Submissions are closed for 2017.

The HBO Short Film Competition is regarded as one of the most prestigious short film showcases in the country. Each year five filmmakers are selected to screen their film at the American Black Film Festival in Miami, where one winner will be selected to receive the HBO Short Film Award and cash prize of $10,000.

The following provides general submission information for the HBO Short Film Competition section:

  • Running Time: 20 minute maximum
  • Films must have been directed and/or written by a person of African descent.
  • Filmmaker must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Competition is open to U.S. and international entries.
  • Films must be in the English language or contain English subtitles.
  • Films must not have had any television or internet broadcast.
  • Films must have commenced principal photography on or after January 1, 2016.
  • Films must not have been previously submitted to the HBO Short Film Competition under its current or any former title, or in any form that is, in HBO’s opinion, substantially similar to or derivative of the current film. Films must not have had any previous exhibition on broadcast or cable (by means of any method or medium) or online. Employees of Home Box Office, Inc. (“HBO”) and any other Time Warner entity (including all permanent and temporary employees) and their immediate family members and/or those living in the same household are not eligible to participate in the HBO Short Film Competition.
  • Each entry must be submitted via, where you must upload your film and completed submission form, inclusive of signed competition release, by no later than the deadline of February 28, 2017 at 11:59 pm EST.

HBO Short Film Competition