Festival of Cinema NYC, New York City's fastest growing film festival enters its fifth year in 2021! Beginning the first Friday of August, this year Festival of Cinema NYC is planned to take place from August 6th - 15th.

Festival of Cinema NYC seeks the best in independent film of all lengths and genres. Whether your film is a drama, comedy, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, documentary, experimental, LGBTQ, animation, etc. - we want to show it! Our Opening Night, Closing Night, Midweek Red Carpet Event, and Midnight Madness Grindhouse Horror films are all selected from the very best submissions we receive. Plus, every filmmaker that submits their film(s) will automatically receive a one-year subscription to Videomaker Digital Magazine, a leading subscription service that focuses on guiding independent filmmakers with online tutorials and publications (a $20 value). Our only criteria is that your film be truly independent and not backed by any of the seven major movie studios. All selected filmmakers get VIP passes that allow entry into our screenings, events and parties.

Because Festival of Cinema NYC was founded by independent filmmakers, we understand the needs and challenges that filmmakers face. Our festival staff is committed to offering filmmakers the opportunities they seek to promote and ultimately have their film seen and sold. Since our inception in 2017, many films have found distribution through our sponsors, with many more being offered distribution deals by visiting distributors. Our festival’s growing reputation of top-notch independent films has consistently attracted more distributors every year, making it a possibility to interact with distributors directly! One of the key components to Festival of Cinema NYC's success, is making sure each filmmaker and their film get the proper attention and publicity that they deserve. Our publicity department works around the clock to ensure that filmmakers get as much coverage in news and local media. Filmmakers at the festival have had their films covered in various news publications around Queens and New York City, including the N.Y. Times, the NY Daily News, The NY Post, The Queens Chronicle, CBSN and NY1 News on Spectrum cable. Attending filmmakers each get a Q&A following their screening, giving them the chance to engage our audience.

Additionally, Festival of Cinema NYC hosts panels and workshops that strongly appeal to filmmakers. Subjects including distribution and production resources, as well as workshops by industry leaders such as Sag-Aftra and Seed & Spark.

Festival of Cinema NYC is a competitive festival that accepts films and media of all lengths, genres and subjects, with awards in 18 categories. Past Jury members have included Anna Garduno, Executive Producer at Netflix; Amy Peters, Emmy award winner; Doug LeClaire, founder of Asbury Shorts USA; and Isil Bagdadi, president of distribution at Cavu Pictures. Winners walk away with an amazing custom statuette as well as prizes being offered from some of our amazing sponsors.

2020 has sure been an unprecedented year unlike any before. Many Arts & Cultural institutions Including movie theaters were impacted by the pandemic caused by Covid-19. As a result, many festivals in 2020 were forced to re-imagine, and restructure their format. Facing new regulations and guidelines set by New York City and the State, Festival of Cinema managed to convert the 2020 festival into a Drive-In Theater, becoming one of only a handful of film festivals around the country to hold a live event. As a film festival created by filmmakers for filmmakers, our goal is to bring your film to the big screen. While 2021 hasn’t guaranteed the opening of theater venues at full capacity, the team at Festival of Cinema NYC promises to continue to work hard in creating an event that filmmakers and the public can attend in person.

Awards from our sponsors for various categories include a sales agency consultation, an opt-in distribution offer, Script Writing Software, Budgeting and Scheduling Software, and various digital subscriptions.

Prizes awarded to participating filmmakers will include unique handmade statuettes in the following categories:

Audience awards for both short and feature length films
Best Director
Best Cinematography
Best Screenplay
Best Actor/Actress
Best Supporting Actor/Actress
Best Narrative Feature
Best Narrative Short
Best Documentary Feature
Best Documentary Short
Best Animation/Experimental/Music Video
Best Editing
Best Sound
Best Make-up & FX
Must See Web-Series

Entry Rules and Regulations

1. Objectives: Our Mission is to celebrate the art of filmmaking and the contribution of filmmakers by hosting an international film festival to support the development and expand the audience reach of independent cinema from around the globe

2. Dates: Festival of Cinema NYC will take place from August 6, 2021 to August 15, 2021

3. Programs: Films will be considered for inclusion in the following programmatic categories

Narrative Feature
Documentary Feature
Narrative Short (40 min or under)
Documentary Short (40 min or under)
Animation
Experimental
Foreign Feature
Web-Series
Music Video

4. Competitions:

Audience Award

Audience Award for Best Feature Film
Audience Award for Best Short Film

Jury Prizes

Best Narrative Feature Competition
Best Narrative Short Competition
Best Documentary Feature Competition
Best Documentary Short Competition
Best Animated/Experimental/Music video Competition
Best Web-Series Competition
Best Director Competition
Best Actor/Actress Competition
Best Supporting Actor/Actress Competition
Best Editing Competition
Best Sound Competition
Best Screenplay Competition
Best Cinematography Competition
Best Make-up & FX Competition

5. Submission Guidelines

A. Submission Formats: For programming consideration, the festival accepts DVD (NTSC only), FilmFreeway Online screeners, or Vimeo links for the complete film. The Festival will not consider trailers or rough edits for selection purposes.

