The annual international film competition for legal-themed shorts, offering independent and emerging filmmakers the chance to screen their work in New York City and creatively engage the public in discussions regarding justice and popular culture.

Now accepting submissions for the 2018 competition year! Finalist shorts will be screened at the FOLCS Awards Night during the 12th Annual Forum Film Festival in New York City.

“Legal theme” may be broadly construed. You are free to choose any subject in which the relationship between law, justice, and society can be fashioned into a unique visual story. For example, your film could be about rights that have been denied, harms that have gone unaddressed, the aftereffects of courtroom decisions, government regulations and statutes, or an attempt to take a new look at what “justice” really means. Any genre (animation, comedy, documentary, drama, musical, sci-fi, etc.) is permitted.

Films should run 20 minutes or less, there is no minimum runtime requirement.

About the Competition:
The FOLCS International Short Film Competition was created in 2011 to encourage the creation of short films exploring themes of law and justice. Expanding in reach each year, independent and aspiring filmmakers from around the globe are invited to submit their original shorts. Entrants not only have the chance to have their work screened before a New York audience, but also the opportunity to have their short viewed by distinguished professionals from both the legal and entertainment fields. Each year the Film Festival features renowned filmmakers, actors, writers, journalists, public intellectuals, and members of the legal profession. The Film Festival also attracts overflowing and diverse crowds of film enthusiasts, which provides a great platform for showcasing your winning work! The night will open with a red carpet for our attending filmmakers and will include an awards presentation and reception. In addition, the audience has the opportunity to vote on which short will receive the Audience Favorite Award!

Awards & Prizes

Awards: Best Short, Best Screenplay, Outstanding Woman Filmmaker, Young Filmmaker (18 years and younger), & Audience Favorite. Winner of Best Short Award will also receive an InkTip Script Listing (a listing of your script on InkTip.com so that producers and reps can find you).

Rules & Terms

Deadlines:
Entries must be received by the following dates for consideration:
- early: November 30, 2017; entry fee: $25
- regular: December 15, 2017; entry fee: $35
- late: January 15, 2018; entry fee: $45

Entry requirements:
• One (1) DVD of your short film or a downloadable file.
• A signed copy of the entry form. A signature of a parent or legal guardian, along with contestant’s signature, must be included if the contestant is under 18 years of age.
• Entry fee

Mailed entries should be sent to:
Shervin Abachi, Director, FOLCS International Short Film Competition
Forum on Law, Culture & Society at NYU School of Law
139 MacDougal Street, Room B23
New York, NY 10012

Online entries may be submitted via FilmFreeway or to shorts@folcs.org

Runtime: Films must run 20 minutes or less. There is no minimum runtime requirement.

Format: Entries may be submitted by mailing a DVD or online video file sharing system (Dropbox, Vimeo, WeTransfer, etc.).
• Video resolution should be a minimum of 720x480. You may be required to supply a higher resolution if your entry is chosen as a finalist.
• Entries submitted online must be downloadable. Please send the link to erin.bundra@folcs.org, along with log-in information.
• Preferred formatting is .mp4 or .mov – if submitting via DVD, please include a downloadable .mov or .mp4 file on the disc. DVDs should be NTSC Region 0 or 1.
• VHS, non-standard DVDs (i.e., no Blu-Ray), and other formats (mini DV, Beta, etc.) will not be accepted.

Works in progress: Works in progress will only be accepted if substantially complete (i.e., edit locked, but needs color correction or sound mixing).
• If submitting a work in progress, please make note of what elements are incomplete.
• Please submit as completed a work as possible, as only the first version of the film submitted will be considered for judging purposes.

Films must be in english or subtitled in english.

Stock footage: Contestants are responsible for securing full license, authorization, and release for stock video, photos, illustrations, animation, music and/or sounds.
• The Forum on Law, Culture & Society [hereinafter “Forum”], and
their affiliates, representatives, employees, agents and/or volunteers are not responsible for any liability incurred by any Contestant who fails to obtain the correct authorization, releases, and/or licenses
in the making of his or her film. By entering the Forum Short Film Competition, Contestant agrees that he or she will not hold the Forum, their affiliates, or any of their representatives, employees, agents and/ or volunteers liable for any unauthorized use of stock material.

Copyright: Commercial, broadcast and copyrighted videos, photos, illustrations, animation, music and/or sounds may not be used without authorization and release from the copyright holder for full and uncompensated use in the video for purposes of the Forum Short Film Competition, broadcast at the Forum Film Festival and/or Forum events, for dissemination on the Forum Web site and/or related sites.
• Please be aware this can include use of brand names, logos, slogans, etc.
• The Forum, their affiliates, representatives, employees, agents and/ or volunteers are not responsible for any liability incurred by any Contestant who does not obtain the correct authorization, releases, and/or licenses. By entering the Forum Short Film Competition, Contestants agree that they will not hold the Forum, their affiliates, or any of their representatives, employees, agents and/or volunteers liable for copyright or trademark infringement caused by the Contestant or his or her film.

other releases: Contestants are responsible for securing necessary releases from actors and other individuals involved in the making of the film.
• The Forum, their affiliates, representatives, employees, agents and/or volunteers are not responsible for any liability incurred by any Contestant who fails to obtain the correct authorization and releases. By entering the Forum Film Competition, Contestants agree that they will not hold the Forum and its affiliates, or any of their representatives, employees, agents and/or volunteers liable for the failure to obtain any necessary releases.
Any taxes incurred from prize winnings are the responsibility of the winner.
Films should not contain nudity, excessive or glamorized violence, excessive or glamorized drug use, or excessive strong language.

Contestants retain the ownership rights to their films, but grant a nonexclusive license to the Forum and their representatives, employees, and agents that would permit the use of the films in perpetuity without additional compensation. Use of films may include, but is not limited to: use in whole or in part to promote/advertise the Forum, the Forum Short Film Competition, and/or the Forum Film Festival; screenings of shorts, in whole or in part at Forum events; and for use on the Forum’s Web site.

Contestants chosen as winners agree that their name, photo, video, likeness and/or voice may be used for promotional/ advertising purposes by the Forum and/or their representatives, employees, agents and volunteers for no additional compensation.

By entering the Competition, the Contestant certifies that his/her short is an original work and that he/she is the legal owner of the submitted short film.

Films and/or Contestants that do not abide by the Submission Rules will be disqualified without notification.

DVDs and other entry materials will not be returned. The Forum and its affiliates are not responsible for any loss of DVDs nor damaged DVDs. Entry fees will not be reimbursed for lost, damaged, or disqualified DVDs.

The determination of the judges shall be final.

The Forum reserves the right to change submission rules and categories at its discretion.

By signing the entry form, contestants and/or parents and/or legal guardians agree to be bound by these Submission Rules.

1 Review

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    Yasmin Mistry

    We really enjoyed participating in FOLCS. The team behind the festival was well organized and communication was great. The screening itself was well attended. The venue was incredible and the moderated filmmaker panel provoked a great conversation.

    November 2016