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: AdivasiAboriginal AustraliansDravidianPilipino Negrito / Ati, Seminole, DalitAfrican LatinoArawak, 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 feature issues, activities, politics, social issues that influence or impact the lives of Black women around the world. Shorts, animation and experimental films may present any issue, but filmmakers should be Black women or prominently feature a Black woman character or issue.


All films must be transferred onto a DVD or Blu-ray for screenings. The IBWFF no longer accepts VHS or BETA tapes!

Not all venues accept tape or celluloid film/film. The festival is focused on narrative rather than vehicle. The festival only reserves original non-digital formats/videos for preservation screenings and special events featuring film that come in no other format.

Uploaded films must be in *.mov, *.mpg, *.wmv, or *.avi formats. You are welcome to forward a link to where your film can be viewed online.

You are strongly encouraged to use password protected video streaming sites. The festival can suggest such services as Vimeo, VHX or PivotShare. (Online only films must be transferred to DVD if you’d like it reviewed on a theatrical screen. For theater projection, you must format your film for HD DVD and Blu-Ray and theater screen ratio aspect.)

About YouTube, Vimeo and other online streaming services

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

Online Film Festival
The International Black Women’s Film Festival reserves the right to offer an “online film festival” option for selected filmmakers. This option is often employed when the number of films exceeds the amount of time/venues, but are worth being viewed and exposed to a wider audience.

Filmmakers and distributors reserve the right to refuse to be screened online.

Payment for Theatrical Screening or Public Performance Rights (PPR)

The festival does not and will not pay theatrical screening fees for films submitted through the “Call for Films” process. The call for film process is to expose filmmakers to a wider audience, other film festivals, distributors and potential independent sales via marketing through the International Black Women’s Film Festival.

Please do not submit your film through the call for films process if your intention is to charge the festival.

Theatrical screening fees are considered and negotiated through distributors by the festival and if you’d like your film considered, you may send a link for viewing and your suggested fee. The festivals takes into consideration the topic/subject matter, film quality, ability to attract a higher number of audience members, timeliness, etc.

We have a high number of films to process and review. It is unfair to independent filmmakers and the organizers to present your film for potential screening, only to use the process to negotiate a PPR fee.

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