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The Black Continental Independent Movie Awards (BCIMA, pronounced Bee-See-Mah), also known as the Black Cinema Awards, is an online film festival and awards event that recognizes and celebrates excellence in film by persons of African descent or films about the global black experience.

Our Mission

To promotes Black Independent Filmmakers and support Black films.

Our Vision

To increase marketing and distribution opportunities for Black Independent Filmmakers or films related to Black issues.

Films completed two (2) years before submission starts date are eligible for consideration in our selection. Non-English submissions must be available in their original language with English subtitles.

Film Categories: Feature (over 40 minutes), Short (40 minutes or less), Documentary


Jan 01, 2023 Submissions open
Mar 31, 2023 Submissions close
May 01, 2023 Nomination announced
Jul 15, 2023 Award ceremony

Our selection process is conducted by a panel of film enthusiasts; selected films are notified via FilmFreeway.

Selection Criteria

  • Films that promote Black Culture or addresses Black Issues
  • Films made by Black Independent Filmmakers

Our nominations (best film, best director, best screenplay, etc.) are recommended by the selection panel and published here on our website.

Our judging procedure is heavily influenced by a peer-to-peer RATING system where filmmakers with SELECTED films serve as judges in their respective categories (features, shorts or documentaries).

Judges are set up with a BCIMA sub-user account in FilmFreeway; and are assigned to films uploaded in FilmFreeway to be viewed and rated according to the following categories.

Rating Categories:

1. Originality & Creativity
2. Direction
3. Writing
4. Cinematography
5. Lead Male(s) Performance(s)
6. Lead Female(s) Performance(s)
7. Supporting Male(s) Performance(s)
8. Supporting Female(s) Performance(s)
9. Editing
10. Sound & Music

Our award ceremony is a red carpet, stylish, and energetic event honoring independent filmmakers and black films.

BCIMA Winners

  • All winners will receive a Black Continental Independent Movie Awards trophy
  • In the event of multiple winners (such as writers or producers), BCIMA will provide a maximum of two (2) trophies; Additional trophies may be purchased


Washington DC Metro Area
1 Veterans Place
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Saturday, July 15, 2023
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM EDT

For all inquiries including press and sponsorship, send email to: