Established at a time when there was little to no believer in the vision of a vibrant, active and impactful film festival ever happening in Ghana, the BlackStar International Film Festival (BSIFF) has gone for 6 years, providing a platform that inspires the love for film, cinema, and music; and supports independent filmmakers worldwide especially in Africa.

We aspire to bridge the gap between African Cinema and the World, providing the best global film knowledge, skill acquisition, training, and global film distribution opportunities for independent and aspiring filmmakers.

Focused on the business of film,

• BSIFF is committed to discovering, displaying, and celebrating the works of independent film artists to audiences around the World, through our film festival.

• BSIFF is committed to building a community of film enthusiasts and providing a platform where they can connect, network, foster the exchange of cultures, and explore business opportunities and investments.

• BSIFF is committed to educating, nurturing, and providing skill training & film distribution opportunities to independent emerging and aspiring film artists in Africa, through our educational platform, BSIFF Edu.

BSIFF is a movement of changemakers, inspiring hope in independent filmmakers. Our 7th edition will take place from September 20-26, 2022.

Join the movement, be a changemaker. Our home is Accra, the capital of Ghana and we offer the best cultural and film experiences to all our audiences home and abroad.

Award Categories for BSIFF include:

- Best Documentary Film: A non-fiction film about real events and people, often avoiding traditional narrative structures. Documentary [is] the creative treatment of actuality.

- Best Feature Film: Should be 60 mins or more long.

- Best Short Film: The film should be less than 60 min. It's considered short once it's less than 60 mins

- Best Student Film (The Inspire Award): This category is set to award student filmmakers thus, the film must be made entirely by students and without financial or technical support from broadcasters. Evidence of a student card and an email confirmation from the Head of the department is a must.

- Best Women in Film: Film must have a predominantly female crew. Any three of the Producer, directors, cinematographers, and/or Writers must be women.

- Best Animated Film: An animated film from any part of the world.

- Best African Film (The Black Star Award): Film that connects to the special story of Africa and stories that highlight special issues peculiar to the continent of Africa. Films must have a predominantly African crew. Any three of the Producer, directors, cinematographers, and/or Writers must be Africans.

- Best Music Video: To award music videos worldwide, that have strong story-telling, conceptualization, and film production. We accept music video submissions from all over the world. Music Videos must be under 10 minutes and from any year regardless of budget, popularity, or language.

In 2020, we offered the YaaAsantewa-GOETHE award valued at $1500 to winners of the "Odehye3" award. In 2017 we offered the YaaAsantewa-UNDP awards valued at $3000 each given to 6 winning filmmakers.

BSIFF conducts a dual-prong selection process. Kindly note that should your film enter the second selection phase, you may be requested to send in a hard copy.

To submit your film, kindly send us a password-protected streaming URL link. Links must remain active and accessible through September 2022. A downloadable version of the film must be available on the same streaming link (this is important in the event that there is difficulty in streaming your film).

Please prepare this link in advance of beginning your online film entry form. (If you are unable or unwilling to submit your film by URL link, contact the Festival programming team to discuss an alternate method of entry). You may send an email to bsiffsubmissions@gmail.com

NB: All films must have been completed after January 1, 2019. If your film is selected, you will be required to send in an MP4 copy.

Note: Submissions may be work-in-progress form; however, films 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, Avid output, missing animation, etc.) either indicated in the film cut itself or within the copy display in the streaming link.
As long as the streaming link remains the same and password does not change you may update the link with newer cuts as they are available up until the last applicable entry deadline noted above.

In the unlikely event of a password change or link change, you must email the Festival immediately with that change so we may update your records. If the Festival is not notified of the change and the link is found to be inactive or the password to be incorrect the Festival will send an email to the submitter’s address on file to follow up.
If a response with the correct information is not received within forty-eight (48) hours, the submission may be deemed ineligible.

ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for consideration:

You must fully comply with Entry Rules & Regulations, including all deadlines, film length, entry material, and other requirements.

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

ENTRY FEES

We are happy to announce a subsidized entry fee for this year. Entry fee for projects submitted from now until March 31st is $20 (US dollars).

Students can submit at no cost and people submitting into the Best African Film category will pay a submission fee of $5.

Regardless of your method of entry, the Festival MUST receive all entry materials no later than the applicable deadlines referenced. The Festival reserves the right to disqualify any submission, without refund of any kind, if it is not completed in accordance with these Entry Rules and Regulations.

Note: It is your sole responsibility to ensure that your entry is properly submitted

*All physical entry materials received by the Festival WILL NOT be returned and will be DESTROYED or discarded by the Festival. The festival may consider a post back at the filmmaker's cost.

MULTIPLE ENTRIES

Each film must be individually submitted and accompanied by its own completed online entry form; please do not send links to multiple film entries in your online entry form or compilation DVDs composed of works for separate entries, as any or all of them may be disqualified.

