Entering its 7th year, Festival of Cinema NYC will be taking place from August 4th - 13th, 2023. The festival welcomes filmmakers and attendees to the legendary Regal UA Midway theater in Forest Hills Queens, New York, with additional programming that includes workshops and panels at the Queens Library at Forest Hills.

As an IMDB qualifying festival who has consistently landed on FilmFreeway's Top 100 reviewed list, Festival of Cinema NYC is quickly becoming New York City's premiere festival for the best in Independent Film. Festival of Cinema NYC is designed to get maximum exposure for todays emerging filmmakers and help those that are seeking distribution for their film. Our incredible PR team works around the clock to ensure a large attendance at each screening. In addition, every filmmaker is given a post screening Q&A and a chance to interact with attendees and distribution scouts.

From Red Carpet Press Events to Industry Networking Nights to the Opening, Closing and Awards party - filmmakers are offered numerous opportunities to get their film in front of the right the people, and screened before large audiences. To date Festival of Cinema NYC has helped over fifteen films, both short and feature length, land a distribution deal.

Our programmers look for the best in truly independent films and un-produced scripts. All films selected come from independent filmmakers that have put their blood, sweat and tears into their productions. Every film and script selected and screened is eligible for an award.

Festival of Cinema NYC seeks independent films and un-produced scripts of all lengths, genres and subjects. Whether your film is a drama, comedy, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, documentary, experimental, LGBTQ, animation, even if it tackles social issues - we want to show it! Our Opening Night, Closing Night, and special screening events (like our Midnight Madness and Underground Films presentations) are all selected from the very best submissions we receive. Plus, every filmmaker that submits a film 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). All selected filmmakers get VIP passes that allow entry into all our screenings, events, and parties.

Festival of Cinema NYC was founded by independent filmmakers; therefore, the organizers understand the needs and challenges that filmmakers face. Our festival staff is committed to offering filmmakers opportunities to promote and ultimately have their film seen by a large audience, and potentially picked up for distribution. 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 diligently to ensure that filmmakers receive coverage in news outlets and local media. Filmmakers at the festival have had their films featured in various news publications around Queens and New York City, including the New York 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 with audiences.

Additionally, Festival of Cinema NYC hosts panels, workshops and seminars that strongly appeal to filmmakers and attendees seeking further insight into the independent film industry. Presenters have included Seed & Spark, SAG-AFTRA, and invited guest speakers. Seminars have included topics such as film distribution, how to build a publicity campaign, and how to raise funding for your project.

Festival of Cinema NYC is a competitive festival that honors the submissions with awards in 17 categories. Every film and script selected is eligible for an award. Past jury members have included Anna Garduno, Executive Producer at Netflix; Amy Peters, Emmy award winner; Doug LeClaire, founder of Asbury Shorts USA; Isil Bagdadi, president of distribution at Cavu Pictures; and David Josh Lawrence, head of acquisitions at Glass House Pictures. Winners are handed a beautiful custom statuette as well as prizes being offered from some of our amazing sponsors. Among this year’s prizes, filmmakers can walk away with a distribution consultation, and a 1-hour sound mixing session with Emmy Award winning sound studio Silver Sound.

Awards from our sponsors for various categories include a sales agency consultation, 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 Choice Award Feature Film
Audience Choice Award Short Film
Best Narrative Feature Competition
Best Narrative Short Competition
Best Documentary Feature Competition
Best Animated/Experimental/Music video Competition
Best Web-Series Competition
Best Director Competition
Breakthrough Actor/Actress Competition
Best Ensemble Competition
Best Editing Competition
Best Sound Competition
Best Screenplay Competition
Best Cinematography Competition
Best Make-up & FX Competition
Best Un-produced Screenplay (film or television) 

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 4, 2023 to August 13, 2023

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
Screenwriting - Feature (70 - 130 pages)
Screenwriting - Short (5 - 40 pages)
Screenwriting - Pilot (10 - 70 pages)

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 Animated/Experimental/Music video Competition
Best Web-Series Competition
Best Director Competition
Breakthrough Actor/Actress Competition
Best Ensemble Competition
Best Editing Competition
Best Sound Competition
Best Screenplay Competition
Best Cinematography Competition
Best Make-up & FX Competition
Best Un-produced Screenplay (film or television) 

5. Submission Guidelines

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 4, 2023. 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, streaming or internet distribution prior to August 14, 2022.

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

iv. Have been completed production within 2019-2023.

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 2023 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. Films selected that are screening in DCP format must be received by Simple DCP (NOT postmarked), on specified date as per welcoming package instructions (upon festival acceptance)

viii. Hard copy exhibition copies must be received at our New York office address (NOT postmarked), on specified date as per welcoming package instructions (upon festival acceptance)

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 and risk being disqualified from the festival.

