The Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF) welcomes narrative features, shorts, student and documentary films for its competitive program. Animation films, music videos and web series will be considered for its non-competitive program.

HBFF 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. 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.

  • NARRATIVE FEATURE FILMS should be at least 60 minutes in length.
  • SHORT FILMS should be 30 minutes in length or less.
  • 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.

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.

We also accept submissions from outside the U.S. and Canada for our World Cinema Program.

Film Diaspora Competition submissions will showcase independent films and filmmakers from the African Diaspora. Feature, short and documentary films submitted to compete in Film Diaspora must have been produced before September 1, 2014 by filmmakers residing outside the U.S. — in Africa, the Caribbean, Central or Latin America.

HBFF has a history of screening films from throughout the Diaspora. In addition to opening the 2011 festival with “A Million Colours,” a South African film, HBFF has screened films from Nigeria, Ghana, Central African Republic, Burundi, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Niger, Haiti, Bahamas, Jamaica, Brazil, Cuba, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Through a public exhibition and competition program, the Hollywood Black Film Festival screens feature, short, student and documentary films in order to enhance the careers of emerging and established black filmmakers. The festival’s goal is to play an integral role in discovering and launching independent films and filmmakers by bringing them to the attention of the industry, media and public.

Since its inception, HBFF Has screened a total of 940 independent films including 165 features, 495 shorts, 149 documentaries, 103 student films, 14 animated films, 11 music videos and 3 web series from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Japan, the Bahamas, Central African Republic, Ghana, Burundi, Nigeria, Australia, South Africa, Kenya, Haiti, Burkina Faso, Niger, Russia, Brazil, Jordan, Jamaica, Spain, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Singapore and the Philippines. It has held 452 world premieres, 30 U.S. premieres, 122 West Coast premieres and 65 Los Angeles premieres. Over 60,000 people have attended and enjoyed the diversity of Black Cinema through this festival.

Festival Dates: February 22-26, 2017

Call for Entries: July 18, 2016

Early Bird Deadline: September 30, 2016

Fee: $65

Regular Deadline: November 1, 2016

Fee: $75

Late Deadline: December 16, 2016

Fee: $85

Notification to Filmmakers: Rolling notifications December 21, 2016 through January 6, 2017.

Festival Schedule: January 19, 2017

Film Delivery:  January 26, 2017

All films submitted for general competition must have been completed after September 1, 2015.
Films submitted for the Diaspora Competition should have been completed by September 1, 2014.

Please read the Film Competition FAQ’s for complete details before submitting.

Hollywood Black Film Festival proudly accepts entries via, the world’s best online submission platform. FilmFreeway offers free HD online screeners, unlimited video storage, digital press kits, and more. Click to submit with FilmFreeway.