The Below The Line Film Festival is named for crew members and creatives who don't get the fancy billing and publicity that Hollywood is known for. They are the gaffers, the prop masters, the set dressers, the electricians, the animators, the PAs - all the people who make films happen every single day. We want to provide an opportunity for people, who may not have the financial resources or connections, to have their work seen and critiqued. Filmmaking is a community venture, we know that, and we believe all members of the community should be honored, thus our title.

Our short film festival accepts films from filmmakers of all kinds, types, pedigree, nationality, race, etc. Films must be no longer than 25 minutes.

Selected films in our festival will stream online in September 2024. After that, selected films will be screened in person in New York City!

Judges Choice - $300
Audience Choice - $300
Category award for each category with 3 or more entries.

Categories include: drama, comedy, documentary, LGBTQIA+, horror, under 18*, animated, and other.

Official Selection package for each film selected - includes laurels, logos, and verbiage to be used on filmmakers website, social media, etc.

*under 18 category is for filmmakers under the age of 18

1. Participants represent and warrant that they are the owner of all rights in the film (hereto known as "Materials") submitted or the duly authorized agent of the owner of all rights in the Materials, and they have full authority to submit the Materials. Participants further represent and warrant that any Material, which they submit, will be original with them and that no other person has an interest therein or claim thereto.

2. Participants recognize, acknowledge and agree that it is possible that Chill Bucket Productions (CBP) may find that the Materials submitted are not new, and/or are in the public domain, and/or that other persons submitted or made public similar or identical material, and/or that CBP has already independently considered the program ideas, formats, production techniques, locations, talent, effects, etc., that may be the same as or similar to the Materials submitted to CBP, which CBP shall have the right to use, and participant will not be entitled to any compensation because of CBP’s use of such other similar or identical material. Participant agrees to release Below the Line Film Festival and CBP from any and all claims and liability based on similarities between the Materials submitted and any work that is ultimately produced by or on behalf of CBP, regardless of legal theories under which such claims may be asserted.

3. Participant releases Below the Line Film Festival from all claims, demands and liabilities, known or unknown, which may arise in relation to the Materials, except for fraud or willful injury on my part.

4. Participant certifies that Material will not be available for viewing on any public-facing website, under the applicant's domain or the domain of a virtual festival during the festival streaming and in person dates.

5. If selected, participant agrees to have Material available for streaming online on the CBP private streaming service which will be available for other festival participants and paid subscribers only.

6. If selected, participant agrees to have Material screened at the Below The Line Film Festival Screening event in New York City.

7. Submissions/Selections; only films that have been submitted online through FilmFreeway can be considered. Selections will be made based on the following criteria: concept/originality, plot/storyline, characters, dialogue, cinematic value.

8. Registration fee is $30.

9. Materials must be submitted in their original version. Films in languages other than English must be subtitled in English.

10. Materials should be completed in or after 2010. Footage used from before 2010 should not comprise more than 49% of the Materials. Films must be no longer than 25 minutes total.

11. Official Selections. All participants will be notified in writing if they have been successful. If you are invited to participate in the Below The Line Film Festival you will be contacted by the Festival in regards to logistical and practical details of screening and streaming. Upon completion of the Festival selection process, CBP will attempt contact using the contact information provided on the submission form. CBP disavows any responsibility, and will not be held responsible, for any failure to contact the participant using the contact information provided on the submission form. It is the sole responsibility of the participant to ensure that the contact information provided on the submission form is correct.

Overall Rating
  • I had an awesome time at the Below The Line Film Festival in 2023! The films were diverse in topic and perspective, and I was thrilled to attend the in-person festival with other filmmakers and producers from Chill Bucket Productions in attendance.

    February 2024
  • Brian DeLong

    Amazing experience at the Below The Line Film Festival! Great selection of films in fantastic location -- especially for NY based filmmakers.

    Great opportunities to network. Jeff and Dakota created such a welcoming and fun environment. Cannot recommend enough!

    October 2023
  • I was honored to participate in this year's Below The Line Film Festival with "Lucky Coin !" short film! - 😃😃😃🙏🙏🙏👏👏👏

    October 2023
  • Erik Ta

    wasn’t able to attend to see our film win ‘best documentary’ but email comm was responsive—however, could do a better job with social media fest branding and promotion

    October 2023
  • Thanks for selecting "Enter the Room" into your festival as a winner for the Judge's Choice Award. I wasn't able to attend the festival in person, but was impressed by the level of communication and the awards ceremony video was a nice addition. I had a very good experience overall and will definitely consider submitting future projects to Below The Line Film Festival.

    October 2023