The Annual Soul West Fest is the hottest, most exclusive urban film & music festival in Arizona. Soul West Fest takes place in the fall each year with up and coming filmmakers showing their content to a niche audience, filmmaker panel discussions, and live musical performances.

Soul West Fest, LLC (SWF) is an Arizona Limited Liability Company whose mission is to Promote and Support Urban Films and Filmmakers, Soul Music, Urban Culture and Education. The Soul West Fest Foundation (SWFF) ( 501c3 organization) in association with Pathways to the World, Inc. raise scholarship funds for young people (grades 6-12) to attend art, film and music apprenticeship programs. SWFF continues to bring awareness and initiate programs for the arts in education and financial literacy.

Soul West Fest gives birth to urban film and the New Black Renaissance in the Valley of the Sun– from film to TV, VR to online work, and music to live performance. As a platform for creative expression, independent filmmaking, and mesmerizing entertainment, SWF champions emerging and established voices, showcasing award-winning urban films and filmmakers, soul music, culture and new technology through premieres, exhibitions, talks and live performances.

During 3 days, we invite you to the Valley of the Sun to enjoy Soulful Sounds, Black & Brown Excellence, Great Food, Good Vibes, Top Notch Entertainment, Events & Exclusive Parties. This is Resort-Style vibes and networking with economic, educational, social, health and wealth initiatives at the helm. Come Expose your gifts, talents and abilities to an earnest Film Community in the South-West Market of Arizona, California, Colorado & Nevada. Soul West Fest provides a platform to showcase cutting edge films, panels, live performances from some of the most talented musicians and awesome vibes.

This event takes an original and imaginative approach to content because there are very few outlets for Urban Filmmakers and Musicians to showcase their talent collectively on a national stage.

The impact we hope to achieve with this event will certainly be artistic in nature (i.e. showcasing music and filmmakers content); it will also be intellectual in most of our sponsors and vendors will provide educational content on financial matters and literacy; All festivals are communal and social by default; and civically, we hope to improve communities of color through creative initiatives.

We hope you will consider Soul West Fest to showcase your content. We welcome innovative and original opportunities and look forward to working with you.

Thank you for reading! :)

Soul West Fest will offer awards/prizes for these categories:

Audience Awards:
Best Feature Film/Documentary
Best Short/Web Series

30-72 minutes minimum run time (Feature/Documentary lengths)
20 minutes maximum run time inclusive of credits (Web Series/Shorts)
6 minutes maximum run time inclusive of credits (Music Videos)
Writer, director or producer must be a person of African descent, or the film content must have a multicultural perspective.
Entrants must be 18 years of age or older.
Competition is open to U.S. and international entries.
Films must be in the English language or contain English-language subtitles.
Films must have commenced principal photography on or after January 1, 2017.
While it is our preference to exhibit films in this competitive section that are world premieres, Narrative Features that have previously screened at up to two (2) other festivals are eligible for this section.

Films that have been, or will be, broadcast or streamed on television or the Internet, or released via any other public distribution platform (theatrical, Blu-ray, DVD, streaming, VOD, etc.) in any country prior to June 18, 2017, are not eligible for this category.

Overall Rating
  • Javier Augusto Nunez

    Amazing festival, definitely will submit again!

    November 2019
  • Tyler Pierreson

    Terrible communications and organisation unfortunately.

    I sent so many emails and after getting no response, messaged them on their social media platforms. My editor had taken the time to get the film ready in the requested format but we had received no information at all on how to access their FTP server to upload it. I only got a response via Instagram weeks and weeks after initially making contact, asking us to upload the film on dropbox- which we couldn't do as the file was too large- as their server was full (I've never heard a festival having this problem before.) Couldn't help but feel that if they had responded to the messages and emails I'd sent in a reasonable time, this wouldn't have been the case or I could at least have made other arrangements or decided not to waste mine and my editors time getting the film ready for them if we couldnt actually upload it onto their server. I responded to their request with some options on how to get the film to them and heard absolutely nothing from the festival ever again. So after all that, my film wasn't even screened. I'v dealt with a lot of festival all over the world, never experienced such an unorganised one as this before sadly.

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    Hello Tyler, we understand your sentiments and our apologies for not screening your film. It is unfortunate the few emails and social media correspondence was not suffice to promote and screen your film on our platform. We hope to rectify any grievances you may have and hope you will consider submitting and attending the festival in future.

  • Thanks for selecting our movie, though I wasn’t able to make it, I followed yours via social media.

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Seun! We hope you’ll consider submitting to Soul West Fest and look forward to your attendance in the future.

  • Isaih Shaw

    Thank you, for letting our film be a part of this wonderful festival. We're very grateful. Most beautiful laurels! We wish your festival all the best. We had a great experience and are very happy are film was screen. Highly recommended the Soul West Fest if this is your first film. Aaliyah Najieb was so accommodating this festival was great.

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Isaih. it was a pleasure meeting you and screening your film. We hope you will continue to submit your films for promotion and screening our platform. Best wishes for a success festival run!

  • Jalaladdin Gasimov

    Thank you so much for this great festival.

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Jalaladdin! We hope to see you next year!