The Syracuse International Film Festival—held annually in September and October—is expanding its programming in honor of its 20th anniversary. For our inaugural February event in connection with Black History Month, SIFF seeks to showcase black culture and creators in a juried competition on February 3rd, 2024! We are excited to kick off the new year to present some of the greatest content from around the world, the country, and in NEW YORK STATE!

Eligible films can be on any subject, any genre, and include Narrative, Animation, Experimental, Music Videos, and more Music Videos will be judged based on the creative quality and concept of the visual aesthetic. See categories for additional information.

All submissions should meet at least ONE of the following requirements for consideration. Content with more of these parameters met will be prioritized for screening

1) principally spearheaded and/or owned by a black creator (director, producer, etc.), regardless of story, subject matter or cast/crew demographics
2) consist of a majority black production crew, regardless of story, subject matter, or cast/crew demographics
3) consist of a majority black on-screen cast regardless of creator/owner demographics, production crew demographics, story, or subject matter.
Judging panel will be comprised of black content creators and relevant community leaders.

For more information contact Festival President Michelle DiBernardo at or visit

All films accepted for screening will be provided with Festival laurels. CASH prizes are given to top films selected buy the jury. All films accepted for screening will be considered for non-monetary laurels, citations, and certificates, plus additional aesthetic and merit-based awards including but not limited to the following:
- Best Picture
- Best Director
- Best Cinematography
- Best Actor
- Best Makeup
- Best Screenplay
- Best Editing
- Best Sound

By submitting, you agree to be bound by these Rules and Terms. Note that submission deadlines are postmark deadlines. We grant no waivers from submission fees. SIFF reserves the right to refuse entries, or to reject any film or screenplay that contains content that in its sole discretion SIFF deems offensive or inappropriate. SIFF may without advance notice amend these Rules and Terms from time to time, with any such amendment becoming effective immediately. It is your responsibility to periodically check for updates.

1. The Festival is open to any film completed after January 1, 2021.

2. Films may only be submitted through FilmFreeway.

3. Films in non-English languages must have EMBEDDED (baked-in) English subtitles.

4. The submitter warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and agrees to indemnify and hold harmless SIFF from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits and publicity, or for any other reason.

5. SIFF will not refund any fees if the filmmaker fails to submit the film in the correct category. Films submitted without the correct fees or proper submission media may be deemed ineligible at the discretion of SIFF. The Festival does not cover expenses incurred by the filmmaker.

6. Submitters must provide an official trailer, poster and/or stills, synopsis and a link to the film. We reserve right to re-assign films to the appropriate category.

7. Monetary awards are provided by check or sent through our PayPal account. If not claimed for (suggest within) 30 days after notification, the winner will lose the right to win the prize.

8. As a condition of submittal the applicant agrees that the film, and/or trailer may be shown online for a limited time, not to exceed six months after the date of the last day of the Festival, through our website,, or other online platform, to allow the area community and the worldwide public an opportunity to view them.

9. Entrants are responsible for obtaining necessary licenses, royalties, release forms, clearances, and permits necessary to present their work. SIFF is not responsible for any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, or royalty infringement related to the work, or for damage to any materials incurred by shipping to or from the Festival.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS DISCLAIMER: Submission is not a guarantee of selection. All films officially selected into competition will receive a certificate, and will be listed on our website as an Official Selection. The Official Selection status does not mean that your film will be screened at the Festival. It means that you are now eligible for the nomination and you can use the Festival logo on your poster.

All filmmakers grant full and unrestricted permission for SIFF to screen the film at times of the SIFF's choice and to charge an admission fee for the presentation. All Filmmakers who submit films understand and agree that they do not participate in receiving any funds from the Box-office proceeds, which are fully retained by the Festival.

All filmmakers release SIFF from any and all liability for damages or destruction of the entered film. Filmmakers understand that the entered film will be retained in Festival offices, but that the Festival assumes no liability whatsoever for theft, copyright violations or piracy of the entry. Filmmakers understand that the Festival will do everything possible to present the film in the best possible manner but agree that SIFF is not responsible for any malfunctions during the Festival screening. SIFF assumes no responsibility for any technical difficulties in the presentation of this film.

SIFF reserves the complete right to make changes in the program dates and times and to possibly not screen the video, despite its being selected for screening.

Additional Information for The Syracuse International Film Festival may be found at