THE ART OF BROOKLYN is a an award-winning international film festival designed to connect Brooklyn's vibrant indie scene with their peers around the world. We are a filmmaker-focused event, platform and showcase for emerging creators and established voices. Founded by working artists in 2011, over a dozen of our premieres have gained distribution and one became an HBO series.

We are generating significant growth each year with an expanding international footprint among audiences, filmmakers, and the entertainment industry. In 2020 we entertained guests from 15 countries, and 3 of the features we premiered gained distribution, despite the fact that we were fully digital due to the pandemic. One of our 2021 award-winning shorts is being developed as a feature, one feature premiere got distribution, and two others are in talks as of October 2021.

We are a hybrid festival, producing live, in person screenings in neighborhoods across Brooklyn (Covid permitting) and streaming screenings and panels in real time on a set schedule to an international audience with studio grade DRM protection via our Virtual Festival Platform . We have produced film events in 20 different venues for diverse audiences in 10 different Brooklyn neighborhoods, including those underserved by art and culture organizations.

Adding streaming to our event enables us to host global events locally, bringing the largest possible audience to our films. We also partner with local Brooklyn bars and restaurants for both formal and informal networking events with after party drinks specials for the entire run of our festival-- in addition to our famous Launch Party's open bar. For our 12th edition we will follow NYC’s guidelines closely to determine what in-person events are possible in June 2022, based on rules for indoor gatherings as well as venue availability. The safety of our community is always our priority as we strive to deliver a world-class film festival experience.

Equity is organic to our mission. We bridge the opportunity divide by making media accessible to everyone, including those who are underrepresented on either side of the camera. Every year AoBFF invites a different film professional to act as Guest Festival Director for the season, and in 2020 the search went international. If you're interested in submitting yourself for the position please contact us at filmfestival@theartofbrooklyn.org. Our short list always includes women and/or people of color, and the position has been held by members of underrepresented groups over 66% since we started the program in 2016. One of the things we are consistently noted for is the outstanding quality of our curation, which has only improved as we've opened up to exciting new voices.

We have a Transparent and Ethical Submission Policy in which every film we receive until midnight of the last day of late submissions is viewed in its entirety and considered for programming. We never pre-select films for competition, fill a template or set our schedule before submissions close. Every single submission is screened multiple times, first by our selection committee, a diverse (racially, by gender, and age) group of film professionals and film fans, who represent the popular taste of our audience. They leave detailed notes on each film for the Guest Festival Director, who makes final decisions based on their own complete viewing. We have curated films we’ve received at the very end of our submission process several times, resulting in more than one AoBFF award-winner. So don't hesitate to spend on a late submission to AoBFF, it's worth it.
We never require filmmakers to purchase blocks of tickets for their own screenings. We don't make filmmakers pay for their own trophies. And we never charge filmmakers for marketing or promotion. We believe that film festivals exist for filmmakers, not the other way around.

OUR SCREENPLAY COMPETITION:
Film or TV scripts in any genre, 120 pages maximum. Entries are scored by a team of professional script readers, managed by our Script Contest Director, Gina Leone. (Read more about prizes in Awards & Prizes section.)

BKOD
In 2014 we became the only indie film festival to build and program our own video-on-demand streaming platform: Brooklyn On Demand, where we broadcast festival favorites, original series and more, online and on a Roku channel with over 16,000 subscribers, alongside Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. brooklynondemand.com
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

ABOUT US:
• In 2021 our first Hybrid Edition combined virtual and in-person screenings and events. 3 of our 2020 features received distribution!
We have screened and held events in 20 venues in 10 different neighborhoods across Brooklyn.
In 2020 we launched our first Digital Edition (on schedule) in response to the Covid pandemic on the Eventive Virtual Festival Platform
• We welcome around 2,000 guests to our event every year, including 2020.
• In 2016, we screened the premiere of the theatrical cut of Spike Lee’s new documentary ‘2 Fists Up’ through a partnership with ESPN Films.
• In 2017, we screened Kelly Reichardt's 'Certain Women' and welcomed Neil deGrasse Tyson as a special festival guest for our New York Premiere of the feature 'Future '38'
• In 2018 we hosted a special 25th Anniversary screening of the indie classic "Just Another Girl On The IRT" with director Leslie Harris in attendance.
• Our Official Selections Hunter&Game (2015) Lake Nowhere (2015), Lemon (2014), American Bomber (2013), Casual Encounters (2013) and You Bury Your Own (2012) all went on to get distribution.
• Our 2014 Best Animation winner ‘How You Doin’ Boy? Voicemails From Gran’pa’ was sold as a series to HBO Latino.
• We won a Brooklyn Innovation Award for Creative Group of the Year in 2015

OUR INDUSTRY PARTNERS:
• We have enjoyed strategic partnerships with Alliance of Women Directors, New York Women in Film and Television, The Alliance of Women Directors, The NYC Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment, Prime Latino Media, Gravitas Ventures, BOND/360, IndiePix films, Pratt Institute, ESPN Films, LesFlicks global streaming platform, NBC Universal and LiveStream, among others.