Festival programmers select and invite all films to be presented at BSIFF, with preference given to Premiere Status films. Premiere Status films are those films that have not had the first screening of any kind on TV, in theatres, or any other film festival in Ghana). Invited filmmakers will be notified by email or phone via the information provided on the submitted entry form. Make sure to update the Festival with new contact information. the Festival reserves the right to rescind the invitation at any time without prior notice or obligation to the filmmaker.

If your work is selected, you must fulfill the following requirements by the date(s) designated by the Festival:

By submitting your film, you:
(i) accept responsibility for obtaining any and all clearances necessary to exhibit your film at BSIFF
(ii) warrant that you have the rights necessary to exhibit your film at BSIFF
(iii) indemnify and hold harmless the Black Star International festival, its parent company, its affiliates, and subsidiaries, and any of their respective directors, officers, employees, and representatives against any claim arising out of the exhibition of your film.

You must deliver to the address(es) designated by the Festival:
(i) one (1) exhibition copy (technical specifications must be confirmed by the Festival in advance of the invited work;
(ii) a second exhibition copy, if your film is in the competition (to accommodate juror screenings);
(iii) additional exhibition copies, if requested by the Festival (to allow for multiple screenings at more than one venue). We recommend you ship all exhibition copies via courier in order to permit the tracking of your film once it leaves your hands.

The required exhibition formats and delivery date deadlines will be confirmed by the Festival after invitations have been extended and confirmed. Please check in with the Festival staff before creating your Festival exhibition copy or copies to ensure the format and technical specifications are correct.

You must provide a properly completed and signed official BSIFF "Film Information Form” including all press and publication assets as specified in the “Materials Checklist” (the “Film Information Form” and “Materials Checklist” will be provided by the Festival).

You must provide at least one (1) DVD copy or downloadable link of the final, completed film for Festival archives and internal purposes.

Films invited to participate in the BSIFF will be shown in the section determined most appropriate by Festival programmers, at their sole discretion.

AWARDS

Unless otherwise agreed by the Festival in writing, awards will be given to the winning film director (as identified in the Film Information Form) on behalf of the film.

Award eligibility is subject to any restrictions or conditions imposed by applicable laws and regulations (international, federal, state, or otherwise), and the award recipient is responsible for all applicable taxes, customs, tariffs, insurance, and similar charges or costs (if any).

IMPORTANT NOTICE:
A number of our partners include TV stations, distributors, and platforms. Please indicate if you would like for your film to be considered for any of the above opportunities and also indicate the rights available

All Press kits, links, and MP4s (when required) must be sent to: bsiffsubmissions@gmail.com

All DVDs (when required) must be sent to:
The BSIFF submissions team
CT9488, Cantonments, Accra, Ghana

WhatsApp or call +233 506481853 for further inquiries

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Ken Sagoes

    We are honored and deeply grateful that our film “The McHenry Trial – Don’t Judge a Kid by Their Hoodie,” was selected as an Honrable Mention in your festival. The festival is well-organized with great communication. May the festival continue to provide filmmakers a platform that fosters creativity and self expression.

    October 2021
  • Kevin Jackson

    I have never attended the festival but I did submit a film (A short animation) which was selected. This was back in 2019. I was contacted recently about a possible interest in distribution for my short through a third party BSIFF is connected to. This shows that BSIFF is really about the progress of the filmmaker. I really appreciate festivals like this. I will definitely submit again in the future and I can't wait for the day when I can actually go in person.

    February 2021
  • Black Star International Film Festival 2020 is a festival to remember. In a nutshell, they did a splendid job in this trying time.

    September 2020
  • Due to COVID19 pandemic I was unable to attend the festival, however I want to thank the BSIFF team for an excellent festival 2020.

    My cast and crew and the people of Haiti are truly grateful that our film Twoub Manatal (Healing A Nation) won Best Documentary. I look forward to attending the festival next year. I hope more businesses will continue to support this great art space for filmmakers to showcase their films.

    September 2020
  • Great Festival! Our film DIVINE419 was screened at BSIFF2019 and received the 'Africa Rising Award'. We are very happy and thankful for this! One year earlier we actually shot that film in Accra and during the preproduction the festival was a good platform to network, which helped us in getting cast & crew for the film. As the festival is still young there are a few challenges that will hopefully improve over the years to come. Some suggestions from my side would be to reduce the submission fee for student films, look for further sponsors to support invited filmmakers with their travel and accommodation costs, lower the ticket prices and push the marketing to motivate the Ghanaian audience to attend the screenings in higher numbers, focus more on the films than on the glamour of the opening night or the music concert, etc. Despite the few challenges we are very happy and thankful to have been part of BSIFF and look forward to the next time one of our future projects will be part of the festival again! Vim!

    January 2020