HBCU First LOOK Film Festival 2024: Empowering Student Filmmakers with the Obamas

Bolstered by The Obamas, the HBCU First LOOK Film Festival (HBCUFLF) is set to captivate audiences once again, marking its second annual celebration of culture, storytelling, and empowerment from November 8th to 10th, 2024. Returning to the prestigious grounds of Howard University, this event promises to be a beacon of creativity and inspiration for aspiring filmmakers across Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) nationwide.

Anchoring its commitment to nurturing emerging talent, the festival proudly announces the commencement of its First LOOK Student Filmmaker Challenge. With a call to all HBCU students passionate about cinematic expression, this challenge offers a platform to showcase their vision and voice. Seven distinct categories await exploration, ranging from animation to documentary, providing a canvas for diverse narratives to unfold. Culminating on the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington on August 28th, submissions beckon students to seize this unparalleled opportunity.

Elevating the stakes, finalists will witness their creations illuminated on the festival stage, with the grand prize winner bestowed with a $5,000 award alongside an internship, propelling their journey into the cinematic realm.

The 2024 edition of the HBCU First LOOK Film Festival expands its horizons with a comprehensive Boot Camp Tour, traversing various HBCU campuses. Additionally, the festival will unveil its Let’s Talk series, a captivating exploration of industry insights and academic enrichment. Hosted on, this series will feature expert discussions tailored to fortify students’ educational pursuits while fostering pathways into the dynamic world of film and media.

Reflecting on its inaugural triumph, which saw over 200 students from 10+ HBCUs convene, the festival commemorates the unforgettable inauguration highlighted by the Obamas presenting “Rustin,” a compelling narrative honoring civil rights luminary Bayard Rustin. Joined by esteemed figures such as media titan Cathy Hughes and Oscar-winning designer Ruth E. Carter, the event resonated as a testament to the transformative power of storytelling.

The HBCU First LOOK Film initiative extends beyond mere festivities, offering internships, a formidable film challenge, and an enlightening college tour. For those eager to partake in this cinematic odyssey, partnership opportunities and registration details for the 2024 HBCU First LOOK Film Festival await at Join us in shaping the future of filmmaking, fueled by passion, purpose, and the indomitable spirit of HBCUs.

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