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Inaugural Shadow And Act Digital Filmmaker Showcase Submission Deadline is THIS FRIDAY! Submit Now!

News on the march! :D You’ve got until the 25th, this Friday, to submit your entry. The details below, if you haven’t already seen them…


Shadow And Act Debuts New Digital Filmmaker Showcase

Black Cinema Blog To Award Prizes To Six Films Each Year

Shadow and Act, the popular black cinema blog, today announced an alliance with CEI Media Partners to debut the Shadow And Act Filmmaker Showcase.  The Showcase is an online short film competition where viewers vote for their favorite films and the winning filmmakers receive cash prizes.

Participating films will be streamed exclusively on the Shadow and Act site during the first 10 days of its qualifying round.  After that, films will be syndicated to a network of affiliated websites to expand its potential audience and build a fan base for participating filmmakers. Each qualifying round winner receives $1,000 and the final round grand prize winner receives an additional $4,000. Winners will be determined by the number of votes they receive in each round.  Among non-winning entries, one film will be announced as the popular winner at the end of the season based on cumulative votes received and awarded $1,000.

The submission deadline for the first qualifying round is March 25, 2011.

The announcement comes amid recent news about the Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals expanding into digital distribution.

“Addressing the lack of diversity in terms of cinematic representation is at the core of what we do,” according to S&A founder Tambay Obenson.  “While we’ve provided a forum to make people aware of the issue and talk about it, we also want to be about it.  That means providing a platform for those artists working outside of the mainstream.” Shadow and Act also backs the Shadow and Act Filmmaker Challenge, which funds four (4) films per year from emerging filmmakers.  The first film from this initiative, BLACK SWAN THEORY, directed by Nikyatu Jusu, premiered exclusively on the site for a week in February. The winner of the second Filmmaker Challenge, director Rod Gailes OBC’s SOFT FOCUS, was announced in February and will soon begin production.  “Our blog has received many comments from readers lamenting the lack of diversity at this year’s Oscars,” says Mr. Obenson. “We believe the most constructive way to deal with such an issue is with action and that our Filmmaker Challenge and, now, our Filmmaker Showcase will inspire others to do the same.”

There will be five qualifying rounds during the 2011 season (March – November), each taking place once every two months.  Any genre is accepted, with the exception of pornography. Films must feature a protagonist of African descent and themes reflective of the African Diaspora experience.  Films can come from anywhere in the world but must include English subtitles if it is in another language.  Films may not exceed 20 minutes in running time and must be mastered on HD.  There is no submission fee. Submission deadlines and other information can be found on the home page of the Shadow and Act blogsite.

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Shadow and Act LLC, founded by Tambay Obenson, publishes the popular black cinema blog Shadow and Act.

CEI Media Partners LLC has interests in a number of businesses involved with the financing and distribution of African-American films.

For more information, please contact Bryan Adams of FAB Communications at

Download the FAQs in PDF format HERE.

20 comments to Inaugural Shadow And Act Digital Filmmaker Showcase Submission Deadline is THIS FRIDAY! Submit Now!

  • This makes me so happy.

  • If we, filmmakers, continue to keep maximizing every feeble penny to make films that reflect our images, by any means necessary, the limited conditions surrounding distribution and delineation of “black films” will improve–thanks to proactive collectives such as Shadow & Act and CEI Media Partners!

  • JS

    This is great.

  • Tambay has always been about action, not just talk. I look forward to viewing the work of and hopefully interviewing the filmmakers that will participate in the showcase. I think something really great is being built here; it’s so exciting!

  • Dui

    This is what we need!!!!! Exciting…

  • Dee

    Great News!
    Especially the rolling deadline! I have No Excuses!

  • K. Michette

    Groovy! Thank you for lighting the torch and blazing a new trail with it, Shadow and Act and CEI Media Partners. We appreciate you.

  • Tee


  • Awesome idea! There’s a lot of great short form content by black filmmakers not being seen outside of the festival circuit that will greatly benefit from something like this.

  • al

    Great news! Continue pushing the envelope Shadow and Act. I know this a blog but I prefer action over words.

  • Obsidienne

    Awesome. Can’t wait to see what the competition brings.

  • Laura

    That’s fantabulous.

  • Warin

    This is wonderful news

  • Marina

    The only requirement I saw in the submission details said that there should be an African/American protagonist. However later in your statement you talk about Directors and writers of color. Are you requiring the Director or writer to be of color? Any color? or only African descent?
    I edited a film with an African American protagonist. I would like to know if I should tell the Director/Writer to submit it. Thanks.

  • Talibah Newman

    I’m quite confused here. I love the initiative and I think this is an absolutely fantastic opportunity for the black film community but I have just immediately been eliminated from submitting because although I am an African American filmmaker, my film does not have a black protagonist. I think this is something worth discussing because while I also make films about and with people of African descent in them, my first and foremost goal as a black woman and filmmaker is to tell a story that speaks from the heart whether it be a diaspora based experience or not… thoughts?

    • The goal is not only to provide opportunities for black filmmakers, but also for those in front of the camera, given the dearth of roles and the limited portrayals of blacks on our screens. We aim to increase the variety of representations of black people both in front, and behind the camera.

  • I’d like to submit my film, however I don’t see instruction on where or how I should submit? Can you direct me in the right direction?