San Diego Black Film Festival

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The San Diego Black Film Festival is one of the largest black film festivals in the United States. It was founded in 2003 as the Noir Film Festival and takes place annually in San Diego in southern California, to recognize African American movies and production. The festival’s motto is "Spotlight on African American and African Diaspora Cinema".


The San Diego Black Film Festival, originally known as the Noir Film Festival, began in 2003 in a hotel room in the Gaslamp Quarter. Three films were shown, and approximately 20 people attended.[1] In 2006 the name of the festival was changed to the San Diego Black Film Festival because the organizers realized that there was confusion with "Film Noir". By 2011, with 120 films scheduled and between 15,000 and 30,000 attendees expected, the festival had become one of the largest black film festivals in the United States and one of the most important festivals in San Diego.[1]

The festival runs for four days and shows more than 100 films each year, in categories including: comedy, drama, documentaries, animation, GLBT, horror, religious, foreign/African Diaspora, shorts, feature films and music videos. It took place at the Regal United Artists Theatre in the Westfield Horton Plaza mall,[1] then at the Pacific Gaslamp multiplex. In 2017 it expanded to three theaters and began developing a Black Film Centre, which will ultimately host the festival as well as housing an archive.[2][3]

Karen Willis is the director of the festival;[1] Robin Givens has hosted it a number of times.[2]

The festival includes panels as part of its mission to facilitate film-making in San Diego County,[3] and has also included a celebrity bid whist tournament.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d Tony Cooper (January 23, 2011). "San Diego Black Film Festival: Living Large". San Archived from the original on January 26, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Beth Wood (April 20, 2017). "San Diego Black Film Festival has new venues". San Diego Union-Tribune.
  3. ^ a b Beth Accomando (April 27, 2017). "San Diego Black Film Festival Celebrates 15th Year". KPBS.
  4. ^ Monique R. Brown (November 1999). "Are you game for bid whist?". Black Enterprise. p. 208.

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