OUR ETHICAL SUBMISSION POLICY:
• We watch every film submitted to us, right up until midnight of our extended deadline. And yes, we have programmed films we received on the last day of submissions!
• Our Film Selection Panel is a diverse group of industry professionals, and we choose a new Guest Festival Director each season, so that the AoBFF doesn’t reflect a single, static point of view.
• Only films that we receive through our submissions process are eligible for festival awards.

HOW WE SCREEN:
We are a hybrid festival, producing live, in-person screenings (pandemic conditions permitting) and live streaming events via the Eventive Platform with studio-grade DRM protection, seamless livestream integration for filmmaker talkbacks, and ticketing.
Our in person screening venues include a state-of-the-art 4K cinema at Pratt Film/Video, the new 500+ seat theater at Sunset Park High School, Brooklyn High School of the Arts, and more.
• Our Technical Director pre-screens every selection in advance, to ensure the best-quality version of your film screens for our audience.
• We only screen from digital files to ensure a high quality screening without the technical pitfalls that can accompany DVDs or Blu-Rays.
• Our projectionists always remain in the theater for every screening.

OUR PREMIERES:
We strongly prefer to screen premieres, especially for features. We have a great track record of opening films, garnering them press and industry attention with successful screenings... If ESPN Films trusted us to premiere the theatrical cut of Spike Lee’s 2 Fists Up, maybe you can too? We’re just saying.

THE AoBFF EXPERIENCE:
• We create opportunities to connect with your peers and industry at our world-class audience talkbacks, panels for networking and skill building, and our amazing Opening Night Party.
• We are aggressive about promoting our screenings to press and audience using social media and targeted press outreach.
• Your film’s festival run is an important part of its long-term marketing plan. We will partner with you to make the most of your AoBFF screening; before, during and after the festival. Premiering with us pays off!
• Our communication skills are legendary; you’ll always be in the loop.
• We produce broadcast quality interviews with AoBFF filmmakers that appear on our streaming platform Brooklyn On Demand (brooklynondemand.com), online and on Roku even after the festival ends.
• Our filmmakers love screening with us!

The AoBFF will present awards in the following categories:
- Best Feature
- Best Short
- Best Documentary
- Best Comedy
- Best Drama
- Best Cinematography
- Outstanding Performance
- Outstanding Ensemble
- Best Editing
- Best Performance
- Best Animation
- Best Score
- Best Visual Effects
- Best Short Documentary
- Audience Choice Award
- Jury Prize
- Dark Side Award (For Horror/Thriller/Noir Films)
- Vanguard Award (For Experimental/Non-Linear/Avant-Garde Films)

** Everyone who submits to AoBFF (film or screenplay) gets a live, interactive group pitch session from Roadmap Writers!

SCREENPLAY COMPETITION:
** As part of our mission to support emerging writers, everyone who enters will receive a FREE webinar from Roadmap Writers.**

Quarterfinalists:
- a live, interactive pitch session from Roadmap Writers
- an All-Access Festival pass
Semifinalists:
- a live, interactive pitch session from Roadmap Writers
- All-Access Festival pass
- 1 free month in the On Ramp Program from Roadmap Writers
Finalists:
- Live, interactive pitch session from Roadmap Writers
- an All-Access Festival pass
- 1 free month in the On Ramp Program from Roadmap Writers
- 3 free pitches from VPF (Virtual Pitchfest)
- 4-month Pro listing on Inktip
Grand Prize Winner:
- Live, interactive pitch session from Roadmap Writers
- an All-Access Festival pass
- 1 free month in the On Ramp Program from Roadmap Writers
- 3 free pitches from VPF (Virtual Pitchfest)
- 4-month Pro listing on Inktip
- Staged reading cast with professionbal actors
- Script read by manager Matt Dy from Lit Entertainment Group for possible representation

The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival programs all genres including comedy, drama, documentary, animation, horror, sci-fi, music video and experimental. Our Film Screening Panel —led by our annual Guest Festival Director— views all submissions and selects the films we program. We guarantee that ALL films and screenplays submitted will be considered up until midnight of the final day of submissions. A Judging Panel of industry professionals selects award-winning films in each category and our winning screenplay.

