Cool, international, independent, politically incorrect and eye-opening, the Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF) is about discovery. TBFF will showcase the most outstanding and most powerful Black films while creating a space to debate major cultural, social and socio-economic issues.

The Toronto Black Film Festival is dedicated to giving unique voices in cinema the opportunity to present audiences with new ways of looking at the world. A dynamic, refreshing and audacious Festival whose ambition is to encourage the development of the independent film industry and to promote more films on the reality of Black people from around the Globe.

IMPORTANT: Need to be films about Black realities or showcasing black actors. All films if in a foreign language must have English subtitles.



The goal of the Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF) is to: promote independent author’s films from Canada and around the world, promote cultural and cinematographic diversity within Quebec and Canada, promote Black cinema and stimulate the development of quality cinema, discover and encourage new talent, encourage meetings between Black filmmakers and professionals working in the film industry from here and abroad, cultivate opportunities for North-South co-productions, encourage the development of the Black Film Industry here and abroad.

The 7th annual Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF) will run in Toronto from Wednesday, February 13 to Monday, February 18, 2019.

The Selection Committee selects and invites the films that will be presented in the Competition, Out-of-Competition, Retrospective, For a Certain Perspective categories...

Each film invited by the Selection Committee to be part of the Official Selection will receive a Certificate of Participation.

Only films that meet the following criteria may be selected and invited to be part of the Official Selection:
1° Must have been made in the 24 months preceding the Festival.
2° Must not have previously been distributed and/or released in Ontario theatres (unless an exception is made by the festival).
3° Priority will be given to previously unreleased works.
4° Must not have been broadcast on television or on the Internet.
5° Must not have been released on the market on VOD, Blue-Ray, DVD or VHS cassette.
6° Must respect the goal of the Festival as defined in Paragraph I (GOAL).

The upcoming Toronto Black Film Festival will include the following categories:

Narrative features
Short Films

Submitting or sending a film to the Festival implies that the producers or their representatives agree to these rules and regulations.


The Executive Management of the Festival has the power to settle any cases that are not covered under these rules and regulations.

Once selected, no film may be withdrawn from the program during the Festival.

Invited films may only be shown in the Festival’s theatres until the Festival has officially closed.

By invitation only, this section is dedicated to the great men and women of cinema: Screenwriters, directors, actors, producers, directors of photography, composers, etc.

Industrial, advertising or educational films are not eligible for any of the categories (competitive or non-competitive). Racist, pornographic and political propaganda films, as well as films based on gratuitous violence, are not eligible.

The Selection Committee refers to the President and to the other members that compose the Jury for each film category.

The President of the Festival and the Programming Director of the TBFF may attend Jury deliberations but may take no part in the voting.

Jury members may in no way be associated with a film that has been entered in the competition. The following persons may not sit on the Jury: the President of the Festival (and of the Fabienne Colas Foundation), an organizing member of the Festival, or anyone who has been involved in producing, distributing or releasing a film in competition.

Films selected to be part of the Official Selection agree to use the "Official Selection" logo of the Toronto Black Film Festival in all their publicity.

By participating in the Festival, the award winners and distribution companies agree to use the Toronto Black Film Festival name or logo, as well as the award they received, in all their promotions and advertisements (posters, ads, etc.).

The deadline for registering films is NOVEMBER 1st.
A registration form must be filled out online and along with a digital file of the film.

The President of the Fabienne Colas Foundation, the organizing body of the Festival, has the authority to settle any cases not covered under these rules and regulations.

Submitting a film does not mean that it will automatically be selected for participation in the upcoming Toronto Black Film Festival. Only those films selected by the Selection Committee shall be screened.

Participation in the Toronto Black Film Festival means you agree to abide by the aforementioned rules and regulations and respect the pre-selection conditions.

These rules and regulations apply to all Official Selection categories.

