The annual international film competition for short films with themes of social justice and human rights, 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 2020 competition year! Finalist shorts will be screened at the FOLCS Awards Night during the 8th Annual Awards Night in New York City.
“social justice” 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 as part of our FOLCS Film Series. 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 Series features renowned filmmakers, actors, writers, journalists, public intellectuals, and members of the legal profession. The Film Series 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: 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).
Entries must be received by the following dates for consideration:
- Early: May 15, 2020; entry fee: $25
- Regular: June 15, 2020; entry fee: $25
- Late: July 15, 2020; entry fee: $25
*Students benefit from a $10 discount.
• 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 a 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 Life, Culture & Society
c/o Touro College
500 7th Ave, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10018
Online entries may be submitted via FilmFreeway or to firstname.lastname@example.org
Films must run 20 minutes or less. There is no minimum runtime requirement.
Entries may be submitted by mailing a DVD or online video via 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 email@example.com, 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 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.
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 “FOLCS”], 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 FOLCS International Short Film Competition, Contestant agrees that he or she will not hold FOLCS, their affiliates, or any of their representatives, employees, agents and/ or volunteers liable for any unauthorized use of the stock material.
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 FOLCS International Short Film Competition, broadcast at the FOLCS Film Series and/or FOLCS events, for dissemination on the FOLCS website and/or related sites.
• Please be aware this can include the use of brand names, logos, slogans, etc.
• FOLCS, 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 FOLCS International Short Film Competition, Contestants agree that they will not hold FOLCS, 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.
Contestants are responsible for securing necessary releases from actors and other individuals involved in the making of the film.
• FOLCS, 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 FOLCS International Short Film Competition, Contestants agree that they will not hold FOLCS 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 non-exclusive license to FOLCS 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 FOLCS, the FOLCS International Short Film Competition, and/or the FOLCS Film Series; screenings of shorts, in whole or in part at FOLCS events; and for use on the Forum’s website.
Contestants chosen as winners agree that their name, photo, video, likeness and/or voice may be used for promotional/ advertising purposes by FOLCS 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. FOLCS 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.
FOLCS reserves the right to change submission rules and categories at its discretion.
By signing the entry form, or entering the competition through any and all online platforms like FilmFreeway, contestants and/or parents and/or legal guardians agree to be bound by these Submission Rules.