The mission of the Black Film Center & Archive

The Black Film Center & Archive is the only archival repository in the world that is wholly dedicated to collecting, preserving, and making available historically and culturally significant films by and about Black people. We promote scholarship on Black film and serve as an open resource for scholars, researchers, students, and the general public. We encourage creative film activity by independent Black filmmakers and both undertake and support research on the history, impact, theory, and aesthetics of Black film traditions.

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What you can discover here

The BFCA was established in 1981 as a repository of films and related materials by and about Black people. Included are films which have substantial participation by Black writers, actors, producers, directors, musicians, and consultants, as well as those which depict some aspect of Black experience.

Scholars, students, and researchers can view films and gain access to auxiliary research facilities on the Indiana University Bloomington campus. Black Camera, an international film journal published through the BFCA and IU Press, serves as an academic, professional, and community resource. In order to maintain a comprehensive research archive, we do not distribute any part of our collection. However, we maintain a database of over 8,000 films, not all of which are in the collection. For a minimal fee, database research information concerning those films is available to be faxed or mailed.

Our objectives

  • To expand the film collection of historic and current films by and about Black people.
  • To encourage the continuation of creative film activity by independent Black filmmakers.
  • To undertake and encourage research in the history, meaning, and aesthetics of Black film.
  • To guide and support students and researchers in Black cinema studies.