The Selection Committee of the Toronto Black Film Festival is exclusively responsible for the Official Selection and for deciding the section in which a film may be categorized: Competition (short and feature films), Out-of-Competition or for a Certain Perspective, other views, retrospectives, invited films, etc.

Films registered for Official Selection must meet the following criteria (except for retrospectives):

Must have been made in the 24 months preceding the Festival.
Must not have previously been distributed and/or released in Ontario (unless an exception is made).
Must not have been broadcast on the Internet or on television.
Must not have been released on the market on VOD, DVD, Blue-Ray, VHS cassette or else.
1) Individuals of any ethnicity (race) and from any country may also submit films to the Toronto
Black Film Festival as long as the film meets ONE of the following conditions:

Deals with a Black reality.
Deals with a Black community.
Has one or several actors of Black origin playing in major roles.
Deal with a particular theme in the Festival.
2) In the invited films category, the terms and conditions for eligibility indicated in Point 1 above would not apply, due to the fact that these films are specially invited by the Festival for a very particular and special reason.

Our definition for film length:
40 min or less: Short film; 41 to 74 minutes: Medium-length film; 75 min and more: Feature film.

The deadlines for registering films are available on the Festival’s FilmFreeway page.
Registration, payment and film screener link must be done online through FilmFreeway by those dates.

Regardless of the equipment used to shoot the film (mini DV, super 8, 35mm, HD…):

For the pre-selection phase, all film screeners should be uploaded directly on FilmFreeway.

If your film is accepted, you will be asked to send a copy for public screening.

For the public screenings (in theatre), only the following formats will be accepted: DCP, Blue-Ray, MOV files.

The Selection Committee will view films:

WITH NO subtitles, if the film is originally in English.
WITH English subtitles, if the film is originally in another language.
The final screening copy MUST have English subtitles if/for any parts that are spoken in another language.

Film copies (Blue-rays, DVD, DCP): Must be sent by registered mail or via an express courier service (FedEx, DHL, UPS…) directly to the address indicated at the bottom of the registration form. Please indicate the following on the parcel: “For cultural use only” and “No commercial value.”

The transportation costs, customs duties and taxes on all films sent through an express courier service
must be paid up in full when the package arrives at the Festival or the Festival will not sign the acknowledgement of receipt.

Film copies: The Festival does not return DVDs, Blue Rays and DCPs on USB keys after viewing them. If you absolutely must have your Blue-ray or DVD returned to you, please indicate so and send us a bank or postal money order in the amount of CDN$75 payable to the Toronto Black Film Festival.
NB: Selecting a film for the Festival in no way guarantees that the film’s representative (director, actor, producer, distributor, etc.) will be taken care of (i.e. transportation to Toronto, lodgings, etc.).
The final screening copy MUST have English subtitles if/for any parts that are spoken in another language.

Emile Castonguay
Programming Director
Toronto Black Film Festival
465 Rue St-Jean, Bureau 900
Montreal, Quebec H2Y 2R6

Overall Rating
  • Chris James

    I was honored and humbled to be part of this film festival.

    March 2023
  • Cecily Alexandria Chapman

    This festival is run very well. The entire staff including volunteers were helpful and kind. The film content was diverse and curated nicely. It was nice having Q&As for the short films as well. It was also nice having all access to be able to see and meet filmmaker peers and see their work. This is a very special opportunity for many up and coming artists and they treated us with that in mind. I would recommend to any Black filmmaker in the world and hope to be able to attend again as a filmmaker or patron.

    March 2023
  • Reginald M. Jernigan Jr.

    What an amazing staff with great communication. All of the communication emails from acceptance to attending the festival was elite. Everyone was so nice!!

    March 2023
  • Emily Smart

    Although we were unable to attend, we were never left out of communication which is not always the case at other festivals. We were thrilled to be part of this impeccably run festival! Thank you for showing "The Incident" and Caribbean culture in your festival!

    February 2023
  • Charles A. Honeywood

    Amazing Festival. Highly recommended for attending and submitting!

    February 2023