The BlackStar Film Festival is an annual celebration of the visual and storytelling traditions of the African diaspora and of global Indigenous communities, showcasing films by Black, Brown and Indigenous artists from around the world.

Best Feature Narrative & Documentary
Best Short Narrative & Documentary (ACADEMY AWARDS® qualifying)
Best Experimental
Audience Awards


To be eligible for consideration:

Films must be directed by a person of African descent or who otherwise identifies as Black, Brown or Indigenous, and feature persons of African descent, or tell a story of Black, Brown or Indigenous experiences.

Narrative feature films and documentary films must not exceed a running time of 120 minutes.

Shorts must not exceed a running time of 40 minutes.

Non-English language works must have English subtitles at the time submitted. Dialogue lists will not be accepted.

Though not required for eligibility, preference is given to Philadelphia and North American premieres.

Note: Submissions may be in work-in-progress form; however, works that are not final cuts must be clearly marked “Work in Progress (WIP)” or “Rough Cut” with an indication of what will change or what is missing (e.g., temp sound, missing animation, etc.). If accepted, final prints/media files must be received by June 15, 2022.

Entrants must fully comply with these entry rules and regulations, including all deadlines, film length, entry material and other requirements.

Note: Entry fees are in U.S. dollars, are per film and are non-refundable. BlackStar reserves the right to disqualify a submission, without refund of any kind, if eligibility requirements are not met including if eligibility status changes post-submission. Shorts are films 40 minutes or less; features are films greater than 40 minutes, but not exceeding 120 minutes.

Students: Entry fees for student submissions for the Official Entry Deadline will be waived upon receipt of a photocopy of a current and valid student ID card or a letter from an accredited school that verifies enrollment. For questions, contact

Films will be automatically entered into juried competition unless the entrant(s) request to be withdrawn. Entrants must make this request at the time of application.

Please note that recipients of the Short Narrative and Short Documentary Awards are eligible for consideration in the Live Action Short and Documentary Short categories of the Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy's rules.

Overall Rating
  • I absolutely love this film festival. It was my first time experience at Black Star Film Festival. I look forward to submitting for next years festival. Thank you all so much for the love and hospitality.

    September 2021
  • All the crew was amazing. I love the good vibes. Thanks BlackStar Film Festival

    August 2021

    Great festival and glad we were chosen to showcase our film alongside a stellar collection of films from a diverse group of film makers from across the globe. We were well presented and hope to showcase some more of our work with the wonderful folks at Blackstar in the coming years.

    August 2021
  • Christopher Kahunahana

    I love Blackstar! A critical and important festival with the best events and staff! A must on the festival circuit.

    August 2021
  • Jessica George

    Black Star Film Festival was fantastic to work with. We are so honoured that VAKA was able to participate as an official selection. Black Star went above and beyond to facilitate us and make us feel welcome and a part of a community. Well done on such an impactful event.

    August 2021