2014 // Call for Films

2014BK2014BK[alert_one type=”info or error or success or default”]The International Black Women’s Film Festival is prioritizing films completed within the past year, specifically, films completed after July 1, 2013. Films completed after July 1, 2013, have a higher possibility of being selected, though it is not a guarantee for selection.[/alert_one]

Before Submitting Your Film

Did you read the “Requirements”? How about the “Terms & Conditions”? If so, then you’re ready to submit your film! The festival excepts all genres except for adult/pornographic films, instructional videos, and/or music videos.

[list_items type=”list-check”] [list_item]READ the Requirements and the Terms & Conditions.[/list_item] [list_item]Make sure you have a digital, HD (high-definition) version of your film for uploading (MOV, AVI, MPEG).[/list_item] [list_item]Fill-out the online form and include HD film.[/list_item] [list_item]Submit your film.[/list_item] [/list_items]

RequirementsDeadlines & DatesSubmit Your Application

Requirements //

Lead character prominently features a woman of African descent/African Diaspora in a non-pornographic and/or non-stereotypical role.

Film may feature the experiences, viewpoints, lifestyles, socio-economic position or stories of Black women, but it is not required for eligibility.


Film was directed and/or produced by a Black woman/woman of the African diaspora (this includes women of the following groups/cultures: Adivasi, Aboriginal Australians, Dravidian, Pilipino Negrito / Ati, Seminole, Dalit, African Latino, Arawak, Carib, Garifuna, “Black Indian”, Black African groups/tribes, East Timorese, Solomon Islander/indigenous Pacific Islander, African/indigenous Caribbean, African Brazilian, indigenous Fijian, indigenous Maori, multi/bi-racial, et al.).

More About Requirements //

Films should be timely, or directly features issues, activities, politics that influence the lives of Black women around the world. Digital shorts, animation and experimental films may present any issue, but filmmakers should be Black women or prominently feature a Black woman character or issue.

Formatting //

All films (digital, animation, etc.) must be transferred onto a DVD for screenings. The IBWFF no longer accepts VHS or BETA tapes!

Online films must be encoded using either Quicktime, MPEG, Flash (*.swf) or Windows Media formats. You are welcome to forward a link to where your film can be viewed online. (Online, digital films must be transferred to DVD, if you’d like it reviewed offline. For theater projection, you must format your film for DVD and theater screen.)

About YouTube, Bebo and other online services //

If you’d like your film to be considered as a “premiere,” then it cannot be available online via such services as YouTube, Bebo, Hulu, Brightcove, etc. If you are using one of these services, your film may be considered for IBWFF TV, but not the film festival.

FEBRUARY 15, 2014 //


JULY 12, 2014 //

Black Laurel Deadline

AUGUST 2, 2014 //


SEPTEMBER 1, 2014 //


  • Feature // Narrative feature is 45 to 120+ minutes in length | $20.00 
  • Short // Short film is no more than 25 minutes and no less than 1 minute. | $10.00

SEPTEMBER 10, 2014 //


  • Feature // Narrative feature is 45 to 120+ minutes in length | $35.00
  • Short // Short film is no more than 25 minutes and no less than 1 minute. | $25.00

SEPTEMBER 15, 2014 //


DECEMBER 6, 2014 – DECEMBER 7, 2014 //


The 10 Best Horror Movies Starring a Black Actress


When the economy is down in movie-land, movie makers turn to horror. Horror films are America’s obsession with the great unknowns that can hurt you. So it’s no wonder that horror films gain ground during difficult economic times. (Granted, who wants to be scared of the great unknown, and then drive home in a Hummer. )

For many African Americans, horror movies were a little too close to home.

Why battle a zombie when you can see a junkie on your neighbor’s steps? Why worry about ghosts when you’ve heard older people talk about the ghosts of relatives in your own house. A double-whammy is that Hollywood often featured Black people as a part of the “great, harmful unknown,” or a spook.

Movies like “I Walked with a Zombie” (1943) portrayed Black actors as slobbering zombies, or “voodoo” practitioners who could kill you with a doll.

