Cinematters: NY Social Justice Film Festival presents impactful films aiming to engage the community toward a more inclusive, thoughtful, and open-minded society. The festival explores various themes of inequality that will encourage conversation and a call to action. Through films, special events, and conversations, we aim to drive our participants toward engagement, reflection, and foster a community of individuals eager to make civic change in our society and beyond.

The Cinematters: NY Social Justice Film Festival is now accepting submissions for its third year and will operate as a hybrid festival in compliance with the state's response to Covid-19.

We will curate a select number of films from January 14-18, 2021 that continue to present the lives and stories of people whose mission is to activate social change (in front or behind the camera) that explore, discuss and embrace the diversity of the shared human experience.

Filmmakers who identify from an underrepresented background are encouraged to apply (example: BIPOC, women, LBTQIA+, etc).

We accept feature narratives and documentaries (over 40 min) from all countries.

Eligibility requirements for submission to the festival:
* Films must be related to the topics of social justice. Topics include, but are not limited to, Immigration, Women’s Rights, Racial Justice, Incarceration, Environmental Issues, Health, Youth, Religious Tolerance, Equality, Animals, and Gun Safety.

* Films that are advertisements commissioned by a commercial company or a promotional video for an organization (PSAs) are not eligible for submission.

* Screeners sent as links should be available through January 2021. Links must be updated by submitter on their FilmFreeway account if changed.

* We greatly recommend adding captioning to your film for accessibility purposes.

By submitting your film you are acknowledging that:
1. To the best of your knowledge, all of your statements below are accurate.
2. You are duly authorized, on your behalf and on the behalf of any person or entity that has ownership rights in the work, to submit it to the Festival and you represent that this submission is not in violation of any law nor violates any right of said person or entity.
3. You hold Cinematters: NY Social Justice Film Festival, its officers, as well as any of its fiscal sponsors and affiliated entities, harmless from any damage to, or loss of, any materials submitted by you, whether that damage occurs en route to or from the Festival or during the course of the Festival's possession of said materials.
4. The film submission fee does not guarantee acceptance and no refund will be provided if your film is not selected. Additionally, the Festival does not absolutely guarantee nor is obligated to have a member of the festival staff view the film in its entirety or provide information or feedback related to the film’s consideration.
5. Please note this film festival will be taking place online this year and available to our attendees for a specified time.

Overall Rating
  • Chihiro Wimbush

    This was a wonderful film festival, despite the challenge of pandemic forcing a late pivot to a virtual format. It's rare to have a festival so focused on connecting a film's themes to taking action, and Cinematters does a wonderful job of thinking through how a film's impact can connect to the community.

    February 2022