Our festival by the sea has gained a reputation for fostering a relaxed atmosphere where filmmakers and industry veterans alike gather to enjoy a jam-packed weekend of great films, an opening night party and amusement park rides. MovieMaker Magazine named us one of the and "25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee" and "25 Coolest Film Festivals"!

Coney Island's independent spirit and irreverent attitude have helped the fest quickly thrive as something distinct from other NYC events. The opening night celebrations pay tribute to Coney Island's renown carnival history with live performances by the Coney Island Circus Sideshow!

Early in 2001, the non-profit arts organization Coney Island USA aligned with indiefilmpage.com founder Rob Leddy to create an annual film festival, to raise funds for the not for profit arts organization, Coney Island USA. That fall, the Coney Island Film Festival became a reality.

The festival is entirely run by film, television and audio/visual professionals, ensuring a high quality standard to the event.

Coney Island's characteristic blend of grit and whimsy has inspired filmmakers for generations. From Thomas Edison's first magical motion pictures of the Steeplechase ride to 2010 Festival Honoree Darren Aronofsky's harrowing masterpiece Requiem for a Dream, Coney has a long and intimate history with American cinema. CIFF represents the latest chapter in that history. The Coney Island Film Festival screens a truly eclectic range of films. Our festival screens films from all genres including the following categories - Drama Short, Comedy Short, Feature, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short, Horror, Sci-Fi, Music Video, Experimental, Animation. We are as diverse as the neighborhood that we represent.

We have no film premiere requirements or date of completion requirements and all entries are watched in their entirety, by our screening committee. We prefer that your film not be streaming publicly on sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, etc. and films not streaming online are given preference in the selection process. Whether you submit early or late, has no bearing on the selection process. All films are given equal chance for selection, regardless of when they are submitted! We do not invite films to play with us, we rely solely, on our call for entries!

Now in our 24th year, The Coney Island Film Festival has gained a solid reputation from filmmakers and film fans. Check out our FilmFreeway reviews to read quotes from filmmakers and to see our photo galleries (all photos courtesy of Norman Blake).

"Without a doubt, The Coney Island Film Festival has the greatest location in the world. It also gives out the best trophy I've ever received." Darren Aronofsky (Director Black Swan, The Wrestler, Requiem for a Dream, Pi)

"A showcase worthy of the neighborhood's amusement-rich history." - Christopher Zara, MovieMaker magazine

The festival jury will present awards to films and videos selected as best in these categories: Drama Short, Comedy Short, Feature, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short, Horror, Sci-Fi, Music Video, Experimental, Animation and "Made in Coney Island",

Entries must be submitted via FilmFreeway's online screener option. Foreign language work must be dubbed or subtitled in English. Entry fees are non-refundable. We have no film premiere requirements or date of completion requirements.

All entries will be viewed by the selection committee. All entry fees are non-refundable. Selected films will be announced on or around March 12, 2024. All entrants will be notified by FilmFreeway's email system. The festival does not pay rental/screening fees for submitted/selected work. For selected films, exhibition file format is .mp4, h.264, 1920x1080, stereo.

For more information email us at info@coneyislandfilmfestival.com. We will respond within 24 hours.

Terms and Conditions:
I have carefully read and understand the complete rules of the festival. By entering your film for consideration for the 2024 Coney Island Film Festival, you authorize that your work is cleared for festival screening and accept full legal responsibility for the intellectual property therein. Entry into the festival constitutes permission to screen your work at the 2024 Coney Island Film Festival. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless the Coney Island Film Festival, indiefilmpage.com, Coney Island USA and any other agents, owners and employees of said entities 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.

Overall Rating
  • Steve Thompson

    The festival is a MUST for anyone who is a fan of horror, sci-fi and genre films. If you believe this might be your audience as a director, you have certainly come to the right place. Your film will be championed by fans of cult cinema and all things weird. I am also always pleasantly surprised with the documentary programs! Hit submit if you want to start to build a loyal audience around your weird and freaky films!

    September 2023
  • Greg Hanson

    Great Fest! Always a pleasure to play here and hang with wonderful organizers in a ridiculously unique setting. A blast!

    July 2023
  • Saima Huq

    What a fabulous festival! The creativity and range of all these films featuring Coney Island was astounding. Bravo, everyone!

    June 2023
  • This was an absolute blast! The films were great, the people terrific and the venue absolutely iconic and fun. Will submit our next film for sure!

    June 2023
  • Christian Graham

    This festival really exceeded my expectations. I wasn't sure what to anticipate going in, but it offered a great balance of an inspired program, networking opportunities with great independent artists and just a generally really fun setting.

    The film curation was great, and the festival HQ and screening locations were all centrally located next to the theme park. The festival even provided vouchers to go on some of the rides. So fun and cool to be able to see some really impressive independent movies, hang out with talented filmmakers and bounce over to the Cyclone when you want to stretch your legs. Really looking forward to the chance to come back to this one.

    June 2023