eligible for re-submission.

- 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 March 12, 2021. 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 March 12, 2021, 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 will not be returned and are non-refundable.

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 LHAAFF 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.

Although every possible care will be taken with tapes, films, drives and files while in our possession, we cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage. Do not send original or master prints, tapes, files or drives. Please keep the SBFF notified of any address/phone number changes.

Overall Rating
  • Atlas O. Phoenix

    Had a wonderful time being a part of their panel discussion among other awesome filmmakers and their short films. Thanks again for choosing our film, Little Men.

    November 2020
  • Kamari Bright

    I had the honor of screening at this festival and was blown away by the quality of how it was set up. This by far out-shined the other virtual film festivals I've been a part of, and the organizers went above and beyond. Quality programming and a genuine interest in supporting the filmmakers. Great experience!

    August 2020
  • Ms. Monique Berkley

    The SBFF Team, what a stellar grouop of organizers. This year's event was conducted virtually and I must say handled as if it were in person. Very detailed, well informed and open communication channels. The commentary portion of the event was stimulating and felt welcoming. The films were very creatively done and dealt with a variety of subject matters. I had a wonderful experience and highly recommend this festival. Truly amazing folks. Great job SBFF!!!

    July 2020
  • Victor Jones

    Thanks to the SBFF for accepting my film but I really appreciated the efforts that the organizers had to take on the put the festival on virtually. Absolutely amazing. On behalf of the cast and crew, we sincerely thank you.

    July 2020
  • Peter Menchini

    We had a great time premiering our no-budget documentary, "Soar, Torian, Soar" at the LHAAFF. Friendly people, well organized, and with a community spirit.

    May 2019