Chain Film Winter Weekend, the spinoff winter edition of the Chain NYC Film Festival, is excited to announce it’s inaugural year! For four days this February, local filmmakers from the Tri-state area will come together to celebrate short films. The curated section of the festival will also include the new Film WinterSLAM, a 100 hr film challenge with cash prizes. All screenings will be held at the Chain Theatre. Located in the heart of the crossroads of the world, the Chain Theatre has two screening venues steps from Penn Station and blocks from Times Square.

A highlight of this new festival is the Film WinterSLAM 100 hr filmmaking challenge. Teams compete for cash prizes with both industry judges as well as audience voting. Films are screened the following week during the Chain Film Winter Weekend.

For the last seven years the Chain NYC Film Festival has been providing a forum for filmmakers all over the world to showcase their latest work. The overwhelming sense of community that has grown out of this festival has been our greatest success. Continuing the momentum of our film program year road has always been a goal of the festival and the festival looks forward to hosting both new and old friends this year.

“I absolutely LOVED this film festival and it truly set the bar high for any film festival in the future. You can really feel that everyone running the show cares about your film, about filmmaking, and about showcasing the stories you want to tell, no matter how important or how silly. This is easily a festival I'll remember and try to come back to often.” - Josue Ledesma on the Chain NYC Film Festival

All filmmakers must live locally in the Tri-State area: New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania.

(The Chain NYC Film Festival is an international festival and has no geographic restrictions if you would like to submit to us there.)

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

WinterSLAM Cash Prizes for 1st and 2nd place. 1st Place is $500 2nd place is $200.

The WinterSLAM Launch Party will be from 6:00 to 8:00pm on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 and the WinterSLAM will officially start at 8:00pm. Films must be completed and uploaded to Vimeo and link sent to the Chain no later than 11:59pm on Sunday night, February 23. Films will be shown as a block of the Chain Film Winter Weekend (Feb 27 through March 1) and awards given out at the Chain Film Winter Weekend awards ceremony.

At the Launch Party, Teams will be assigned the required elements that must appear in each film, such as a character, a prop and/or a line of dialogue. The required character and prop must appear onscreen The required line of dialogue must be used verbatim. It may be spoken, sung and/or written.

To avoid being disqualified, each Team’s film must contain all required elements within the official time limit and prior to the credits.

Films must be a minimum of 3 minutes and maximum of 10 minutes, excluding end credits. End credits may be no more than 60 seconds long and must contain the phrase “This film was made as part of the Chain Film Festival 100 Hour WinterSLAM.” Any future screenings of the film or version of the film submitted to other festivals must retain this text.

All writing, shooting and editing must be done within the designated 100 hour time frame. No stock footage or previously shot footage may be used. Any type of video or film camera may be used. There is no limit to the number of cameras used. Animation and special effects are permitted, but must be created during the 100 hour time frame.

Prior to the WinterSLAM, teams are permitted to crew up, select cast, scout possible locations and gather all necessary film equipment. Films are encouraged to use original music and sound effects, but if pre-recorded tracks are used, the Team must have the rights and must provide releases to guarantee such.

Teams must reside in the NY/NJ/CT Tri-state area. Every film crew must have a designated Team Lead who is responsible for turning in the completed film and accepting of a prize on behalf of the team. Neither Chain Film Festival, Chain Theatre or any sponsor is liable for any disputes between collaborators arising out of or related to the WinterSLAM.

As a condition of entry, Teams must agree to the WinterSLAM Agreement, signed and completed by the Team Leader which must be handed in at the Launch Night. Entries that do not include all required information will be disqualified and will not be considered.

Judging criteria:

Adherence to Assignment






Entertainment Value
Curated Films

General Rules

All submissions must be submitted as a Secure Online Screener.

All filmmakers must live locally in the Tri-State area: New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania.

All films must be short films 40 minutes and under.

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 January 29, 2020. 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.


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 Film Winter Weekend 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 Film Winter Weekend 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 Jan 28, 2020. Changes will not be made after this date.

The Chain Film Winter Weekend 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 January 29, 2020

Overall Rating
  • Thank you for your wonderful and successful festival!! I was very glad to take part in it with my film! Very well organized event and communications with filmmakers are great! I felt great in your space. It has been an great start for our film. I hope in the future we will see you many more times! I will always remember this magical experience. Thanks again!

    March 2020