The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival is the flagship indie film event of Brooklyn.
Founded in 2011, AoBFF is the ONLY international, independent festival in the world exclusively devoted to Brooklyn’s vibrant film and media scene. We accept films and screenplays from all over, as long as they are connected to the borough in some way (e.g. cast/crew, production, content, theme, setting, etc.)
We are also 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
AoBFF is a creative hub, platform and showcase for independent film and media makers in Brooklyn and around the world. We partner with film distributors and media organizations, host world-class talkbacks, and create innovative programming for networking and skill building. And we screen in state-of-the-art theaters for enthusiastic audiences across Brooklyn.
We believe that film festivals exist for filmmakers, not the other way around.
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
• 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 2016, we screened the premiere of the theatrical cut of Spike Lee’s new documentary ‘2 Fists Up’ through a partnership with ESPN Films.
• 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 for our leading-edge use of technology.
• We welcomed 2,000 guests to the 2016 AoBFF
NEW FOR 2017:
AoBFF is launching a Screenplay Competition for our 7th Annual festival. Entries will be judged by a panel of professional script readers. We’ll announce 5 Finalists, and the Winner will receive a staged reading cast with professional actors, produced by us!
“The press coverage and accolades [AoBFF] granted us made [American Bomber] a ‘must see’ film that led to… a distribution deal with IndiePix Films. I could not have asked for a better World Premiere than Art of Brooklyn.” — Eric Trenkamp (Winner: Best Director 2013)
“AoBFF was truly one of the best film festivals I’ve ever attended. It was an honor to be part of such a fantastic festival that fostered a sense of community for its filmmakers. The curation was an immense cut above the rest.”
—Lexie Kanahovitz (Winner, Vanguard Award 2016 for Super Fun Show! With Learning)
“A great experience. The festival was well run by awesome people who clearly care about film and the people who make it. They curate a fantastic selection of films every year!
— Kat Vecchio (Director, ‘This Is How I Roll’ 2013 Official Selection)
‘I had a great time at AoBFF. As a filmmaker, I felt very supported by the festival. They were really organized and on top of everything from screening times to e-vites to marketing. I enjoyed the other films in my block, and the venue was great.’
— Bat-Sheva Guez, (Winner, Best Director 2016 for Behind The Wall)
“The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival rocks!! The directors, programmers, and the entire staff are true professionals! Submit to this fest. ”
— Dave Chan (Producer, ‘What’s Eating Dad?’ 2015 Official Selection)
OUR INDUSTRY PARTNERS:
• We have enjoyed strategic partnerships with IFP, New York Women in Film and Television, The NYC Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment, Prime Latino Media, film distributors BOND/360 and IndiePix films, Pratt Institute, ESPN Films, NBC Universal and LiveStream, among others.
• Our past and current sponsors include: Investors Bank, St. Francis College, Zype, Focus Camera, HBO and more.
• ‘Pumping out groundbreaking content… AoBFF sets itself apart from the traditional Brooklyn film scene in so many ways.’ – Holly Thicknes, GIRLS ON FILM (London)
• ‘An indie gem that showcases the best of the borough…the festival has become a hub for the area’s indie film scene.' – INDUSTRY Magazine
• ‘For Brooklyn, by Brooklyn and about Brooklyn’ – The L Magazine
• We have been featured in Time Out NY, the New York Times, Filmmaker Magazine, and more. (see http://www.theartofbrooklyn.org/press.html for links)
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:
• Our main screening space is a 300-seat theater in Downtown Brooklyn. We also screen at a 280-seat auditorium in Bay Ridge, and a state-of-the-art 4K cinema in Clinton Hill, among others.
• 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.
We prefer to screen premieres, especially for features. It can be hard to decide where to premiere your film and we want to make a strong case for doing it with us. 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: We have over 4,000 Facebook fans and our promoted posts get over 10,000 views each.
• 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! See industry testimonials here: theartofbrooklyn.org/testimonials
"It was great to premiere my film ‘Casual Encounters’ at AoBFF. We had a sold-out theater on Opening Night and wonderful experience overall. Our film went on to win the Best Feature award, gained momentum and is now playing several festivals."
– Will McCord (Director, ‘Casual Encounters,’ Winner: Best Feature 2013)
“The festival is run by filmmakers and people who love filmmakers. They understand the challenges of filmmaking and work hard to celebrate the finished product.”
— Jordan Thomas (Director, ‘Fort Greene,’ 2013 Official Selection)
“I love the AoBFF, it’s an amazing festival and its organizers are fiercely loyal to the integrity of their mission and the films they present. They're full-on rooting for the gutsy filmmaker.”
— Lisa Dowda (Producer, ‘How To Make Movies At Home,’ World Premiere 2013)
Awards & Prizes
The AoBFF will present awards to the following categories:
- Best Screenplay (and a staged reading of your screenplay)
- Best Feature
- Best Short
- Best Super Short
- Best Documentary
- Best Short Documentary
- Best Animation
- Audience Choice Award
- Jury Prize
- Dark Side Award (For Horror/Thriller/Noir Films)
- Vanguard Award (For Experimental/Non-Linear/Avant-Garde Films)
Rules & Terms
>> PLEASE NOTE: When submitting a film, you MUST describe how it is connected to Brooklyn in order to be eligible. Yes, our submission guidelines are unique, but then again so are we.
1) If you are a filmmaker or screenwriter who can demonstrate a Brooklyn connection in your film or screenplay, you are welcome to submit. For example:
• Your film was shot or created in Brooklyn
• The subject of your documentary has a strong Brooklyn connection
• Your script features Brooklyn as a location, or features Brooklyn characters
• You live and/or work in Brooklyn or have spent formative time here
• You are from Brooklyn but now you live elsewhere
• Your cast, crew or production staff are from Brooklyn
• Brooklyn is a key inspiration in the creation of your film
If you have questions about eligibility, please see our FAQs at http://www.theartofbrooklyn.org/submissions or email us at email@example.com
2) 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 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.
3) The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival strongly prefers to program premieres, especially for features, but will consider all films submitted.
6) All films submitted must be completed by May 1, 2018.
7) All film submissions must include an online screener. Screenplays must be uploaded in PDF form only.
8) All filmmakers must have a screening-quality digital exhibition format available. We always screen directly from filmmakers' files. (No DVDs or Blu-Ray.)
9) 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.
10) If your film is accepted AoBFF will send an online form for promotional information and images, which must be filled out and returned within five days. EMAILED DOCS, PDFs, HARD COPIES OR SCANS OF TEXT WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
11) Payment made by credit card via the online submission platform is preferred. Checks or money orders included in submissions will be accepted.
Checks or Money Orders must be made out to: The Art of Brooklyn Festival.
Send all materials care of:
The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival
145 72 Street, Suite A1 Brooklyn NY 11209
All submission fees must be paid via credit card, PayPal, check, or money order. Festival dates are subject to change. ALL SUBMISSION FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.
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:
1. 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.
2. Screenplays submitted must not have been previously sold or produced unless said sale or production was completed with no financial gain to the writer.
3. 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.
4. There are no refunds for any submitted screenplay. Coupons may not be applied to previously submitted scripts.
5. There is no limit on the number of scripts a writer or writing team may submit.
6. Prizes are award per script and teams of writers are expected to divide prizes on their own accord.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
>> PLEASE NOTE: When submitting a film or screenplay, you must describe how it is connected to Brooklyn in order to be eligible. See #1 of Rules & Terms for examples.