Every film begins with a story and storytelling in the filmmaking process is the essence of the New York State Writers Institute’s Albany Film Festival.

The fourth annual Albany Film Festival will be held on Saturday, April 6, 2024. This community event will draw thousands of film lovers of all ages and help to highlight the work of alumni, local/regional filmmakers, and student filmmakers from across the Capital Region. This annual spring event is a natural outgrowth of the Writers Institute’s mission to be one of the nation’s preeminent literary presenting organizations. We host filmmakers and screen films that explore the craft of diverse storytelling in cinema, foster a deeper understanding of social justice and celebrate the human experience in all its dimensions.

The Festival includes in-depth panel discussions with writers, screenwriters, filmmakers and film industry professionals, film critics and authors who have adapted their books into films. The program provides an intensive immersion into the intersection between writing and filmmaking.

Full-length and short film screenings of new work from aspiring student filmmakers to acclaimed directors will be shown, along with conversations and Q&As that encourage audience participation. Classic films will also be part of the Festival, augmenting the Writers Institute’s long-running and highly regarded Classic Film Series.

The forum for the Festival is the University at Albany, an academic institution that is one of the most diverse public research universities in the country, with over 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Since 1983, the Writers Institute has been the place where readers, writers and filmmakers meet. The Albany Film Festival expands and continues those conversations.

Awards/Certificates and monetary prizes will also be given out for the following awards:

Best Overall Short Film--$500

Best Overall Student Short Film--$300
*The award for Best Overall Student Short film is sponsored by The Brendan Fahy Bequette Fund, per Patricia Fahy & Wayne Bequette.

Best Comedic Short Film--$150

Best Dramatic Short Film--$150

Best Experimental Short Film--$150

Best Documentary Short Film--$150

*Short film submissions must have a connection to New York State, defined as 1) film shot primarily or significantly on location in New York and/or 2) a film where one or more of the film’s principal/creative personnel is one of the following: a) born in New York, b) a current or former New York resident for one or more years, or c) an alumnus or current student at a school located in New York.

*For Student Short Film Submissions: Must be a student in New York State. Student Verification Required: applicants required to attach a copy of their valid student ID (either upload a copy of your student ID to FilmFreeway or send it in an email to writers@albany.edu). All other entries will be disqualified from this category.

*All Genres accepted
*Entries must be original works
*All short film submissions must be submitted through FilmFreeway
*Digital submissions only, either on VIMEO, YouTube and/or other online sources
*No DVD or Blu-rays accepted
*One submission per category
*Submitted films should have been completed on or after January 1, 2022
*No premiere requirements
*The Albany Film Festival reserves the right to decide which films are screened. A prescreening committee will evaluate each entry to determine the official selections for screening at the festival.
*The Albany Film Festival will not be paying screening fees for official selections.
*Entry fees are non-refundable.
*All elements of submitted films, including music, stills, archival footage and images, etc. to which someone other than the filmmaker holds copyright must be licensed for use by the filmmaker, and proof of such license may be requested prior to any public screening of the work should the film be selected for entry.

*RELEASE: The New York State Writers Institute Albany Film Festival (NYSWIAFF) is granted permission and the right by the submitter to use excerpts, quotes, stills, titles, photos and footage for promotional purposes prior to, during and after the NYSWIAFF 2024. The NYSWIAFF is granted permission and the right to use photos, footage and other materials gathered during the event for promotional purposes in perpetuity. Promotion may include, but not be limited to, New York State Writers Institute and Albany Film Festival websites, e-communications, social media, TV, internet, radio and print sources. The submitter provides NYSWIAFF with indemnity and release from any/all liabilities, losses, damages, claims and expenses relating to any trademark, copyright, credits, publicity and screening.

Overall Rating
  • Albany Film festival was AMAZING!!! The only bad thing is it was one day. It was so well organized and they packed in great films and incredible networking. It was an honor to Screen with such great films. Highly recommend this festival!!!

    June 2023
  • Diana Devlin

    Having a short film at the AFF was a truly rewarding experience! From the communication pre-festival to the number of staff on hand to direct and answer questions, to the awesome people that I met, this was a truly welcoming, well-organized, and totally enjoyable experience. Thank you to all the organizers and staffr!

    April 2023
  • Thanks you so much, I was later and jenifer was so attention and professional, thanks you Jennifer festival so exciting and beautiful..

    April 2023
  • Max Schuster

    I had an amazing time, met awesome experienced and new filmmakers, and learned a lot. I would love to go back next year.

    April 2022