***This festival is open to ALL NYC Teens!***

The DYCD Film Festival is the coolest student film event in New York City. Open to students in grades 6-12, we are now accepting submissions for the 2021 experience that will bring over 25 youth-produced films to your home this Spring. The initiative offers an unparalleled journey designed to promote the future of film and further advance our mission of accessibility – making student films and conversations available at times when hosting large gatherings in person is simply not possible. The top films will be screened during an action-packed evening filled with resources and entertainment and followed by the DYCD Film Festival Awards Show where films will be awarded in various categories.

We are excited to take these new steps together with you. So grab a camera, mobile device, or tablet and share your story with us!

Deadline is April 23, 2021.

#DYCDAtHome Filmmaking Series:
To support the students’ filmmaking process, we’ve partnered with our producing team, Show the Good, and enlisted a few filmmaking professionals to share some exclusive tricks and tips on how to make the best short films possible! Visit bit.ly/dycdfilmseries to view the series!

About DYCD:
The New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) invests in a network of community-based organizations and programs to alleviate the effects of poverty and to provide opportunities for New Yorkers and communities to flourish. We support New York City youth and their families by funding a wide range of high-quality youth and community development programs, including:
• After School
• Community Development
• Family Support
• Literacy Services
• Youth Services
• Youth Workforce Development

Participants will receive filmmaking prizes, recognition on social media, and/or a gift certificate to attend a reputable film program.


Any submission that does not meet these guidelines will not be considered for judging and will not be selected to screen at the DYCD Film Festival.
• This competition is open to ALL DYCD-funded programs (COMPASS, SONYC, Beacon, Cornerstone, NDA, RHY, etc.).
• If the film's director(s) were high school seniors at the time of creation, but are now in college, the film is eligible to be submitted.
• We are a city-wide film festival and thus accept films from anywhere in New York City as long as the story and creative decisions are all student-made.
• Adults are encouraged to help students improve their production quality by helping them with photography, sound recording, and editing technology.
• Student films must be produced after September 1, 2020.

 Your submission’s total runtime (TRT) must NOT exceed the specified time limit for the category you are submitting (See categories and time limits on the FilmFreeway submission page). Credits are included in your TRT and credit runtime must NOT exceed 30 seconds.
 We strongly recommend that you triple check your audio levels and that your audio is NOT limited to one channel (ie: right or left).
 Any film that includes main dialogue that is not English must be submitted with English subtitles.
 If your film has subtitles please make sure they are "Title Safe". For a detailed explanation of "Title Safe" please click here.
 When uploading your submission, you must use the following file naming conventions:

OneChanceToWin_PS129.mov or GhostsAreComing_TWYLSBronx.mp4
• We will only except the file formats listed below:
o .MOV
o .MP4
• Do not submit films in 4K. Please submit your film in 1080 HD or lower. Any film files that are larger than 4GBs will not be accepted.
• Films that are accepted into the festival will be screened in 16:9 aspect ratio. If your film is submitted in a different ratio, your film will be letterboxed to display on the 16:9 screen.

• One film can be produced either by an individual or a group.
• One DYCD program may submit more than one film for review.
• You must have permission and/or the proper rights to all images, titles, footage and other copyrighted material used in your submission.
• We strongly encourage you to use original music. There are various resources that offer royalty free music and images.
• DYCD reserves the right to switch your submission to a different category as they see fit.

• DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES: Entries for DYCD Festival Film Contest (the “Contest”) can be submitted between Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 12:00:01 a.m. Eastern Time and April 23, 2021 at 11:59:59 p.m. Eastern Time.
• HOW TO ENTER: The festival requires that all projects be submitted via the password-protected streaming URL at filmfreeway.com/DYCDFilmFestival. Create a film of (6) minutes or less in length (unless otherwise specified). Visit and follow the instructions to complete the entry form to submit your Film. The submission password is DYCD20.
• PERSONAL INFORMATION: To submit your Film, you will be required to provide first and last name; agency/program information; email address; and Film details. The information you provide will be used only for contest administration and to contact contest nominees and winners. Your information will not be used for any other purpose or shared with any party not affiliated with the Festival and the Competition.
• SELECTION AND NOTIFICATION OF WINNERS: Festival winners will be announced in May while award winners will be announced at the awards show in June. Winners will be chosen by the Festival on the merits of each entry in the Festival’s sole and absolute discretion. All festival winners will be notified by the email address provided in the entry form. If a festival winner does not respond to the notification within five (5) business days, another winner will be chosen. Failure to respond within the time frames listed above shall mean that the provisional winner forfeits the prize.
• RULES FOR ENTRY: Entries may not contain, as determined by the Festival, in its sole discretion, any content that:
• By submitting an Entry, the Entrant acknowledges and agrees that the Festival may obtain many Entries in connection with this Contest, and that such Entries may be similar or identical in theme, idea, format or other respects to other Entries submitted in connection with this Contest. The Entrant waives any and all claims that any Entries and/or other works accepted, reviewed and/or used by the Festival may be similar to the Entrant’s Entry, or that any compensation is due to the Entrant in connection with such other Entry or other works used by the Festival.

Overall Rating
  • Jacqueline Ann Huie

    As always it was an amazing experience for me and my students!

    June 2020
  • I love the impact it has on my students. It's inspiring to see these kids pursue what they love at a very young age and be awarded for it. I love this Festival so much.

    December 2019
  • This festival was an experience that my students will neve forget. I had one student win Best Documentary category, and the prize package has changed her entire life and career as a filmmaker. A second student of mine, won Best Screenplay and earned a scholarship, books, gift certificates, etc. In addition, there was a great venue-SVA Theater, food, an impressive awards ceremony, and friendly organized staff! Great job DCYCD- we will definitely be returning next year!

    June 2019
  • Kelly Adams

    My students loved it! A very empowering day for them.

    April 2019
  • Mr Tyler Media

    Our students had a wonderful experience at this film festival. The festival provided t-shirts, snacks, food and beverages for everyone. The students were treated like the superstars who they are. The awards ceremony had and Oscars-like feel to it. I am looking forward to bringing my students back to this film festival next year.

    June 2018
    Response from festival:

    So glad to hear that you all had such a great time!
    Save the date - Friday, June 14, 2019 at 6PM!!!