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Independent films from emerging and established filmmakers will make their Gary debut October 17, 18 and 19, 2014 at Indiana University Northwest Bergland Auditorium.  The Fourth Annual Gary International Black Film Festival (GIBFF) offers a powerful lineup of drama, documentary and short films, opening with THEY DIE BY DAWN, a star-studded film based on the true life African American Cowboys of the old west.

The festival offers a packed 3-day cinema event featuring acclaimed films that are handcrafted by independent filmmakers from the US and abroad. The festival is excited to announce the World Premiere of MY NAME IS GARY. This documentary is a loving and well balanced tribute to the people of Gary, IN produced and directed by French filmmakers Frederic Cousseau and Blandine Huk.  The film features reflections and interviews with current and former Gary residents on the rise, decline and hope for the future of this once-proud steel town. Interviews with former Gary Mayor Richard Gordon Hatcher, and others provide unique history of the city where black people rose to power.

On Wednesday, September 24 from 1PM – 3PM the festival, in collaboration with Indiana University Office of Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs will host a special International Filmmaker Meet and Greet with Frederic Cousseau and Blandine Huk at the Indiana University NW Bergland Auditorium.  Join us for a Skype conversation with the filmmakers live from Paris and see previews of this important film. This event is free and open to the public.

Opening Night will feature a red carpet reception with music, food and beverage prior to the Opening Night film, THEY DIE BY DAWN. Directed by Jeymes Samuel (aka The Bullits), THEY DIE BY DAWN features an all-star cast including Giancarlo Esposito, Michael K Williams, Nate Parker, Jesse Williams, Rosario Dawson, Isaiah Washington, Erykah Badu, Bokeem Woodbine and Harry Lennix, the film sets out to tell the story of a showdown between the real life characters in the Wild Black West.

The festival is proud to announce our Saturday Night Spotlight film, BLACKBIRD featuring Academy Award winner Monique and Isaiah Washington, and directed by Patrik-Ian Polk.  As part of our annual celebration that shines a light on our hometown, Gary Wirt alumni Antwon Tanner will be on hand to discuss and share his work in the provocative drama, CRU.  Workshops and roundtable discussion allowing a deeper critique are also on the menu for Saturday daytime, along with a youth film showcase with films by young people and for young people.

GIBFF Community Partner the Urban League Young Professionals of NWI, will host a Celebrity Guest Meet and Greet in conjunction with the GIBFF’s independent Black cinema weekend feast. Details to be announced at a later date.

Partnering with Indiana University Northwest, the IUN Office of Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, the Urban League of Northwest Indiana, and The Urban League Young Professionals, the festival also offers Community Partnership opportunities for organizations and community groups.  Interested groups can contact us to find out how you can use the festival as a fundraiser for your organization.

With no film theaters in the Gary city limits, residents must travel to adjacent cities and towns to see first-run major Hollywood motion pictures, and for independent film lovers, the choices are even slimmer. The Gary International Black Film Festival seeks to bring fresh independent film and filmmakers directly to Gary audiences to help build the city’s “cultural collateral.”  The Gary International Black Film Festival is a community led, hometown event that seeks to facilitate genuine dialogue and build community across the aisles and across neighborhoods in Gary.

The festival is run by a small core of community, cultural and civic-minded volunteers who work year round to research, raise funds and produce this annual cultural event. Support for the festival is provided through box office revenues, grant awards, sponsorships and individual donations. Contributions to the festival are received through the project’s fiscal sponsor, Fractured Atlas a designated 501(c)3 charitable organization.


Tickets are available at the Urban League of Northwest Indiana and at

  • Ticket prices vary, with Opening Night @ $25 and all other screenings @ $10.
  • Full Festival Passes  are available: $100 (available online only)
  • Senior discount available on all tickets except Opening Night

For more information, visit or call 219.200.4243 #

2014 Call for Entries | Deadline August 31

Gary, IN – The Gary International Black Film Festival announces its annual Call For Work from filmmakers around the world as it gears up for the 4th Annual Gary International Black Film Festival,  October 17-19, 2014. The festival is accepting film entries in the narrative, documentary, experimental and youth made films category. Films of all lengths are accepted through the festival’s online submission process.  Deadline August 31, 2014

Genres/subject areas: narrative, documentary, experimental, youth-made movies. Films are selected from films submitted to an annual Call for Work and from classic films from around the world.

Filmmakers do not have to be Black, but films should include significant, relevant content involving Black people: the GIBFF is seeking diverse, multifaceted stories and images.

Selected films will receive a $50 selection fee, and be eligible for Audience, Jury and Youth-Made film Awards

For more information and submission rules, check out the online submission form

Questions? Email us at |219.200.4243

#Film Laurels-gibff 2014