Eligibility Requirements: To be eligible for consideration, all films must meet the following requirements:

i. Be available to screen by August 5, 2021. Filmmakers must provide Festival of Cinema NYC with a clean, clear print for projection. While DCP format is preferred and highly recommended, filmmakers must provide the film for presentation in acceptable HD digital formats (MUST be professionally authored). PLEASE NOTE: Due to the digital transition of our screening location, we are unable to show film, HDCAM, or BetaCam formats.

ii. Not have been commercially screened in the US, or available for video or internet distribution prior to August 15, 2021.

iii. Be in their original language with English subtitles when applicable.

iv. Have been completed production within 2018-2021.

v. Multiple web series episodes will be considered as a whole. Exhibition copy shall not differ from originally submitted materials. Incomplete exhibition copies may be disqualified.

vi. Films previously submitted to the festival and not programmed will only be considered for the 2021 Festival if they meet all the other eligibility requirements as outlined here, and only if it has changed significantly from the previous version submitted.

vii. DCP copies must be received by Simple DCP (NOT postmarked), by July 9th, 2021.

viii. Hard copy exhibition copies must be received at our New York office address (NOT postmarked), by July 9th, 2021.

ix. Filmmakers whose exhibition materials are not received by the deadline will be subject to any and all expenses that may arise due to express shipping costs.

Deadlines: Early submission is strongly encouraged with reduced entry fees until November 11, 2020. Final submission deadline is April 13, 2021. The Festival is not obliged to view late entries.

D. Entry Fee Schedule:
All entry fees must accompany your submission for consideration into the Festival.

FEATURE FILMS (40 minutes and above, fiction or non-fiction)
Early Deadline for all Entries From September 29, 2020 - November 11, 2020
$45.00

Regular Deadline for all Entries From November 12, 2020 - February 10, 2021
$60.00

Late Deadline for all Entries From February 11, 2021 - March 10, 2021
$75.00

Final Deadline for all Entries By April 14, 2021
$90.00

SHORT FILMS (40 minutes or less)
Early Deadline for all Entries From September 29, 2020 - November 11, 2020
$35.00

Regular Deadline for all Entries From November 12, 2020 - February 10, 2021
$50.00

Late Deadline for all Entries From February 11, 2021 - March 10, 2021
$65.00

Final Deadline for all Entries By April 14, 2021
$80.00

WEB SERIES (40 minutes or less)
Early Deadline for all Entries From September 29, 2020 - November 11, 2020
$35.00

Regular Deadline for all Entries From November 12, 2020 - February 10, 2021
$50.00

Late Deadline for all Entries From February 11, 2021 - March 10, 2021
$65.00

Final Deadline for all Entries By April 14, 2021
$80.00

MUSIC VIDEOS (10 minutes or less)
Early Deadline for all Entries From September 29, 2020 - November 11, 2020
$30.00

Regular Deadline for all Entries From November 12, 2020 - February 10, 2021
$45.00

Late Deadline for all Entries From February 11, 2021 - March 10, 2021
$60.00

Final Deadline for all Entries By April 14, 2020
$75.00

STUDENT FEATURE FILMS (must provide photocopy of current student ID)
Early Deadline for all Entries From September 29, 2020 - November 11, 2021
$40.00

Regular Deadline for all Entries From November 12, 2021 - February 10, 2021
$55.00

Late Deadline for all Entries From February 11, 2021 - March 10, 2021
$70.00

Final Deadline for all Entries By April 14, 2021
$85.00

STUDENT SHORT FILMS & WEB SERIES (must provide photocopy of current student ID)
Early Deadline for all Entries From September 29, 2020 - November 11, 2020
$30.00

Regular Deadline for all Entries From November 12, 2020 - February 10, 2021
$45.00

Late Deadline for all Entries From February 11, 2021 - March 10, 2021
$60.00

Final Deadline for all Entries By April 14, 2021
$75.00

STUDENT MUSIC VIDEOS (must provide photocopy of current student ID)
Early Deadline for all Entries From September 29, 2020 - November 11, 2020
$25.00