The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival strongly prefers to program premieres, especially for features, but will consider all films submitted.

All film submissions must include an online screener. Screenplays must be uploaded in PDF form only.

All filmmakers must have a screening-quality digital exhibition format available. We always screen directly from filmmakers' files. (No DVDs or Blu-Ray.)

If your film is accepted, you will be solely responsible for delivering exhibition materials to us and from the festival venue. The Art of Brooklyn cannot be held liable for any materials that are lost or damaged.

Payment made by credit card via the online submission platform is preferred.
All submission fees must be paid via credit card or PayPal. Festival dates are subject to change. Fees are non-refundable. Refund requests are considered on a case by case basis, and must be made within 1 week of our notification date.

FILMMAKER AGREEMENT:

By submitting my film, I allow it to be screened at The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival if accepted.

The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any accepted film for any promotional purposes. (Print, press, online.)

The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless The Art of Brooklyn from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

By entering (submitting to) The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, entrants release and hold the The Art of Brooklyn, its Board of Directors, Officers, Staff and Volunteers harmless from and against all losses, damages, rights, claims and actions of any kind arising in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from participation with the competition or participation in any competition related activity.

By entering (submitting to) to The Art of Brooklyn Festival you are granting the right for The Art of Brooklyn to screen your film publicly one to two times in the next twelve months (depending on the festival entered).

By entering (submitting to) The Art of Brooklyn Festival you are admitting that you have read, understood and agreed to follow our Rules and Regulations for festival submission and to abide by our Terms and Conditions of service and our general festival Rules and Regulations.

Failure to comply with The Art of Brooklyn guidelines, rules, regulations, or eligibility will be cause for disqualification and can result in having your film pulled from screening or competition.

All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply.

RULES SPECIFICALLY FOR SCREENPLAY SUBMISSIONS:

Screenplays cannot be submitted over 120 pages without festival permission. Screenplays can be in any format (Feature, TV, Short) as long as they do not exceed the page limit.
Screenplays submitted must not have been previously sold or produced unless said sale or production was completed with no financial gain to the writer.
All deadlines are at 11:59pm PST on the date listed. Any deadline alteration or promotion of any kind does not make any entry valid of a refund of any kind.
There are no refunds for any submitted screenplay. Coupons may not be applied to previously submitted scripts.
There is no limit on the number of scripts a writer or writing team may submit.
Prizes are award per script and teams of writers are expected to divide prizes on their own accord.
The decision of the judges will be final and cannot be contested in any manner. There is no score on a scorecard that guarantees advancement to the next level as advancement will be based on all score in the competition.
The contest reserves the right to delay announcements for any reason. Delay may last up to but never more than 90 days. While we never anticipate any delays, such delays will not alter the standing of any screenplay entry and will qualify no script for a refund under any circumstance.
By submitting to the contest you are releasing your script to the film festival and its partners, and holding harmless the festival or any affiliates from any claims, expenses, and liabilities, including but not limited to invasion of privacy, defamation, copyright, libel, trademark infringement, slander, personal property infringement, etc.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Anthony Petrucci

    Was honored to have my film "Mina Martin" earn the Audience Choice Award at the 2021 The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival. AoBFF Directors Joe Shahadi and Anthony DeVito, as well as Program Manager Stef Boone and Tech Director Jake King, and guest artistic director Christie Conochalla, were incredibly kind, personable, communicative, talented - and, lucky for me, very supportive of my art. I truly appreciated how they took the time to work with me to ensure my movie was viewed in the best possible light. Their carefully curated screening and talkback model allowed each film and filmmaker to stand alone and take part as their work was examined and celebrated. AoBFF was an engaging and wonderful experience within a community of enthusiasts, aficionados and artists. Thank you for such a joy!

    August 2021
  • Lea Zalinskis

    Wonderful experience all around. Stellar communication from extremely friendly and sweet folks, who clearly love film. I had such a great time with this-- especially watching the filmmaker talkbacks, and participating in one. Would certainly submit to this festival again.

    August 2021
  • The festival exceeded my expectations tenfold. I am happy that I was a participant and a screenplay finalist winner for The MicroCosmic Cartoon Show. Beyond that, I enjoyed watching the variety of movies that were screened with some outstanding talent. I loved the talkback sessions.

    June 2021
  • Such an amazing festival! Wonderful films, fantastic marketing and social media, great people, fantastic communication and organization, and really great Q&As. The Art of Brooklyn is cream of the crop.

    June 2021
  • Joseph Mazzella

    So far this year, its been my favorite festival to be apart of! Excellent films and wonderful communication from the programmers, both online and in person!

    June 2021