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, parties 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 sideshow freaks, sword swallowers, fire eaters and stars of the New York City burlesque scene!

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 and, much to the delight of our audience, features a number of "made in Coney Island" productions each year. Our festival screens films from all genres. We are as diverse as the neighborhood that we represent.

The festival's ties to carny culture are undeniable. The main screening venue is the legendary Sideshows by the Seashore theater, home to America's last authentic 10-in-1 sideshow. Twelve years ago, the festival expanded to include a second venue, the equally funky and historic Coney Island Museum. Our closing night ceremony takes place at the historic Eldorado Bumper Cars, where once the final award is presented, all in attendance, get to ride the bumper cars for free!

Now in our 20th 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

Each selected film, gets two all access passes, amusement park ride tickets and admission to parties.

Awards:
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", The award is a hand painted plaque, from world renowned Coney Island Sideshow Banner Painter, Marie Roberts.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
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.

SELECTION & NOTIFICATION
All entries will be viewed by the selection committee. All entry fees are non-refundable. Selected films will be announced on July 31, 2020. All entrants will be notified by email. The festival does not pay rental/screening fees for submitted/selected work. For selected films, exhibition file format is .mp4, h.264.

AWARDS
A festival jury will present awards to films and videos selected as best in category.

The festival does not pay for airfare, transportation, lodging, meals, parking, etc. These are the responsibility of selected filmmakers wishing to attend. Each selected film, gets two all access passes, amusement park ride tickets and admission to our opening night party.

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 2020 Coney Island Film Festival, you authorize that your work is cleared for festival exhibition and accept full legal responsibility for the intellectual property therein. Entry into the festival constitutes permission to exhibit your work at the 2020 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
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Catherine Delaloye

    Loved it! Best opening party ever!

    November 2019
  • Camille Viollet

    We love the Coney Island Film Festival! It is so wonderful having a festival in such an iconic part of New York that honors and welcomes so many incredible and unique films. It is an honor being a part of it for two years in a row and we hope to be back. Rob is a great, attentive organizer and he is grandly appreciated!

    November 2019
  • Coney Island Film Festival is where it's at! A great and diverse creative programming lineup each year, a unique venue that you don't see anywhere else, and good communication with the filmmakers regarding setting up the programming. We look forward to submitting our next film for consideration! Thank you Rob for all your years of making this festival one not to miss.

    October 2019
  • Liz Ostertag

    Absolutely loved this festival! It was so fun to meet the other filmmakers, and there were plenty of events to keep you occupied all weekend. Big thanks to Rob Leddy for organizing it!

    October 2019
  • Easily the coolest film festival around. Always an honor to have my work screened next to some amazing fellow filmmakers. Every year Rob Leddy does an outstanding job of pulling this festival together. I highly recommend submitting to as well as attending!

    October 2019