Regular Deadline for all Entries From November 12, 2020 - February 10, 2021
$40.00

Late Deadline for all Entries From February 11, 2021 - March 10, 2021
$55.00

Final Deadline for all Entries By April 14, 2021
$70.00

Submission Materials:

Mail all submissions to:
Festival of Cinema NYC
ATTN: Submissions
90-60 Union TPKE ste. 8A
Glendale, NY 11385

Send a printed copy of your completed Entry Form.

ii. A clearly marked DVD (NTSC) or Blu Ray Region (0 or 1) of your completed film, labeled with title, tracking number, running time and screening format. We also accept FilmFreeway online screeners and Vimeo links, but we require ALL submissions to be registered with one of our submission platforms. We cannot return submitted copies of films.

iii. Applicable entry fee submitted

Electronic Press Kits only. Hard copy materials submitted with the films will be discarded.

Selections: Films will be selected and entrants will be notified on or approximately by June 1, 2021.

H. Requirements for Selected Films:
Once an entry has been reviewed and selected for the festival, a preliminary notification letter will be issued by email. All selected applicants will be notified by June 1, 2021. Upon notification, Festival of Cinema NYC may request additional press kits and press screeners for each film, sent to the Festival via priority mail, complete with any additional promotional and marketing items needed.

Any unused press materials may be picked up at the press office at the conclusion of the festival. Posters must remain displayed through the end of the day Sunday August 15, 2021. All unclaimed materials will be disposed of 30 days upon conclusion of the Festival.

Promotional Usage: Participants agree that all materials related to their film may be published in the Festival Guide, website, ticketing system, and other promotional materials or property and in all media. Posters and images of the film may be used independently as well as in combination with images from other films to promote the film and Festival of Cinema NYC

J. Clearances: If selected for screening, all commercial/private property including trademark and/or copyrighted materials shown and recorded in the project must come with authorized permission for screening. The filmmaker remains entirely liable for any claims that may occur in result of screening the film.

K Print Liability: Festival of Cinema NYC holds no responsibility for prints damaged upon arrival and may reject or replace the film in the festival if this requirement is not met. The festival will insure the safety of film prints only from the time of delivery to the festival through the time the print is delivered to a shipping agent for return. In case of loss or damage to a print, the festival must receive notification and independent verification immediately. The festival’s obligation is limited to compensating the producer only for the cost of replacing the drive(s).

Print Shipping:

Selected film prints must be received by PREPAID courier no later than 10 days prior to first screening date unless pre-approved by Festival of Cinema NYC

Prints must be clearly marked with the film’s title and the sender’s return address exactly as listed below.

Festival of Cinema NYC
ATTN: Projection
90-60 union tpke 8A
Glendale, NY 11385
Festival of Cinema NYC does not cover any shipping and handling costs. Please clearly indicate on all waybills that transportation and customs charges will be billed to the sender. For custom’s purposes please indicate under declaration “Goods on loan for cultural and educational purposes only. No Commercial Value.” And indicate fair market value not to exceed U.S. $50 for drives.

Prints will be returned to the Submission Contact within 30 days after the close of the Festival unless pre-arranged with Festival of Cinema NYC prior to August 1, 2021.

Please request/obtain confirmation of delivery through the courier tracking service.

Filmmakers must cover all shipping and handling cost associated with any award statuettes they may have won, unclaimed, at the closing night awards gala.

Festival of Cinema NYC will not be held responsible for any damage to all materials shipped.

For more information please refer to the Festival website at www.festivalofcinemanyc.com or contact the Programmer at:

Festival of Cinema NYC
60 1 ave 12C
New York, NY 10009
Phone: (929) 278-5432
Fax (718) 849-3457
info@festivalofcinemanyc.com

TERMS & CONDITIONS

I agree to the following terms and conditions;

- Submission Guidelines -

- Submission Formats: For programming consideration, the festival accepts DVD (NTSC only), FilmFreeway Online screeners, or Vimeo links for the complete film.

- Eligibility Requirements: To be eligible for consideration, all films must meet the following requirements:

i. be available to screen by August 6, 2021. Filmmakers must provide Festival of Cinema NYC with a clean, clear print for projection. Filmmakers must provide the film for presentation in DCP or other acceptable HD digital formats (MUST be professionally authored) at the festival’s sole discretion. PLEASE NOTE: Due to the digital transition of our screening location, we are unable to show film, HDCAM, or BetaCam formats.

ii. not have been commercially screened in the US, or available for video or internet distribution prior to August 15, 2021.

iii. be in their original language with English subtitles when applicable.

iv. have been completed production within the 2018-2021.