5A. SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR SCREENWRITING COMPETITION

The Festival of Cinema NYC Screenplay Competition is open to any writer from anywhere in the world. However, Festival of Cinema NYC prides itself on highlighting the work of independent and emerging writers and filmmakers. Therefore, it is preferred but not required that applicants have not had previous screenplays produced by non-independent companies or groups.

To be eligible for consideration, submitted screenplays should not be optioned, purchased, or otherwise produced. If your screenplay is optioned, purchased and/or produced during the course of the competition, please contact us immediately.

Copyright & Ownership
We suggest you register with the WGA or copyright your submission. Screenwriters maintain full legal rights and ownership of their screenplays.

UPDATED DRAFTS & DUPLICATE SUBMISSIONS

After a submission is received and processed, updated or revised drafts of that submission or associated screenplays cannot be accepted.

Applicants can submit as many UNIQUE screenplays as they’d like to the competition. Each submission requires an application, payment, and PDF.

Duplicate submissions are not allowed. Any duplicate submissions of the same screenplay, with or without revisions, will be disqualified without refund. Please be sure to carefully review and edit your screenplay before submitting.

SUBMISSIONS WITH MULTIPLE WRITERS

Screenplays with more than one author or contributor are eligible, as long as all are included during the application process. Please make note of each author’s name in your submission. Should a screenplay with two or more writers be named a winner, the award will be divided equally among the authors. A work without adequate attributions may be disqualified.

FORMATTING

Screenplays should be formatted according to general industry standards. Pages should be numbered and must be typed in 12 point Courier font with customary screenplay margins. Entries must be in English. Dialogue in another language is acceptable, so long as an English translation is provided.

While the competition has no specific rules regarding title pages, it is recommended that the title page includes the title, author(s), and any relevant registration or copyright information.

Screenplays must be submitted as a PDF. Any other format will not be accepted and can result in automatic disqualification and a forfeiture of the submission fee.

CATEGORIES

Screenplays must be submitted to the correct category. Feature film submissions can be 70-130 pages, pilots can be 10-70 pages, and shorts can be from 5-40 pages in length. Any screenplay submitted outside of these page limits or submitted to the wrong category is subject to disqualification without refund.

FEEDBACK

All screenplays will be reviewed by the reading committee and festival staff, but due to the high volume of submissions, feedback, notes, and coverage are not included with entry.

6. Entry Fee Schedule:
All entry fees must accompany your submission for consideration into the Festival. No script hardcopies, physical DVDs, or BluRays will be accepted. All submissions must be made through the FilmFreeway Platform.

Deadlines: Early submission is strongly encouraged with reduced entry fees until November 9, 2023. Final submission deadline is May 10, 2023. The Festival is not obligated to view late entries.

FEATURE FILMS (40 minutes and above, fiction or non-fiction)
Early Deadline for all Entries From September 26, 2022 - November 9, 2022
$47.00

Regular Deadline for all Entries From November 10, 2022 - February 22, 2023
$60.00

Late Deadline for all Entries From February 23, 2023 - March 29, 2023
$75.00

Final Deadline for all Entries By May 10, 2023
$90.00

SHORT FILMS (40 minutes or less)
Early Deadline for all Entries From September 26, 2022 - November 9, 2022
$37.00

Regular Deadline for all Entries From November 10, 2022 - February 22, 2023
$50.00

Late Deadline for all Entries From February 23, 2023 - March 29, 2023
$65.00

Final Deadline for all Entries By May 10, 2023
$80.00

WEB SERIES (40 minutes or less)
Early Deadline for all Entries From September 26, 2022 - November 9, 2022
$37.00

Regular Deadline for all Entries From November 10, 2022 - February 22, 2023
$50.00

Late Deadline for all Entries From February 23, 2023 - March 29, 2023
$65.00

Final Deadline for all Entries By May 10, 2023
$80.00

MUSIC VIDEOS (10 minutes or less)
Early Deadline for all Entries From September 26, 2022 - November 9, 2022
$32.00

Regular Deadline for all Entries From November 10, 2022 - February 22, 2023
$45.00

Late Deadline for all Entries From February 23, 2023 - March 29, 2023
$60.00

Final Deadline for all Entries By May 10, 2023
$75.00

STUDENT FEATURE FILMS (must provide photocopy of current student ID)
Early Deadline for all Entries From September 26, 2022 - November 9, 2022
$42.00

Regular Deadline for all Entries From November 10, 2022 - February 22, 2023
$55.00

Late Deadline for all Entries From February 23, 2023 - March 29, 2023
$70.00

Final Deadline for all Entries By May 10, 2023
$85.00

STUDENT SHORT FILMS & WEB SERIES (must provide photocopy of current student ID)
Early Deadline for all Entries From September 26, 2022 - November 9, 2022
$32.00