Or Black characters were seen as bumbling, superstitious buffoons who ran over each other while trying to run from a ghost, like Stepin Fetchit in “The Ghost Talks” (1929).

It wasn’t until the Black Power movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s that a new genre emerged: Black horror movies. This time, the Black actors were the central characters. They had a different relationship with voodoo, ghosts, and vampires. Now, they were the heroes and heroines to save the day.

Also, horror wasn’t found in the manicured lawns of exclusive neighborhoods, but they were in urban areas, especially in Black neighborhoods, like in “Blacula,” “Tales from the Hood,” and “J.D.’s Revenge.”

But what about Black women in these movies?

Unlike their white counterparts during the 60’s and 70’s, Black women found themselves as central characters in horror movies who weren’t always the cloy yet clueless victims. Some even perservered and turned the tables on their aggressors.

So how can we celebrate these women who were light years ahead of Hollywood?

With Halloween around the corner, now is the time to revel in these films! Plan a party to showcase one or more of these films. (You can pick them up at your local DVD rental store, or from Netflix, but remember, if you plan to show them in a theater or public venue, you’ll have to purchase a screening license.)

Throw a Movie Party

Pick your film, or films, based on a theme. Make sure you have enough time for your party *and* for screening your film.

If it’s a zombie flick, there’s nothing better than a room full of zombies, dancing and eating non-humans. Think of it as a party and a tribute to “Thriller.” If it’s a vampire movie, offer free vampire teeth party favors. It’s like a costume that guests don’t have to splurge on.

The late-Michael Jackson had many “scary” songs that can also rock a house full of zombies: “Thriller,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Smooth Criminal,” etc. For “voodoo” themed parties, plan New Orleans music by The Meters, Dr. John, The Neville Brothers, and more. Serve gumbo with your movie…and pray no one throws it up.

Include trivia games to liven up your party and make the trivia about the stars of the film, or the theme. For example, “You can kill a vampire with a silver bullet. TRUE? FALSE? –False. You kill a werewolf with a silver bullet.” Offer prizes that you can buy from any 99-cent store. People don’t care about the prize. They care about winning.

Be sure to pick up these films for your next get together!


10. Beloved (1998)

9. Abby (1974)

8. Sugar Hill (1974)

7. The Omega Man (1971)

6. Angel Heart (1987)

5. Def by Temptation (1990)

4. Tales from the Hood (1995)

3. Blacula (1972)

2. Queen of the Damned (2002)

1. 28 Days Later (2002)



The International Black Women’s Film Festival was established in 2001 by Adrienne Anderson, a San Francisco Bay Area-resident and San Francisco-native. The first festival was presented in 2002 in San Francisco, CA. Though an academic and collaborative technology trainer by profession, Ms. Anderson is a writer and has worked as a journalist, writer and cultural activist.

She decided to create a festival where the accomplishments, talents, creativity and filmmaking skills of Black women could be celebrated, featured and fairly represented. Looking beyond the usual Hollywood-style stereotypes of Black women, she introduced new and innovate cinema, primarily directed by Black women and/or featuring Black women in non-stereotypical roles.

To date, the festival has received over 400 entries and has garnered international attention around the world from the Netherlands, Germany, Paris, Ghana, Canada and Australia! The festival has also received personal support and sponsorship from STAR WARS director and creator George Lucas and his former media company LucasFilms, Ltd.

The festival brings original, exciting, and innovative cinema featuring Black women in prominent roles and lets them present their own stories in their own voices.


