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The Black Filmmakers Initiative has been created in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and in recognition of the need to remove structural barriers and create more opportunities for queer Black artists. The Black Filmmakers Initiative provides festival-related cost assistance to Black LGBTQ+ filmmakers, as well as three new cash prizes for Black LGBTQ+ filmmakers, unveiled in October 2020 at the 32nd Annual New York LGBTQ+ Film Festival.

NewFest Announces Black Filmmakers Initiative with Funds and Awards for LGBTQ+ Films, Indiewire

The Initiative takes a four-pronged approach to empowering Black LGBTQ+ filmmakers and communities:

• Provide funding for Black LGBTQ+ filmmakers to start or continue existing film projects
• Help with covering festival submission fees to ensure that all Black LGBTQ+ filmmakers can submit their projects to NewFest
• Contribute free tickets to Black-led organizations to engage with NewFest events & programming
• Provide funding for travel-related costs for Black LGBTQ+ filmmakers to attend NewFest events
* As part of NewFest’s Black Filmmakers Initiative, we are currently waiving festival submission fees for Black filmmakers with LGBTQ+ stories centering Black characters & voices.


To request a waiver code, please email submissions@newfest.org with information on your completed and eligible project.

2021 Emerging Black LGBTQ+ Filmmaker Award Recipients (awarded at the 33rd Annual New York LGBTQ+ Film Festival)
2020 Black Filmmakers Initiative Award Recipients

Supporters of the Black Filmmakers Initiative

Support Black LGBTQ+ Filmmakers

Interested in sponsoring the Black Filmmakers Initiative? Inquire about opportunities below!