Conferences2021 Film Festival

Purpose of the Film Festival

The Association for Bahá’i Studies for North America 2021 Conference Film Festival will consist of film screenings and live script readings, followed by conversation with the creator(s) about their work, thematic elements and processes. The festival seeks to celebrate films that make a contribution to thought, habit and community and explore the spiritual life of American and Canadian society, through the lens of the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh.

Though the Central Figures of the Faith do not explicitly address the use of film, the Guardian has stated in regard to art:

“It is certain that with the spread of the spirit of Bahá'u'lláh a new era will dawn in art and literature. Whereas before the form was perfect but the spirit was lacking, now there will be a glorious spirit embodied in a form immeasurably improved by the quickened genius of the world.”

Thematic Statement

With the approaching Centenary of the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, at this year’s festival we are calling for the submission of films and scripts, whether fiction or nonfiction, completed or work-in-progress, inspired by any aspect of the life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. The Master “offered a challenge to the stale assumptions and prejudices of the age, and gave stimulus to a process of unification which continues to this day.” His literary contribution and mode of expression, His exemplary character, sacrificial devotion to the establishment of justice and the unity of humanity offer a vast range of thematic prompts from which the artist can draw inspiration.

We look forward to submissions that represent a diversity of voices and perspectives, of individual and collaborative efforts, and reflect the richness and creativity of the intellectual life of the community.

Deadline for film or script treatment: Sunday, April 11, 2021 by 11:59PM PST (DEADLINE EXTENDED)

Deadline for submissions: Monday, May 31, 2021 by 11:59PM PST

Email questions and materials to:

Please read the Common Questions page for more details before submitting.

Featured Videos

2020 New Black Power: Constructive Resilience and the Efforts of African American Bahá’ís

Derik Smith

2015 The Nature and Dynamics of Oppression, Empowerment, and the Battle against Oppression

Nader Saiedi

2013 Knowledge into Action: The Bahá’í Imperative to Serve Humanity

Layli Miller-Muro

2018 Navigating the Discourse on Race within the Politicized Landscape of Journalism

Jesse Washington