Sunday, December 14, 2014 – Program 3

  • MBETI: THE ROAD TO KISESINI (Kenya 2014 – Short/Documentary), dir. Ann Bromberg
  • HEART & SOUL (Canada 2013 – Short/Documentary/Experimental), dir. David Phu
  • HAPPINESS (U.S.A. 2014 – Short/Drama), dir. Kalechi Noel **Premiere

  • CLOSING FILM: FOR THE CAUSE (U.S.A. 2013 – Feature/Drama), dir. Katherine Nero

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 – Program 2


  • NEHEMIAH (U.S.A. 2013 – Short/Drama/Animation), dir. Tiisetso Dladla

  • CURSE OF AN ADDICT – ZANZIBAR (U.K./Zanzibar 2013 – Short/Documentary), dir. Lovinsa Kavuma

  • DANCING LIKE HOME (U.S.A./Sénégal 2013 – Short/Documentary), dir. Joyce Guy

  • LITTLE WHITE LIE (U.S.A. 2014 – Feature/Documentary), dir. Lacey Schwartz

Sunday, December 7, 2014 – Program 1


  • WHY DO YOU HAVE BLACK DOLLS (U.S.A. 2013 – Short/Documentary), dir. Samantha Knowles
  • I HAVE ALL THE FEELINGS (U.S.A. 2014 – Short/Animation/Comedy), dir. Kathleen Antonia **Premiere

  • WINDOW DRESSING FAIL (U.S.A. 2014 – Short/Comedy), dir. Stacey Larkins **Premiere

  • ONE PAST (U.S.A. 2014 – Short/Horror), dir. Julie Kobayashi **Premiere
  • LONGING (U.K. 2013 – Short/Drama), dir. Zoe Sailsman Asghar
  • O-STAR (U.S.A. 2014 – Short/Musical/Fantasy), dir. Dima Otvertchenko

BANDE DE FILLES/GIRLHOOD | Thursday, December 4, 2014



Karidja Touré, Assa Sylla, Lindsay Karamoh, Marietou Touré

Oppressed by her family setting, dead-end school prospects and the boys law in the neighborhood, Marieme starts a new life after meeting a group of 3 free-spirited girls. She changes her name, her dress code, and quits school to be accepted in the gang, hoping that this will be a way to freedom.
18+ years old. This film contains adult situations.

Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, AFI Film Festival


Community Partners


Community Partners are affinity groups, organizations, and individuals who share the vision of the International Black Women’s Film Festival. The following Community Partners are integral to the success of the festival and the spirit of the festival’s mission!

Please visit their sites and find out what makes them great!

MCNA+OPEN-BLOCK+COLOR-784x420 Sisterhood logo with R BCMgrouplogo



Invisible Universe   Skin Folk

SEEN | Modern Cinema + Black Women









Tickets: $10.00/person $15.00/person

6 PM to 9 PM
The New Parkway Theater
474 24th Street
Oakland, CA 94612

Reception at 6 PM
Screenings start at 6:45 PM

Eventbrite - Opening Night: International Black Women's Film Festival| GIRLHOOD + KASITA

Celebrate the opening of SEEN: Modern Cinema + Black Women, presented by the International Black Women’s Film Festival. Celebrating over 12 years of dynamic film in all genres, this year launches over 30 films in theaters and online!

Hors d’oeuvres, music, drinks, networking and film!



dir. Céline Sciamma (2014 | Feature | Frances) – French with English subtitles


Karidja Touré, Assa Sylla, Lindsay Karamoh, Marietou Touré

Oppressed by her family setting, dead-end school prospects and the boys law in the neighborhood, Marieme starts a new life after meeting a group of 3 free-spirited girls. She changes her name, her dress code, and quits school to be accepted in the gang, hoping that this will be a way to freedom.
18+ years old. This film contains adult situations.

Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, AFI Film Festival

with short film


dir. Gabri Christa (2014 | Short | Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean) – Papiamentu with English subtitles


When a young girl in Bonaire (Dutch Caribbean) Luna, can’t keep the dog she rescued, she knows just what to do, together with her cousin Sol,she sets off to house him in the empty slave huts, (that would make perfect doghouses) but things don’t go as planned.

