Call for submissions for the 2022 Festival IS ON NOW!
1. All films submitted must be principally acted, directed, or produced by a person of African descent regardless of what country you reside. Festival programming staff will select and invite films at their discretion. Entrants will be notified, if selected, via email, on or before December 17, 2021. If your film is not selected you may or may not be notified. Please feel free to email us regarding your film’s status after December 20, 2021.
2. We accept online previewing through FilmFreeway. Preview means the copy we will use to review for acceptance of your film.
3. If selected, filmmakers are expected to provide the following:
(a) Exhibition/Screening copy. This means the actual copy that will be used to screen your film at a select theater. The screening format is DCP only. Again, we screen films in the following format only: DCP.
(b) Your film’s trailer (MP4 format only). Upon acceptance only, please upload your film’s trailer to WeTransfer or similar uploading service and email us a link. (Youtube linked trailers or Vimeo are not acceptable). If your film has not been accepted, please do not email us your trailer's link. It be will discarded.
(c) Stills (300dpi). Please upload your film’s stills to either WeTransfer or similar uploading service and email us a link. If your film has not been accepted, please do not email us your stills link. It will be discarded.
(d) Upon acceptance please send us your film’s poster and/or postcards. (Note: poster and postcards are optional. Hard copies only, no electronic files).
(e) Upon acceptance, FedEx, UPS, or Express Mail your DCP screening copy to the festival. (Please send two screening/exhibition DCP copies. One will be used as backup if needed).
NOTE: Upon acceptance of your film; your film’s trailer, stills and other materials may be used during the Festival for promotional purposes and in subsequent years. Selected films may be screened multiple times during the course of the Festival at the festival’s discretion. Your press kit material and film may be used to promote the following year’s event. In addition, your Blu-ray copy will not be returned, but may be archived for research and historical purposes. However, your screening DCP copy may be returned pursuant to the festival’s return policy (See below). The San Diego Black Film Festival is not responsible for lost films or damage to any films during shipping, handling, or screening.
Screening Fees The festival will not waive fees and will not pay rental fees under any circumstances. Rather, we devote our resources to producing the best possible showcase for your work and promoting your work as widely as possible with distribution of your product in mind.
Awards We do not offer monetary awards. Our awards are solely based on honor and merit. The Festival presents the following awards to filmmakers and actors in competition:
Best Dramatic Feature Best Documentary Feature Best Documentary Short Best Dramatic Short Best Religious Best Comedy Best Animation Best Music Video Best Cutting Edge Audience Choice Best GLBT
Winners will be presented with an award, to be determined, during the festival’s Awards Ceremony. There may or may not be additional awards or giveaways.
Shipping Submit entries prepaid, including applicable customs fees via Fedx, UPS, or U.S. Post Office, etc. San Diego Black Film Festival 220 West G Street, Suite E San Diego, CA 92101
Package Blu-rays securely. Selected filmmakers are responsible for delivery of the exhibition copy (DCP) to our offices by the date and time designated in your selection notification.
Please email submission questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org 2022 Festival Dates: January 26-30
Submission Fees and Deadlines A completed application and entry fee must accompany each entry. There are no exceptions to the entry fee. Entries must be postmarked per the following deadlines:
Early Bird Deadline: October 29, 2021
Regular Deadline: November 19, 2021
Late Deadline: December 10, 2021
Extended Deadline: December 20, 2021
Entry fees are non-refundable.
Film Genres The Festival accepts films/videos in the following genres: dramatic feature, dramatic short, comedy, documentary feature, documentary short, GLBT, animation, Christian, and music video. Festival programming staff may use their discretion to place your film in the appropriate category.
Eligibility/Rules of Entry Films entered into competition must be directed, produced, or principally acted by an artist of African descent in the USA or in any country, or by a person born in any country in Africa, or whose subject matter relates to African American culture or any cultures of Africa (including Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, etc.) regardless of race. Entries must have been completed after January 1, 2020. Entries must not have been exhibited previously at a film festival in the San Diego area nor can it be available for rent, steaming service or purchase on DVD, Blu-ray or any other format for American audiences.
Each project entered into competition must pay an entry fee. There is no limit to the number of qualifying entries by any entrant so long as an entry form and fee accompanies each entry. Foreign language entries must be subtitled with English subtitles. Films cannot be re-entered into competition or the festival in general if previously rejected from the San Diego Black Film Festival.
Legal Notice: When submitting a film to the San Diego Black Film Festival you are representing that you’re; (a) duly authorized to submit such film; (b) you are in fact committing such film for screening at the San Diego Black Film Festival if accepted, and (c) hereby submit your film in consideration of a submission fee and the festival’s promise to screen your film, if selected (excusing any technical issues). Accordingly, your submission constitutes a binding agreement between you as the applicant, and/or filmmaker and the San Diego Black Film Festival pursuant to this agreement. If your film is selected, you MUST submit a DCP screening copy on or before the noted deadline. You further agree to adhere to all rules and regulations of the festival as set forth herein. You agree to hold the San Diego Black Film Festival, San Diego Black Film Center and its affiliates, harmless from any damages whatsoever, including personal injury and the loss of your screening/exhibition copy in-route or otherwise during the course of the festival’s possession of your film. You understand and agree that the San Diego Black Film Festival is not obligated to return any film not personally retrieved at the close of screening. Should any liability or damage result or legal action commence from a third party naming you or the San Diego Black Film Festival, as a result of your submission, and/or the exhibition of your film, you agree to indemnify the San Diego Black Film Festival, San Diego Black Film Center and its affiliates. By submitting your film, you are confirming that you have read and fully understand the above terms and conditions and hereby agree that it constitutes your electronic signature and agreement upon submission. Any breach of the agreement by you may result in your film’s disqualification and cancellation. Entrants shall obtain all licenses, royalties, and permits necessary to present their work. Entrant will assume all costs arising from the use of patented, trademarked, franchised or copyrighted music, materials, devices, processes, or dramatic rights used in production of work. Entries previously exhibited on the Internet are eligible for entry so long as they meet the above requirements. The Festival is not responsible for returning screening copies unless entrant includes a self-addressed stamped envelope or retrieve your film during or prior to the end of the festival. Entry fees are not refundable. Self-addressed stamped envelopes with insufficient postage will be discarded. DO NOT USE DATED METERED STAMPS as it would have expired by the time the film is returned to you and therefore will not be accepted by the post office. Providing a FedEx number or pre-paid mailer is the best way to have your film returned should you fail to retrieve it during the festival.
Feature and Short Definition A feature is any work with a running time of 60 minutes or longer. Less than 20 minutes running time designates a short.
How to Qualify The San Diego Black Film Festival rules of entry define qualifying work and filmmakers. Entry to the Festival affirms understanding and acceptance by the filmmaker of all rules of entry.
Your submission package must include all of the following:
A completed copy of the entry form from FilmFreeway or each entry
A copy of the FilmFreeway confirmation of submission
Entry Fee must have been pre-paid to FilmFreeway (postmark on or before deadlines)
Notification If your film is selected for screening at the 2022 San Diego Black Film Festival, you will receive an email from us on or before December 17, 2021. If you do not receive an email, this does not automatically mean your film was not accepted. Sometimes the notification process is delayed for various reasons. Feel free to email us after December 20, 2021 to obtain the disposition of your submission. But please do not email us prior to this date.