Regular Deadline for all Entries From November 10, 2022 - February 22, 2023
$45.00

Late Deadline for all Entries From February 23, 2023 - March 29, 2023
$60.00

Final Deadline for all Entries By May 10, 2023
$75.00

STUDENT MUSIC VIDEOS (must provide photocopy of current student ID)
Early Deadline for all Entries From September 26, 2022 - November 9, 2022
$27.00

Regular Deadline for all Entries From November 10, 2022 - February 22, 2023
$40.00

Late Deadline for all Entries From February 23, 2023 - March 29, 2023
$55.00

Final Deadline for all Entries By May 10, 2023
$70.00

Feature Screenplays  (between 70-130 pages in length.) 
Early Deadline for all Entries From September 26, 2022 - November 9, 2022
$45.00/ Student $35 / FilmFreeway Gold Member $35

Regular Deadline for all Entries From November 10, 2022 - February 22, 2023
$60.00/ Student $50 / FilmFreeway Gold Member $50

Late Deadline for all Entries From February 23, 2023 - March 29, 2023
$80.00/ Student $70 / FilmFreeway Gold Member $70

Final Deadline for all Entries By May 10, 2023
$100.00/ Student $80 / FilmFreeway Gold Member $80

Pilot Screenplays  (between 10-70 pages in length.) *Upon submission, the writer must indicate the nature of the television screenplay: webisode, half-hour, hour, mini-series, comedy, drama, or any combination of the above.
Early Deadline for all Entries From September 26, 2022 - November 9, 2022
$40.00/ Student $35 / FilmFreeway Gold Member $35

Regular Deadline for all Entries From November 10, 2022 - February 22, 2023
$50.00/ Student $40 / FilmFreeway Gold Member $40

Late Deadline for all Entries From February 23, 2023 - March 29, 2023
$70.00/ Student $60 / FilmFreeway Gold Member $60

Final Deadline for all Entries By May 10, 2023
$85.00/ Student $75 / FilmFreeway Gold Member $75

Short Film Screenplays  (between 70-130 pages in length.) 
Early Deadline for all Entries From September 26, 2022 - November 9, 2022
$35.00/ Student $30 / FilmFreeway Gold Member $30

Regular Deadline for all Entries From November 10, 2022 - February 22, 2023
$45.00/ Student $40 / FilmFreeway Gold Member $40

Late Deadline for all Entries From February 23, 2023 - March 29, 2023
$65.00/ Student $60 / FilmFreeway Gold Member $60

Final Deadline for all Entries By May 10, 2023
$75.00/ Student $70 / FilmFreeway Gold Member $70

Selections and entrants will be notified on or approximately by June 1, 2023.

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 approximately June 1, 2023 and will be required to fill out a filmmaker questionnaire. By submitting the questionnaire you agree to have your film screened at Festival of Cinema NYC. 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 physical materials, including 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 13, 2023. 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).

L. Exhibition copies of Non-English language films MUST contain embedded subtitles. Filmmakers will be subjected to compensating the festival organization for the cost of ticket refunds to any screening cancellations as a result of missing subtitles. 

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: Programming Team
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 13, 2023.

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 team 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 5, 2022. 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 13, 2023.

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

iv. have been completed production within the 2018-2022.

- 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 14, 2022. 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 13, 2023.

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
  • Sven Britt

    Submit to this festival. The events are great, the team is the kindest and most helpful I’ve ever encountered at a festival, and best of all, the programming is extremely thoughtfully curated. I happened to win an award that I didn’t think I had a shot at, but I want to be clear: I would be writing the exact same review even if I hadn’t been nominated, let alone won. Submit submit submit.

    September 2022
  • Sassy Mohen

    I had a blast at Festival of Cinema NYC! They went above and beyond at giving filmmakers opportunities to have a great time, network, and just have an all-around perfect festival experience. The attitude of the programmers was so kind and they were extremely communacative! I highly recommend it.

    August 2022
  • This is a great NY festival. Jayson is a fantastic curator of films, and really knows how to dig in on the Q&A's. Great filmmaker spirit here, can't wait to come back next year! Highly recommend.

    August 2022
  • Ishizaki Masataka

    one of Excellent film festivals I've even joined. very energitic, lovely, heartful people in Queens. I love Queens now.

    August 2022
  • José Luis López Ortiz

    I want to thank you very much for the opportunity that this fantastic festival gave us. Our short film “Dear Juan Manuel” was a candidate for best screenplay and best revelation actor. In the end it couldn't be, but we are very happy to have participated in this one. It was not possible for us to attend the event because we were on shooting, but we were informed up to the minute of everything that was happening
    The excellent organization, the diffusion in the press and social networks as well. It is honestly highly recommended. Thanks for having us.

    August 2022