Community Partners



PROGRAM 1 | Sunday, December 7, 2014

Tickets: FREE (*RSVP Required)
12 noon to 2:30 PM

   The ROXIE Theater   
3117 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Eventbrite - SEEN: Modern Cinema + Black Women


12:10 PM | WHY DO YOU HAVE BLACK DOLLS (U.S.A. 2013 – Short/Documentary, 30 mins), dir. Samantha Knowles

12:40 PM | I HAVE ALL THE FEELINGS (U.S.A. 2014 – Short/Animation/Comedy, 4 mins), dir. Kathleen Antonia **Premiere

12:44 PM | WINDOW DRESSING FAIL (U.S.A. 2014 – Short/Comedy, 10 mins), dir. Stacey Larkins **Premiere

12:55 PM | ONE PAST (U.S.A. 2014 – Short/Horror, 20 mins), dir. Julie Kobayashi **Premiere

1:15 PM | LONGING (U.K. 2013 – Short/Drama, 10 mins), dir. Zoe Sailsman Asghar

1:25 PM | O-STAR (U.S.A. 2014 – Short/Musical/Sci-Fi/Fantasy, 30 mins), dir. Dima Otvertchenko

PROGRAM 2| Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tickets: FREE (*RSVP Required)
6 PM to 9 PM
The New Parkway Theater
474 24th Street (btwn Broadway and Telegraph)
Oakland, CA 94612

**Location subject to change

Eventbrite - SEEN: Modern Cinema + Black Women | Program 2


6:10 PM | NEHEMIAH (U.S.A. 2013 – Short/Drama/Animation), dir. Tiisetso Dladla

6:40 PM | CURSE OF AN ADDICT – ZANZIBAR (U.K./Zanzibar 2013 – Short/Documentary), dir. Lovinsa Kavuma

7:10 PM | DANCING LIKE HOME (U.S.A./Sénégal 2013 – Short/Documentary), dir. Joyce Guy

7:40 | LITTLE WHITE LIE (U.S.A. 2014 – Feature/Documentary), dir. Lacey Schwartz

PROGRAM 3 | Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tickets: FREE (*RSVP Required)
12 noon to 2:30 PM
The New Parkway Theater
474 24th Street
Oakland, CA 94612

Eventbrite - SEEN: Modern Cinema + Black Women | Program 3


12:30 PM | MBETI: THE ROAD TO KISESINI (Kenya 2014 – Short/Documentary, 15 mins), dir. Ann Bromberg

12:45 PM | HEART & SOUL (Canada 2013 – Short/Documentary/Experimental, 4 mins), dir. David Phu

12:50 PM | HAPPINESS (U.S.A. 2014 – Short/Drama, 4 mins), dir. Kalechi Noel **Premiere

1:00 PM | CLOSING FILM: FOR THE CAUSE (U.S.A. 2013 – Feature/Drama, ), dir. Katherine Nero

FOR THE CAUSE | Sunday, December 14, 2014


Mirai Scott, a Chicago civil rights attorney, is contacted by her estranged father, Rolly Spencer, a former Black Panther who went underground 30 years earlier to escape an attempted murder charge. Mirai refuses to take Rolly’s case, but her curiosity about her parents’ relationship is aroused when her otherwise frank-speaking mother, Fredi Scott, refuses to discuss what happened between her and Mirai’s father during their days in the Party. Mirai’s efforts to win Rolly’s freedom uncover painful and dangerous secrets from her parents’ past through which she learns the true meaning of family and love.


HAPPINESS | Sunday, December 14, 2014

Director: Kalechi Noel
Screenwriter: Kalechi Noel
Producer: KaonFilms.com

In a day and age when women are rising up the ranks and becoming prominent figures and roll models in society, there is always a cost to success…. In this case, is it Happiness? Meet Anita, a wife and successful affluent African American woman who describes in vivid detail a rather unique blind date she goes on. Witness happiness in this comical short film.


HEART & SOUL | Sunday, December 14, 2014


Director: David Phu
Screenwriter: Chris Bruntlett
Producer: Chris Bruntlett

Have you heard the rumor that librarians are awesome? We can confirm that. Cecily Walker is a librarian at the Vancouver Public Library Central Branch. Born in Atlanta, Cecily landed in Vancouver thanks to the flip of a coin (tails meant stay in Georgia). Biking has been a part of her life ever since she completed graduate school at UBC and made a conscious decision to minimize the distance between work and home.


