The FilmNOW Festival was founded in 2015 with a mission to guide young people to the art of filmmaking. FilmNOW offers local high school students from all over the tri-state region the chance to submit original short films to be juried by a panel of industry experts. With more than 500 submissions considered in its first six years, Film Now has succeeded in growing a diverse and talented community of filmmakers.

Currently under the operation of The Ambler Theater, which is a community based nonprofit movie theater whose mission is to cultivate and curate films with artistic merit.

Both FilmNOW & The Ambler Theater believe that displaying the works of local filmmakers and artists creates a stronger bond with the audience.

Our jury of industry professionals will select First, Second, and Third-Place winners in Narrative, Documentary, Animation & Experimental. Plus one overall cash prize for our Aspire Award (Excellence in Visual & Technical Achievement), as well as one overall Jury Award winner selected.

First Place: $300
Second Place: $200
Third Place: $100
Aspire Award (Excellence in Visual & Technical Achievement): $200
Jury Award: $200

Deadline for Entries:
Entries for the Film Now Festival (FilmNow) can be submitted between December 17, 2023, at 12:00 am EST and March 3, 2024, at 11:59pm EST.

Film Now is open to residents of Pennsylvania, New Jersey & Delaware who are currently enrolled students in high school or its equivalent for the 2023-24 school year. Eligible films must have been completed while the primary filmmakers were enrolled in high school or its equivalent. Entrants must provide school contact information via email to or in their entry form or cover letter to be eligible. If school information cannot be verified or an entry is received after the deadline set forth in these terms, the entry is ineligible, null, and void.

Length of Film:
All films must be Ten minutes (10:00) or less in length, including credits. Digital entries can either be submitted through FilmFreeway or

Personal Information:
To submit your Film, you will be required to provide your school name and year of graduation in our custom form. Your information will not be used for any other purpose or shared with any party not affiliated with Film Now except to the extent permitted by law.

Selection and Notification of Winners:
Winners will be announced at our in-person Screening & Reception at The Ambler Theater on Sunday, April 28, 2024. Winners will be chosen by the Jury on the merits of each entry in the Jury's sole and absolute discretion. All winners will be notified via email on or about Friday, March 29, 2024 at the email address provided in the entry form. If a winner does not respond to the notification within three (3) 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.

Overall Rating
  • Grace Conley

    An incredible festival that truly values young filmmakers and makes them feel seen.

    May 2020