Submit a film

Submissions open
June 1st, 2021

PAFF is designated as an official qualifying film festival for narrative live action and animated short films for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

FilmFreeway has ranked PAFF as one of the top 100 Best Reviewed Festivals. Out of over 9000 film festivals and creative contests around the world, PAFF received this ranking from reviews by real FilmFreeway users.

Awards and Prizes

Official (Jury) Prizes:

Best Narrative Feature
Best Documentary (Feature or Short)
Best Short Narrative (Live Action & Animation)
Best Director - First Feature Narrative
Best Director - First Feature Documentary
Best Webseries

Audience Favorites

Programmers' Awards

Festival Director Awards

Submit your film on the following platforms:

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Our Story

Did you know each year a transformation happens in Los Angeles, CA? People from around the globe gather to attend the largest and most prestigious Black film festival in the United States. From 100 million dollar blockbuster premieres to newly emerging Hollywood talent, The Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) showcases a broad array of Black creative works from the world over, highlighting those that reinforce positive images and help to destroy negative stereotypes. Nowhere else can audiences find this unique opportunity to come together through film and art to explore new worlds, meet new people and acquire new information and ideas.

Venerated by tens of thousands every year, PAFF screens more than 175 new films across 6 screens in state of the art digital projection to the delight of an audience of sophisticated movie lovers. PAFF’s audience loves PAFF and PAFF loves them. Each year PAFF becomes a pilgrimage for attendees who hail from all over the United States and the World! Known for its industry panels, special events and great parties, we invite filmmakers to take this one-of-a-kind opportunity to connect to their core audience and experience the special magic of PAFF.

Did we mention celebrities? Celeb sightings: Denzel Washington, Sidney Poitier, Danny Glover, Idris Elba, Mo’Nique, Kevin Hart, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Jamie Foxx, Forest Whitaker, Phylicia Rashad, Lou Gossett, Jr., Issa Rae, Taraji P. Henson, Trevor Noah, David Oyewolo, Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett, Majid Michel, Alfre Woodard, Blair Underwood, Kerry Washington, Nate Parker, Salli Richardson, Dorian Missick, Jesse Williams, Michael Ealy, Anthony Anderson, Omotola, Boris Kodjoe, Whoopi Goldberg, Omari Hardwick, Chadwick Boseman, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Shia LaBeouf, CCH Pounder, Omar Epps, Regina King, Sanaa Lathan, John Legend, Tika Sumpter, Tim Roth, Van Vicker, Gabrielle Union, Alfre Woodard, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Wesley Snipes, Meagan Good, Loretta Devine, Bill Duke, Lisa Raye, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Hill Harper, Mario Van Peebles, Eriq LaSalle, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Sharon Leal, Stacey Dash, Billy Dee Williams, Terrence Howard, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Omar Benson Miller, Isaiah Washington, Joy Bryant, Regina Hall, Jussie Smollett, Robert Townsend, Ja'Net Dubois, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Djimon Hounsou, Glynn Turman, Vivica Fox, Kimberly Elise, Don Cheadle and the list goes on and on.

Rules and Terms

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO SUBMIT TO PAFF?

• PAFF accepts films and videos made by and/or about people of African descent. Filmmaker need not be of African descent. Preferably, films should depict positive or realistic images.

• Films can be of any genre -- drama, comedy, horror, adventure, animation, romance, science fiction, experimental, etc. PAFF accepts features, shorts and web series; narratives and documentaries.

• All submissions must be in English or have English subtitles.

• PAFF will accept the submissions of works in progress. However, your submission must be sufficiently complete to allow our programmers to follow the storyline and be able to make a decision. We will only accept one work-in-progress version of your film, so please make sure to make it your best shot. (If you expect your final version to be 90 minutes, a 45-minute rough cut is probably not acceptable.) Also, whenever possible, you should provide an on-screen description of missing scenes.

IF MY FILM IS ACCEPTED, WHAT PROJECTION FORMAT WILL PAFF ACCEPT?

• PAFF's host theatre is all-digital. The only accepted projection formats for Feature Films are DCP, online link and Blu-Ray. For Short Films (49 minutes or less) you will be asked to submit an online link. We may also accept DCP and BluRay depending on program needs.

• If there are any updates for projection formats, you will receive them with your acceptance notification.

• We will accept DVDs only when no other format is available and only as a last resort. DVDs are strongly discouraged because they are unreliable for public presentation due to skipping, stopping and other playback defects.

• PAFF will not accept watermarked films for public presentation.

WHERE DO I SUBMIT MY FILM?
Submit your film

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