The International Houston Black Film Festival (iHBFF) celebrates content creators across the globe with entries from the Cayman Islands, England, Canada, Africa, France, to Istanbul and beyond. It is also a celebration of cultural diversity, community outreach, and the art of visual storytelling. Our goal is to offer a creative outlet for independent storytellers and connect them with industry professionals within the entertainment capital of the world. One of our favorite events, PATIO PITCHES, garnered great reviews. We also stay committed to hosting at least one event out in the community during or festival.

We aspire to bring a collective, cohesive and creative environment for the Houston, Texas Film Mecca; the fourth largest metropolitan city in the United States. As such, just as our original tagline states, "We have been bringing Hollywood to Houston", for years. Our focus is to proactively enhance the process of developing, producing and distributing films by black filmmakers.

Our goal is to also bring a unique dominion to films by providing a program that will directly impact the viability and quality of films introduced to the market by the implementation of such ‘special segment’ as The Book to Film Screenplay Search Project, which aims to become an amenable bridge between proven published African American authors and filmmakers in hopes of bringing more book to film adaptations by writers of color to the big and small screen.

Our commitment is to quality over quantity when selecting films to showcase. These works are worthy of a platform for the Houston community and beyond. This is a momentous occasion for our city as we connect with filmmakers and immerse them in the Houston storytelling community of Houston based writers. The five-day festival includes an array of social engagements in various venues around our great city.

Best Art Activism Film, Jury Award, Best TV Show(Comedy) Best TV Drama, Best Short, Best Feature, Best Screenplay, Best Music Video, Best Web Series, Best Horror, Best Thriller, Best Fantasy, Animation, Best Anime', Best Doc, Best Micro Doc, Radio Drama, Best Sci-Fi, Best Comedy, Best Student Short, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Poster, Best Cinematography, Best Soundtrack, Best Score, Audience Choice Award, Best Comedy Spec, Best Drama Spec, Best Comedy Pilot, Best Drama Pilot, Best Art Activism Award, Virtual Reality, Best Book Trailer, Honorable Mention, Youth Storyteller Competition.

Visit past winners on IMDB

A short synopsis of 2 to 4 lines is required for short submissions. A short synopsis in addition to a longer synopsis of approximately 125 words is required for the Documentary Feature and Narrative Feature categories.

Each submission should also include at least one still production photo or slide, a press kit and bio and photo of the director. If available, include a poster in a file separate from the rest of your EPK. A trailer for your film is also strongly suggested. Due to potential copyright issues, HBFF will be unable to consider fan fiction/fan films without express written permission from the primary copyright holder. HBFF reserves the right to determine the final eligibility of any work submitted.

Films will be promoted on our website, in printed materials (such as the festival program) and in our press and marketing efforts. The filmmaker gives us the right to use the name, likeness to include the film images, cast, and crew images mentions as cleared by the filmmaker prior to submission.

Once a film is officially accepted to the festival, the filmmaker can no longer withdraw it from the festival lineup. The filmmaker is also responsible for submitting the screening materials at least four weeks before the festival. If the screening will be a world premiere, please let us know as we will do our best to promote to the local community, and please keep us abreast of production and marketing activities!

Houston Black Film Festival is also hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt (about 3 minute or less) from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes. The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Houston Black Film Festival or its assignees, from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

Filmmakers also note that NO SCREENERS WILL BE RETURNED, period by the Houston Black Film Festival. Also, filmmakers may submit trailers of works that are not complete as long as these works will be completed by the festival deadline. Filmmakers are responsible for all clearances, or licenses associated with their film submission.

HoustonBFF accepts film submissions from all filmmakers; however, to be eligible for the festival’s competitive program, one of the film’s creative principals, i.e. the writer, director or producer must be Black or of African heritage or the cast must be predominately African American.

Narrative feature films should be at least 60 minutes in length; short films should be 30 minutes in length or less, and student films must have been completed while the filmmaker was enrolled as a full or part-time student in a college or university. Web series content creators must submit at least 3 episodes, in ALL genres, less than 20 minutes in length each.

The Houston Black Film Festival does not pay filmmakers to screen their films. The HBFF.does not pay licensing or screening fees for films submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway or otherwise. With your submission, you agree that no screening fee will be paid by the festival to screen your film. The number of screenings, days and venue is at the sole discretion of the festival.

Films that are available to the public, via online/or in theatre distributions are ineligible Web series, Podcast, Radio Dramas are allowed to compete although publicly available.

You may purchase festival passes here.