How can we showcase and advance African-American filmmakers and their films?
Launching BESLA’s 2022 Film Festival is a great way! Since 2019, BESLA and AudPop have partnered up and launched film festivals to showcase and advance African-American filmmakers, and we’re doing it again!
BESLA is a Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association, and their sole mission is to advance the excellence of professionals in entertainment, sports, and related industries. In this case, they want to advance African-American filmmakers, and we’re excited to help them do that with BESLA’s 2022 Film Festival.
The cool thing about this film festival is that films will screen at BESLA’s annual conference in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, November 2 – 6, 2022. And the top winner gets a distribution deal with BET.com.
BET and BESLA asks African-American filmmakers to submit their short films, ranging from 5 to 10 minutes, depicting the African-American experience or films produced and/or directed by African-Americans to be considered for this opportunity.
Let’s break down how the film festival works, pertinent deadlines, and requirements so you don’t miss your chance to showcase your film.
What are the requirements for the 2022 BESLA Film Festival?
- Your short film must be between 5 to 10 minutes in length.
Submit a short film depicting the African-American experience or a film produced and/or directed by African-Americans.
Keep in mind all entries are evaluated on the following judging criteria: creativity (45%), technical merit (30%), and adherence to the assignment (25%).
What’s the deadline for the 2022 BESLA Film Festival?
The deadline is 11:59 a.m. on October 17, 2022 PDT (America/Los Angeles).
How are the films judged?
Once you submit your film, AudPop staff will ensure the submitted films meet the requirements stated above. After all submitted films are received no later than 11:59 a.m. on October 17, 2022, voting will open at 12:00 p.m., and the jurying begins. Firstly, there will be audience voting, so make sure to share your film on your social media channels. Get your audience engaged in voting and sharing your film before audience voting closes on October 21, 2022, at 12:00 p.m PDT (America/Los Angeles).
Additionally, a preliminary jury panel will simultaneously be jurying films as audience voting transpires. From this first round, we’ll get the top 10 films from audience voting and the top 10 from preliminary jurying for 20 finalist films.
Now, from the top 20 films, the BESLA Conference team will select the top 4 films. The top 4 films will screen at the annual conference in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, November 2 – 6, 2022. And one film will win “Best Film in Competition.” BET.com will profile and feature the 1st Place winner and may even share the winning film on other BET social media platforms.
For inspiration, here are the 2019 & 2021 BESLA Film Festival winners!
Xavier Burgin won 1st Place in BESLA’s 2021 Film Festival with his film A Little Closure, about a man returning from the afterlife to find closure.
Joe Brewster took 1st Place in BESLA’s 2019 Film Festival with Drawn to the Mat, which tells the story of a woman’s transformative yoga experience and her determination to share it with others.
Xavier Burgin took 2nd Place in BESLA’s 2019 Film Festival with Other. His film dives into tragedy and racial tension in Charlottesville, where one black woman must navigate life through the unconcerned and clueless people about her.
Phillip E. Walker scored 3rd Place in BESLA’s 2019 Film Festival with Darkroom. His film is “dubbed a dysfunctional family thriller.”
Andrew C. Fisher took 4th Place in BESLA’s 2019 Film Festival with his film The Right Thing, where a strong woman faces lasting consequences when making difficult decisions.
Don’t wait! Submit to the 2022 BESLA Film Festival!
You have from September 21 to October 17, but that’s not very long, so don’t delay. Submit your short films depicting the African-American experience or films produced and/or directed by African-Americans. We can’t wait to see your films and showcase and advance African-American filmmakers and their stories.
We’ll announce the winners of BESLA’s 2022 Film Festival on October 27, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. PDT (America/Los Angeles).
Learn more and submit.
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