Submissions Now Open for the 5th Annual Gary International Black Film Festival


Call For Work Open – Submit Your Film Now Through July 17, 2015

The Gary International Black Film Festival has opened submissions for the 5th Annual Gary International Black Film Festival to be held on October 9-11 in Gary, IN. The weekend festival includes narrative features, documentaries, short films, spotlight screenings and conversation events.

The Gary International Black Film Festival uses film as a catalyst for positive cultural activity to enhance the ‘cultural capital’ of our hometown of Gary, IN by celebrating black culture through independent film and discussion. Come and help us build a world class cultural event.

Awards & Prizes

The Gary International Black Film Festival honors filmmakers who submit through the entry process with awards juged by the GIBFF audience.  GIBFF audiences vote for awards for the following: Audience Award Narrative Feature, Audience Award Documentary Feature, Audience Award Best Short. Winners are announced via press release. Awards are generally non-cash, unless sponsored for the festival in the current year.

A festival-appointed jury may select a Jury prize for submitted and curated films at their discretion.

Gary International Black Film Festival proudly accepts entries via, the world’s best online submissions platform. FilmFreeway offers free HD online screeners, Vimeo and YouTube integration, and more. Click to submit with FilmFreeway.


Celebrating the Life of Kelechukwu Brnfre

Kelechukwu Brnfre

On Tuesday, November 18, 2014 the light dimmed as one of our own transitioned to the next life.

Kelechukwu Brnfre – A dynamic artist and public speaker who has been performing since 1990 after leaving the US Marines as an Embassy Security Guard. Born Kelly Comer, he changed his name in 1993, choosing an African name with a derivative sound of his former name because of what he calls the encouraged global disrespect and insensitivity of Black men defining themselves. This is reflected in his writings and he uses a charismatic humor to raise the level of consciousness of the listener.

Starting Beautiful Soul with his own resources, Kelechukwu and his partner, K Sims, have created a forum for talent in Gary and surrounding areas. Kelechukwu also served as the Director of Community Engagement for the Gary International Black Film Festival. He believed in the ingenuity of people and their ability to always create regardless of the environment.

Kelechukwu has penned two books, and an anthology of his works, recording a CD entitled “Educated Fools” and has several poetry mix tapes available. He remains active in the community specializing in interaction with so-called troubled youth.

Kelechukwu’s signature poems include “Educated Fools”, a poem about degreed arrogance; “Zero”, a poem about the dynamism of women; and, “Bittersweet Memories”, a poem about Michael Jackson’s effect on Gary. Indiana. He was part of one of the first successful poetry nights in Gary and has also performed in Chicago, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Washington DC.

Where most people see apathy, Brnfre sees opportunity. He is a very serious businessman with endless ideas about the transformation of any inner city into a source of revitalization, especially through the arts.

“The poet is key into giving a voice to emotions and the businessman is key in providing revenue to afford the artists space to perform and changes in society based on the people’s needs that should be articulated by the artists.” – Kelechukwu

CLICK HERE to listen the recordings of his latest work, Night Signature Sound


2014 Gary International Black Film Festival Schedule Now Online




Gary, IN – Independent films from emerging and established filmmakers will make their Gary debut October 17, 18 and 19, 2014 at Indiana University Northwest Bergland Auditorium, Savannah Hall. 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.

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, the Midwest Premiere of Christmas Wedding Baby directed by Kiara Jones along with the stunning drama, Stay Cold: Stay Hungry, directed by award winning cinematographer Eric Branco. 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. A youth film showcase with films by young people and for young people will open the Saturday menu of films.
The Urban League of Northwest Indiana Young Professionals celebrate film festival weekend with actor, producer and director, Rockmond Dunbar as special guest to “At the table with Rockmond Dunbar” – a mix and mingle event Saturday, October 18 at the IUN Northwest Moraine Student Center , Savannah Center.

Partnering with Indiana University Northwest, the IUN Office of Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, the Urban League of Northwest Indiana, and The Urban League of Northwest Indiana 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.

For schedule and tickets, click here

Film Laurels-gibff 2014

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