- Requirements for Selected Films -
Upon notification, Festival of Cinema NYC may request additional press kits and press screeners for each film, sent to the Festival via priority mail, complete with any additional promotional and marketing items needed.

- in order to qualify for any awards, filmmakers must provide a physical dvd or blu-ray copy of their completed film

Any unused press materials may be picked up at the press office at the conclusion of the festival. Posters must remain displayed through the end of the day Sunday, August 15, 2021. All unclaimed materials will be disposed of 30 days upon conclusion of the festival unless otherwise arranged for pickup.

Promotional Usage: Participants agree that all materials related to their film may be published in the Festival Guide, website, ticketing system, and other promotional materials or property and in all media. Posters and images of the film may be used independently as well as in combination with images from other films to promote the film and Festival of Cinema NYC.

Clearances: If selected for screening, all commercial/private property including trademark and/or copyrighted materials shown and recorded in the project must come with authorized permission for screening. The filmmaker remains entirely liable for any claims that may occur in result of screening the film.

Print Liability: Festival of Cinema NYC holds no responsibility for prints damaged upon arrival and may reject or replace the film in the Festival if this requirement is not met. The Festival will insure the safety of film prints only from the time of delivery to the Festival through the time the print is delivered to a shipping agent for return. In case of loss or damage to a print, the festival must receive notification and independent verification immediately. The Festival’s obligation is limited to compensating the producer only for the cost of replacing the drive(s).

Print Shipping:
Festival of Cinema NYC does not cover any shipping and handling costs. Selected film prints must be received by PREPAID courier no later than 10 days prior to first screening date unless pre-approved by Festival of Cinema NYC.

Prints will be returned to the Submission Contact within 30 days after the close of the festival unless pre-arranged with Festival of Cinema NYC prior to August 1, 2021.

Please clearly indicate on all waybills that transportation and customs charges will be billed to the sender. For custom’s purposes please indicate under declaration “Goods on loan for cultural and educational purposes only. No Commercial Value.” And indicate fair market value not to exceed U.S. $50 for drives.

Please request/obtain confirmation of delivery through the courier tracking service.

Submission Perks:
i. All submitting filmmakers will receive a one-year Videomaker digital subscription approximately 30 days after the festival's conclusion.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Phillip Russell

    Had a great time. The festival went above and beyond during these difficult COVID times to find a fun way to have a true event, not just a virtual one, in a safe way. The drive-in screening was unique, and would have been fun to attend even if it wasn't created due to the pandemic. The event was well organized, the staff was friendly, and all of the films were terrific. Opening night had one of the best overall spread of films I've seen at a festival, and we felt honored that our film screened alongside them. We hope to be able to submit more films in future years, and certainly plan on attending again regardless of acceptance! This was easily one of my top 5 festival experiences ever, even despite it being 2020.

    October 2020
  • From the excellent communication at the very beginning, to the badges for filmmakers to attend the entire festival and numerous events surrounding it for free, including the networking and marketing opportunities, podcasts and parties, high quality screening venues, and the genuinely warm and amazing crew themselves... the Festival of Cinema NYC was an amazing experience that went beyond my expectations!! The film's selected were of a high order and it was an honour to premiere amongst them, my short film UNSKIN. I hope to submit my next films in the coming years, so guys please keep up the fantastic work and never forget to stay true to who you are and what makes you great in my and other filmmaker's estimations!

    September 2019
  • This was a blast! I couldn't attend all of the events but the screenings & parties were full when our team did go. The people that run & sponsor the festival are kind and attentive. Glad to be an alumni, can't wait to return!

    September 2019
  • Kevin Etherson

    The Festival of Cinema is one of the best film festival in NYC! They put as much effort into their events, panels, and workshops as they do their screenings.

    They go above and beyond when it comes to making sure the filmmakers have space and time to network and talk with others about their work. They had events running during their entire festival, and even had a podcast that filmmakers could be a guest on to discuss their work,.

    Plus the screenings were held at a huge movie theater with fantastic picture and sound. It was a very cool experience! I highly recommend submitting your work to this festival, good luck!

    August 2019
  • Roberto Barbery Mier

    Festival of Cinema NYC was home for the World Premiere of Jo é Pu, my first short film which I wrote and directed. Even though I could´t be there for the event, during the whole time previous- arranging for screening copies, press kit info and other details- I felt the film was in good hands. Communication was always swift, and any doubt I had was quickly cleared out. There was not once were it felt that we weren't being taken care of. Next time around, I´m doing everything possible to make it out there! Highly recommend it!!!

    August 2019