The 11th Annual Chain NYC Film Festival (Chain NYC) is known for celebrating personal stories and original ideas in the heart of midtown NYC. With the goal of sparking exciting dialogue between filmmakers and their audiences, Chain NYC comes alive in New York City. The venue couldn't be more convenient as it's located steps from Penn Station and blocks from Times Square.

Chain NYC welcomes narrative and documentary submissions, whether in feature-length, short-form, or "super-short" format. Audiences find one of the biggest strengths of the festival is the wide variety of types of programming selected. Past years have included genre busting Grindhouse Film Blocks to important Human Rights Documentaries. Film blocks are meticulously curated for films that belong together. The festival also warmly embraces webseries submissions as part of a new wave of creative enterprise in an increasingly connected world. Over 30 awards are bestowed in numerous categories, including Best Narrative Feature, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Animated Film, and Best Local Filmmaker. Special prizes may also be awarded, at the discretion of a jury of storytelling and filmmaking experts.

Even in our second year; official selection and award winner: "The Lady In Number 6: Music Saved My Life" went on to win Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Film.

Cidney Hue, writer-director of the award-winning narrative short, Odessa, concurs: "Chain NYC has been the best experience I've had, thus far, at any festival....Thank you for restoring my faith in film festivals!"

In addition to screening the best in recent filmmaking the festival also hosts live film related events. Past events included a special screening of John Cassavetes’ 1959 film Shadows was followed by an engaging Q&A with actress Leila Goldoni in 2013 and in 2014 a staged reading of Karen Black's work featuring Sean Young, Andrea McArdle, and Gail Brown was a festival highlight. In 2016 screenwriter Richard Price gave an unforgettable talk back after the 30th Anniversary Screening of the Color of Money and also spoke about his HBO smash hit series The Night Of. In 2017 screenwriter Richard LaGravenese joined us for for an in depth look into The Fisher King.

"I've participated in numerous film festivals, and the Chain NYC Film Festival stands out as one of the best," says Richard Uhlig, writer-director of the award-winning documentary short, My Kansas. "Not only [is] the selection of films superb, but the staff made a point of getting to know me and really supporting my film. All too often, small films can get lost in the shuffle of a festival. Not at Chain NYC."

Narratives, Docs and Web Series projects are welcome to submit – qualify your film today!

Awards of recognition of excellence are offered in over 30 categories.

Please refer to our website for a list of last year's winners and categories:

General Rules

The selection committee would prefer that all entries/screeners be submitted as a Secure Online Screener.

There is no limit to the number of entries you may submit.

Select the category that seems most appropriate. If you wish to enter multiple categories, you must select your primary category and then send an email to the festival requesting consideration for additional categories. There will be no additional fee for this if the festival grants permission.

Fill out the entry form carefully.

A short synopsis of 2 to 4 lines is required for shorts categories.

A short synopsis in addition to a longer synopsis of approximately 125 words is required for the Documentary and Feature categories. You are required to submit this with the entry form. The synopsis will be used for the jury committee, the program book and web site, if accepted. Each submission should also include at least one still production photo or slide, a press kit and bio and photo of the director.

Please provide the most information possible by filling out all areas of your profile before submitting. Should you be accepted we use that information for our web site and need as detailed information you can give.

Notification of acceptance will be emailed on approximately July 5th, 2022. You will be notified for each submission.

If you are entering as a student, a photocopy of a current student ID, as well as an endorsement must accompany your entry from your instructor.

Complete care is given to every entry. The festival, however, cannot be responsible for damage to, or loss of, material submitted. Additionally, the festival is held harmless from damage to or loss of print en route to the festival.


Works in progress, and industrial/instructional works are not eligible.

Works that are available online are not eligible.


Films will be screened from files provided by the submitter. Files must be given in by deadline requested at acceptance or the film will be removed from screening schedule.

The submitter has final say on which cut of a film will be shown. The Chain NYC Film Festival will not be liable for choices amongst your production team on different cuts of a film. The screener given to us upon acceptance is the one that will be shown. The Chain NYC Film Festival can opt to avoid any confrontations with regards to these matters by disqualifying your film.

Please be aware that if you have not submitted a photo or synopsis it will not be included in the program book or web site. Any corrections received to the original submission material must be received in writing by July 1st, 2022. Changes will not be made after this date.

The Chain NYC Film Festival reserves the right to use clips from accepted entries, up to 3 minutes in length for publicity purposes. The festival reserves the right to show the submission for promotion and fund raising events up to three years past the date of the festival. Submitter can opt out of this clause by sending the festival a written request to opt out of this clause.

The number of screenings, days is at the sole discretion of the festival.

The policy of the festival is that any promotional material and screener copies WILL NOT be returned. If you have specific needs, we will try and help resolve them but you are not guaranteed to receive these materials back.

Accepted films and videos will be notified by approximately July 5th, 2022

Overall Rating
  • Happy to have our NYC premiere here, good communication from the festival.

    December 2022
  • T. J. McIntosh

    We're proud The Gun screened at the 10th Chain NYC Film Festival! Thank you to Rick and the team running a great festival.

    September 2022
  • Ben Myers

    Chain really understands community and programs great films in thoughtful ways. The screen is pleasantly large, and the hospitality is great. I really enjoyed the press/promotion on first day, and my film won Best Scifi Short. If you are looking for a Manhattan festival that plays beautiful films, Chain is the place. Thanks to Kirk, and the entire team! I will definitely be submitting next year.

    August 2022
  • Daryl Denner

    Had a great time @ Chain NYC Film Festival!…looking forward to attending again.

    August 2022
  • Sassy Mohen

    I had a blast at the Chain NYC Film Festival. I mean firstly, it's great to have a festival that follows great covid safety guidelines. As someone traveling from out of state, it really put me at ease. The selection of films were great and diverse in every definition of the word, and the staff was so kind and helpful. I highly recommend!

    August 2022