The Gary International Black Film Festival (GIBFF) is a three‐day cultural event that brings independent Black film to Gary audiences providing rich, authentic opportunities to celebrate African American heritage and culture.
This is a community led, hometown bred event designed to be a positive contribution to the local culture and economy.
The Gary International Black Film Festival (GIBFF) is Gary’s hometown cultural event that supports community building by bringing audiences and artists together through film. Now in its 5th year, this annual, 3-day event presents films from
independent filmmakers, panel discussions, matinee screenings for middle and high school youth and in-depth chats with filmmakers, industry professionals and local community leaders. The GIBFF uses film as a catalyst for positive cultural activity to enhance the ‘cultural capital’ of our hometown of Gary, Indiana by celebrating black culture through independent film and discussion. It is our goal to bring films of the highest quality that reflect the depth and transcendence of black people.
FESTIVAL HISTORY AND HIGHLIGHTS In the fall of 2010, a small group of friends organized around the idea of using film to spark discussion, engage ideas and build community. On February 11, 2011 the group rented the Glen Theater and hosted the 1st Annual Gary International Black Film Festival, partnering with the Urban League of NWI . The festival Opening Night film, I WILL FOLLOW directed by Ava DuVernay launched our journey – connecting independent filmmakers with audiences who are hungry to see themselves reflected in complex, nuanced and very personal ways. The festival also hosted the world premiere of local filmmaker Calvin Standifer’s film, HOPE AND HEALING IN HAITI as the festival’s Closing Night film. In October 2012, the festival, in partnership with Indiana University Northwest, moved to the Bergland Auditorium.
Since then, the GIBFF has connected audiences with filmmakers, hosted educational roundtables, outdoor screenings, Neighborhood Night Out with the City of Gary, and offered first run and archival films that have received critical and audience acclaim in the U.S. and abroad. Each year the festival grows in depth, breadth and reach. Our team is honored to work with a growing range of emerging and established filmmakers, distributors, journalists, academics and artists whose love for the art
of film helps us bring powerful narrative, documentary and experimental shorts and feature-length independent film to appreciative Gary audiences.
Festival guests have included Robert Townsend (IN THE HIVE), Emmy Award winning director Barbara Allen (DuSable to Obama: Chicago’s Black Metropolis), producer Ron Simons (Blue Caprice, Gun Hill Road, Night Catches Us), Victoria Moreland (Yelling to the Sky), Gary-born Hollywood writer/director Charles Murray (Things Never Said, Sons of Anarchy) and a host of first time filmmakers, writers and artists.