Monthly Archive: September 2016

The Hollywood Black Film Festival is now accepting film, idea & Script Submissions 

 The Hollywood Black Film Festival Announces 2017 Dates. February 22-26, 2017 ~ Marina Del Rey, California


Known as one of the leading Black film festivals in the world, the Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF) is back after a brief hiatus and the 2017 event is going to be bigger, better and badder than ever!

Now in its fourteenth year, the upcoming edition of Hollywood Black Film Festival will “Festival at the Beach” from February 22nd to February 26th, 2017 in Marina Del Rey, California.

HBFF 2017’s call for submissions is for feature, shorts, student and documentary films, and web series.  The festival is also accepting film submissions for the Film Diaspora sidebar competition, idea submissions for Project Stargazer, and scripts for the Storyteller Competition.  All submissions will be accepted exclusively through Film Freeway.

HBFF accepts film submissions from all filmmakers, however to be eligible for the festival’s competitive program, one of the film’s creative principals, i.e. the writer, director or producer must be Black or of African heritage.  All other films will be considered for the festival’s invitational program.

The Film Diaspora sidebar reaches out beyond borders to Black filmmakers from throughout the DIaspora.  This sidebar highlights independent films and filmmakers from the African Diaspora, the Caribbean and Latin America.

Project Stargazer, produced in partnership with NASA, will be back for the second year.  The program accepts film or TV story ideas (completed scripts not required) that clearly feature NASA technologies, space or earth sciences as integral plot elements in the story.  Main characters should represent the diverse panorama of the 21st century.

The Storyteller Competition accepts scripts from black screenwriters who are serious about a career as a screenwriter. Submissions of screenplays of 90-120 pages, on any topic and genre, will be accepted.

Deadlines to submit to HBFF 2017 are as follows:

  • September 30, 2016EARLY DEADLINE
  • November 1, 2016REGULAR DEADLINE 
  • December 1, 2016LATE DEADLINE 
  • December 5, 2016NOTIFICATION DATE
  • February 22- 26, 2017HBFF 2017 EVENT DATE 

Submissions rules and regulations and complete information regarding eligibility for the 2017 Hollywood Black Film Festival are now available at

Questions regarding submissions may be directed to, or by calling 844-560-HBFF.  For general festival information:  You can visit the official festival website at

“Dark Passages” The story of American Slavery presented by Tanya and Philip Hart

Courtesy Edna Sims

Courtesy Edna Sims

The complex story of American slavery is now at the forefront once again with Hollywood airing movies on slavery, such as WGN-TV’s series “Underground”, the remake of “Roots” miniseries aired on History Channel, A&E and Lifetime simultaneously, Colson Whitehead’s novel “Underground Railroad” is a New York Times bestseller and coming to the big screen,  “The Birth Of A Nation” on October 7, 2016.

Tanya and Philip Hart, educators and media content creators have been at the forefront in informing, entertaining and educating audiences for nearly four decades.  Now with the thirst for factual information on the history of American slavery the Harts are offering their documentary film “Dark Passages”.  Originally broadcast on BET and available from PBS Video, this 60 minute documentary film hosted and narrated by Tanya Hart  tells the story of the Atlantic slave trade beginning at “The Door Of No Return” on Gorée Island in Dakar, Senegal, and concluding with a visit to Alex Haley’s (‘Roots’) ancestral home in The Gambia.   

Play Preview Link Here:

Academy Award winner Louis Gossett Jr. and Academy Award nominee Margaret Avery  provide dramatic readings of slave narratives which along with a host of historians provide factual information on the slave trade and its historic impact.

“The story of the Atlantic slave trade is an American story and deserves telling and retelling so we all fully understand how Africans helped build America.” Tanya & Philip Hart, Hollywood, CA.

About Dark Passages

For over 250 years millions of Africans were captured and purchased in West African ports by European merchants looking to expand the New World workforce.   The slave ships carried these African captives on a dangerous and slow journey across the Atlantic Ocean.  Disease and starvation were common in the confined compartments and may died on the voyage.  After arriving in the U.S., Caribbean Islands and South America, slaves were forced to participate in the labor-intensive harvesting of sugar, tobacco, coffee and cotton items that would be sold in Europe.

The triangular Atlantic trading route – or Middle Passage – became an important and profitable exchange of goods.  Through interviews, slave narratives, and dramatizations, “Dark Passages” travels from West African to Virginia to chronicle the historical effects of the Atlantic slave trade.  “Dark Passages” was produced by Tanya Hart and Valerie Whitmore-Guscott.

About Tanya & Philip Hart

Tanya Hart has a long relationship with both PBS and BET which began during her years on the air in the Boston television market.  Tanya Hart has won four Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, and other recognition for her television, radio, and film content over the years. Philip Hart has been recognized with a Notable Non-Fiction Children’s Trade Book Award, and other awards for his films, books, and urban development projects.

Together the Harts have several films, books, CDs, and radio documentariesavailable for purchase from PBS Video, Lerner Publishing Group, CDBaby, Amazon and several streaming services such as iTunes and Spotify.

Whether through films, books, music or documentaries the Harts continue to spotlight African American achievements..  The Harts are recipients of the Diversity in Media Award from The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors.

For more info:, and