The Blackbird Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in central New York state that celebrates and supports independent filmmakers from around the world. At the Blackbird Film Festival, we strive to curate an inclusive festival atmosphere - an environment where experienced professionals and first time filmmakers can strike up conversation and perhaps take something away from one another.


The Blackbird Film Festival was founded in 2015 as a festival for student filmmakers but quickly opened submissions to all types of filmmakers in the spirit of collaboration and the sharing of ideas. With this in mind, Blackbird remains a festival geared towards the learning experience and attracts a large number of media production students and film enthusiasts. In 2016, Blackbird moved to Cortland, NY where it partnered with the State University of New York, College at Cortland to host an annual film festival in late April / early May. With that said, Blackbird is committed to supporting several specific groups. Firstly, the Blackbird Film Festival provides internship opportunities for students interested in media production, event planning, marketing and public relations. Each academic year, Blackbird supports over 40 student interns from SUNY Cortland as they work together to bring the festival weekend to life. Secondly, Blackbird is committed to supporting female filmmakers by ensuring that at least 50% of our annual lineup of films are made by women. And lastly, Blackbird is committed to supporting filmmakers outside the United States by providing travel assistance for accepted international filmmakers.

Whether you're a filmmaker or just a film enthusiast, we hope you will join us this year and experience what makes the Blackbird Film Festival one of the "Top 100 Best Reviewed" festivals according to FilmFreeway!


Brooke Trantor

Blackbird Film Festival is one of the greatest film festival experiences I have had. Our team was truly blown away & we hope to be back again next year!

Sakinah Iman

The Blackbird Film Festival was by far my favorite festival to be lucky enough to attend. They treated all of their filmmakers with the utmost respect and appreciation.

Alex Salsberg

From the moment we arrived, we felt completely welcome. The organizers and interns worked really hard to foster a warm and fun environment for the filmmakers, with events, meals, parties, and free breakfast!

Brandon Oest

Couldn't have been a better experience. I traveled from Iowa to be there and it was worth every mile. The organizers made sure you felt welcome as a filmmaker, and held Q&A sessions after each screening block!

Sally Brooks

The audiences were always sizeable and appreciative. I went to 11 of the 12 blocks, and I would guess there were 150 to 200 people for every one, even the early morning blocks.


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Blackbird Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization based in Cortland, New York.

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