The Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF), dubbed “The Black Sundance,” is an annual celebration of black cinema drawing together established and rising filmmakers, popular film and television stars, writers, industry executives, emerging artists and diverse audiences from Southern California and around the world. Attracting such stars and industry insiders as Academy Award® winners Sidney Poitier and Forest Whitaker, John Singleton, Tim Story, Malcolm Lee, Bill Duke, Devon Franklin, George Tillman, Ice-T, Blair Underwood, Sanaa Lathan, Loretta Devine, Debra Martin Chase, and Antwone Fisher, the festival has become a hotbed for the Black Hollywood community.

HBFF was founded in 1998 by its executive director, Tanya Kersey, with a mission focused on fostering and developing the vision of independent filmmakers by bringing their films to the attention of the industry, media and public through a public exhibition and competition program. To date, the festival has screened over 1,000 films from the U.S., Canada and 25 countries around the world.

The festival’s adjunct Infotainment Conference features 20+ panels and workshops and 100+ speakers, and covers a broad range of entertainment industry topics. Over 40,000 people have attended and enjoyed the diversity of Black cinema through the festival.

In keeping with it's commitment to support the creative community, in addition to the annual film festival, HBFF has created complementary platforms to showcase and develop filmmakers' projects -- the HBFF Cinema Lounge and HBFF Film Finance & Distribution Summit. The HBFF Cinema Lounge is a casual monthly networking and screening program that screens 4 to 5 short films followed by audience feedback and Q&A with the filmmakers. The annual HBFF Film Finance & Distribution Summit boasts a senior roster of seasoned industry professionals offering their insights on a broad range of film finance and distribution topics.

Rules & Terms

Entry fees are non-refundable.

HBFF FILM COMPETITION

Narrative Feature Film

Narrative feature films should be at least 60 minutes in length and completed after September 1, 2015. The Hollywood Black Film Festival welcomes film submissions from all filmmakers; however, to be eligible for our competitive program one of the film's creative principals, i.e. the writer, director or producer MUST BE BLACK OR OF AFRICAN HERITAGE. All other films will be considered for our invitational program. Please notify the festival in your application if your submission does not meet the requirements for the competitive program and you wish to be considered for the invitational program. Failure to notify the festival of your eligibility status can/will result in disqualification of your submission.

Short Film

Short films should be 30 minutes in length or less and completed after September 1, 2015. The Hollywood Black Film Festival welcomes film submissions from all filmmakers; however, to be eligible for our competitive program one of the film's creative principals, i.e. the writer, director or producer MUST BE BLACK OR OF AFRICAN HERITAGE. All other films will be considered for our invitational program. Please notify the festival in your application if your submission does not meet the requirements for the competitive program and you wish to be considered for the invitational program. Failure to notify the festival of your eligibility status can/will result in disqualification of your submission.

Student Film

Student films must have been completed while the filmmaker was enrolled as a full or part-time student. One of the film's creative principals i.e. the writer, director or producer MUST BE BLACK OR OF AFRICAN HERITAGE. A valid copy of your student identification must be included with your submission.

Documentary

Documentary films must have been completed after September 1, 2015. The Hollywood Black Film Festival welcomes film submissions from all filmmakers; however, to be eligible for our competitive program one of the film's creative principals, i.e. the writer, director or producer MUST BE BLACK OR OF AFRICAN HERITAGE. All other films will be considered for our invitational program. Please notify the festival in your application if your submission does not meet the requirements for the competitive program and you wish to be considered for the invitational program. Failure to notify the festival of your eligibility status can/will result in disqualification of your submission.

Directors In-Focus First Time Director Competition

This selection of first and second feature films receiving their U.S. premiere in Los Angeles celebrating our stories. To be eligible for the competition, films may not have U.S. distribution and must be a U.S. premiere if selected for the Festival.

Film Diaspora

The Film Diaspora Sidebar will highlight independent films and filmmakers from the African Diaspora, the Caribbean and Latin America.
Films submitted to compete in this category must have been produced by filmmakers residing outside the U.S. in Africa, the Caribbean or Latin America.
Narrative feature films must be at least 60 minutes in length and completed after September 1, 2014.
Short films may be no longer than 30 minutes in length and completed after September 1, 2014.

Web Series

Web series submissions must be created with the intention of distribution on the world-wide web or a mobile media platform and completed within the 2015-2016 calendar year. Three (3) webisodes from the same series will be accepted. Each individual episode cannot exceed 20 minutes in length.

PLEASE READ THE COMPLETE RULES & TERMS for the HBFF FILM COMPETITION BEFORE SUBMITTING YOUR PROJECT. Not adhering to the rules of the competition will disqualify your entry.

Complete Rules & Terms FOR HBFF FILM COMPETITION
http://www.hbff.org/submit-to-the-hbff-2017-film-competition/

HBFF STORYTELLER COMPETITION

Submissions for the 2017 HBFF STORYTELLER COMPETITION are sought from black screenwriters who are serious about a career as a screenwriter. Submissions of screenplays of 70-120 pages, on any topic and genre, will be accepted.

-Entries should be properly formatted (see The Complete Guide to Standard Script Formats, by Cole/Haag).
-DO NOT include the writer's name, contact info, WGA number, or any other identifying information on the cover page or anywhere within the script. Submissions containing prohibited information will not be accepted.
-Feature-length scripts and full-length plays are not to exceed 130 pages. Short scripts are not to exceed 50 pages. Television scripts and teleplays are not to exceed 65 pages.
-Writers can submit multiple scripts as separate entries with separate fees and tracking numbers.

PLEASE READ THE COMPLETE RULES & TERMS for the HBFF STORYTELLER COMPETITION. before submitting your project. Not adhering to the rules of the competition will disqualify your entry.

Complete Storyteller Rules & Terms
http://www.hbff.org/submit-to-the-hbff-2017-storyteller-competition/

9 Reviews

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • false
    Dale E. Turner

    It was sad to see that the one festival I was anxious to go to turned out to be a hot mess of disorganization. The silver lining was the efforts of the volunteers who scrambled to salvage some dignity and the fellow filmmakers whom I met that made it bearable.

    April 2017
    Final logo
    Response from festival:

    I'm not going to disagree with you Dale. But it could have been worse. I made one of the biggest mistakes of my business life when I hired a certain programming director who nearly destroyed the festival I've worked 14 years to build. I'm just glad we're still standing and I hope you come back next year to experience what HBFF really is all about. We have in fact always been lauded as one of the most organized film festivals out there ... this year was an anomaly and the person who nearly destroyed us is gone. - Tanya Kersey, Founder & Executive Director

  • false
    Georgette Pierre

    Had a great time and was so grateful for being selected. Super inspired by the other content I watched and just the plethora of content for us by us. Look forward to doing more work.

    March 2017
  • false
    Isaac Taylor

    Great Time! Would definitely go again next year.

    March 2017
  • false
    James Theres

    Was honored my first film, The 30th of May,was selected to screen at HBFF. The panels were excellent and informative. What stood out to me most was the hospitality and smiles of the volunteers and staff. Proud to be an HBFF alum and look forward to attending again.

    March 2017
  • false
    Howard Davis

    I have nothing but good things to say about this festival. I've never felt more at home, included and welcomed into such a beautiful group of individuals. I will be making an effort to attend every year if I can from Canada. Communication was a little difficult but coming in internationally I expected that.

    March 2017