MBETI: THE ROAD TO KISESINI | Sunday, December 14, 2014


Director: Ann Bromberg
Screenwriter: Ann Bromberg
Producer: Shelmar18 productions

In Kenya and other African countries many newborns die within the first week of life, usually from infection or other preventable causes.
Mbeti: The Road to Kisesini is about one woman’s journey to save her village, by saving the mothers and their children from dying of malnutrition caused by an unsafe water supply and lack of access to medical facilities in the community.


LITTLE WHITE LIE | Tuesday, December 9, 2014


[alert_one type=”info”]UPDATE: Unfortunately, LITTLE WHITE LIE will not be screening on December 9, 2014, at the International Black Women’s Film Festival; however, you may watch it at the AMC Metreon Theater the week of December 5, 2014, in San Francisco’s Metreon Center. Click here to go to listing: https://www.amctheatres.com/movies/little-white-lie  You will have to purchase tickets outside of the International Black Women’s Film Festival, and the tickets are not hosted by the festival. This is a separate screening.[/alert_one]

Director: Lacey Schwartz
Screenwriter: Lacey Schwartz
Producer: Mehret Mandefro

Little White Lie tells Lacey Schwartz’s story of growing up in a typical middle-class Jewish household in Woodstock, NY, with loving parents and a strong sense of her Jewish identity — that is until she discovers that her biological father is actually a black man with whom her mother had an affair. What defines our identity, our family of origin or the family that raises us? Lacey discovers that answering those questions means understanding her parents’ stories as well as her own. Little White Lie is a personal documentary about the legacy of family secrets, denial, and redemption.


DANCING LIKE HOME | Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Director: Joyce Guy
Screenwriter: Joyce Guy
Producer: Joyce Guy and Leslie Saltus Evans

Dancing Like Home, a personal documentary film explores the realities of going back “home” to the motherland – Senegal, West Africa. Director Joyce Guy’s passion for African dance sets her in pursuit to find the meanings of the traditional dance ceremonies of Casamance, Senegal but once there her expectations of this culturally rich region are challenged.

CURSE OF AN ADDICT – ZANZIBAR | Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Director: Lovinsa Kavuma
Screenwriter: Lovinsa Kavuma
Producer: Lovinsa Kavuma

Seif a young Muslim and heroin addict believes he is cursed. In a battle to be free, Seif seeks help from a Shiek-a spiritual leader who conducts an exorcism and summons the curse on stage. She, arrives in the form of a spirit to confront Seif. She says he is a free man but there are conditions he must abide to in order to maintain his freedom from life of drugs.

NEHEMIAH | Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Director: Tiisetso Dladla
Screenwriter: Tiisetso Dladla
Producer: Kia M. Neal

Inspired by the courage of his favorite cartoon character, an autistic teenager embarks on a journey to reconnect with his father.

O-STAR | Sunday, December 7, 2014


dir. Dima Otvertchenko
2014 | United States | 30 minutes
Short/Musical/Science Fiction
Director: Dima Otvertchenko
Screenwriter: Dima Otvertchenko
Producer: Tom Roof, Zack Siddiqui, & Dima Otvertchenko

Rudy & Ava have four days to make sense of their broken relationship before the end of the world in this pop-punk rock music video adventure told through seven original songs.


LONGING | Sunday, December 7, 2014


Director: Zoe Sailsman Asghar
Screenwriter: Zoe Sailsman Asghar
Producer: Zoe Sailsman Asghar

Dawn has recently lost her husband. She is finding it difficult to let go and longs for her husband’s presence. In order to see or feel him she delves into her subconscious and imagination; unfortunately the more she sees the more her reality becomes distorted.



ONE PAST | Sunday, December 7, 2014


Director: Juli S. Kobayashi
Screenwriter: Juli S. Kobayashi and Celiné Justice
Producer: Juli S. Kobayashi and Celiné Justice

Reeling after a tragic twist of fate, a young woman is visited by a vivacious spirit.


WINDOW DRESSING FAIL | Sunday, December 7, 2014


Director: Stacey Larkins
Screenwriter: Stacey Larkins
Producer: Stacey Larkins


An ambitious woman seeking employment masks her African name on her resume to obtain a job interview.