IndieWorks is run by CongestedCat Productions, an NYC-based independent film production company. It screens short films produced by emerging filmmakers exclusively based in New York. It provides a platform for those filmmakers to showcase their work in front of a large audience and network with individuals in the film community. We aim to create an inclusive environment that will spark collaboration and support. *Will only consider submissions from current Tri-state Area filmmakers*

We host a screening one Tuesday out of every month of approximately 5 short films, followed by a Q&A session with all the featured filmmakers. There's no entry fee, so bring all your friends and film enthusiasts.

IndieWorks was previously held in Manhattan, but is now in Long Island City at The Local (13-02 44th Ave), in a wide open space at the back of a bar with films projecting on a 20 ft screen. Doors open at 6:30pm. Screening begins at 7:30pm and runs approximately 2 hours -- but stay as late as you'd like!

Always free entry at the screening with occasional drink specials. 1 drink minimum with attendance is encouraged but not enforced. It's a thank you to the bar for hosting us.

Testimonial Reel: https://vimeo.com/168839628

Our annual season is June - April, with April as our Best of Fest re-screening all the Silver Whiskers Award winners of the year and awarding one the Golden Whiskers.

Year 6 Screening Dates:
June 5th (Pride Month)
July 10th
August 14th
September 18th (Web Series Month) - Deadline is August 28th (We only screen one episode, so submit your strongest.)
October 30th (Halloween Special) - Deadline is September 29th
November 20th
December 11th
January 15th
February 12th
March 12th
April 17th (5th Annual Best of Fest)

We judge films for acceptance by rating them from 1-10 in terms of 8 categories. The scored categories are: Story, Dialogue/Writing, Direction, Acting, Cinematography, Sound, Editing, and Production Value (with budget constraints considered- more in terms of art direction and those little touches that show pre-production efforts). That scoring system determines whether or not a film gets put in a definite yes, maybe, or definite no list. We try to notify the filmmakers asap, as we know what it's like to wait months and months just to hear disappointing news. The maybe's get held and discussed to see how they fit in with the thematic patterns we're finding for each month as we program the definite yes films. Originality, inclusion and representation play a large role in these discussions, as we are a series devoted to highlighting story and mission over flashy names and budgets. Each month, one film wins the Silver Whiskers Award, our version of the 'Best of Fest' award, and another wins the Audience Choice Award. The Silver Whiskers winner is selected by CongestedCat Productions team members through a combination of our scoring system and extensively nuanced discussion.

Audience Choice is voted upon by the audience in attendance at each series. If the planned Silver Whiskers winner also wins Audience Choice, the Audience Choice award will be given to the film that had the second highest audience votes. Both the Silver Whiskers & Audience Choice winning filmmakers will be interviewed and featured on the CongestedCat Productions site and through social media in our Insider Series. We want to help YOU reach an audience!

Each Silver Whiskers winner will go on to screen at our Best of Fest annual screening and be eligible for the Golden Whiskers Award & other Category Awards, which come along with monetary prizes from our sponsors.

*Films do not have to have been shot in New York, but MUST be by current New York State based filmmakers who can attend the event. If someone is Tristate area based and works frequently in NY or is looking to work with NY collaborators, then submissions is allowed if someone on the team is currently NY based.

*Films may not exceed 20 minutes in length, though exceptions can be made in extraordinary circumstances. (In 5 years, the longest film we have ever screened was 23 minutes. That was once; after that was 20 minutes. We truly mean extraordinary when we say it.) 

*Filmmakers whose work is accepted must have someone integral to the film's production attend the event and participate in the Q&A.

*Films completed prior to 2009 are not eligible.

*All films must be in English or have English subtitles.

*Please note that submission does not guarantee acceptance. If your film is not accepted, it unfortunately does not mean just for the upcoming month. It is a hard no. Alternatively, if you have not heard back regarding acceptance for over a month, it could be that we are holding your film for a later month. In Year 5, we accepted approximately 28% of eligible submissions. Films will not be reconsidered for future seasons, unless they have changed drastically since initial submission.

*We typically only screen narrative films, though occasionally accept documentaries that have a New York City resonance. Music Videos and Experimental work are welcome as long as there's a clear story being told. Our rule about music videos is that the visuals must be able to function as a story without the music. 

*We're a series devoted to integrity and transparency. We never screen our own work. We do not screen work we helped out with any way in competition. We do not invite films. (We did in our first year when trying to get off the ground. Since Year 2, we exclusively program through submissions.) We do not offer any individual filmmakers waivers. We have offered waivers as a reward for support of our crowdfunding campaigns or to group initiates supporting the local film community; but we do not provide waivers to any individual filmmakers that reach out. We keep our fees low for this reason. Every film goes through the same screening process and no one (not even a friend or past collaborator) is guaranteed acceptance, as we aim to create a fair and equal environment with programming we and our audience can be proud of each month regardless of names and connections. 

*We don't require any kind of premiere status, nor do we restrict films that are already online.

*The deadline for our Web Series Special in September is always 3 weeks before the screening. Same goes for our Halloween Special in October. For Web Series Month, we only consider & screen one episode, so submit your strongest!

*We do not screen films that contain scenes of graphic hardcore sexual material, rape (unless shown tastefully through the survivor's POV), or simulated animal torture. If you choose to submit anything you think could be interpreted as any of those categories but you feel doesn't cross a line, please notify us as such on your submission listing. Certain jury members are sensitive to this content. It is better to forewarn us in advance so we can notify jury members rather than catch them off-guard.

*Submission fees are non-refundable. All films will be considered fairly. If a submitter failed to read the guidelines and is disqualified, even if they caught their error before we did, submission fees cannot be refunded because FilmFreeway does not refund their share.

*I, the undersigned, acknowledge and agree: I have read, understated and fully comply with all submission eligibility information, Submission Guidelines, Terms and Conditions of Entry and Entry Eligibility requirements. To the best of my knowledge, all of the statements in this submission are true. This film or video is not subject to any litigation nor is threatened by any litigation. I am duly authorized to submit this film to the festival. I hold CongestedCat Productions, LLC./IndieWorks harmless from any damage to the print(s) or media materials(s) en route or otherwise during the course of the festival’s possession of the film. I hold CongestedCat Productions, LLC./IndieWorks, its owners, management, juries, subsidiaries, agents, sponsors, affiliates, and etc. harmless from any and all claims of liability resulting from my entry. I certify that I have full rights to the use of the music in the entered work. I understand that submission fee payments are non-refundable. I understand submission fees are for consideration, not acceptance. I give permission for CongestedCat Productions, LLC./IndieWorks to use stills, titles, copy, and/or information from the short for promotional purposes. I give permission for CongestedCat Productions, LLC./IndieWorks to download my submission file for private programming purposes before any status notification. I give permission for CongestedCat Productions, LLC./IndieWorks to screen the film at the series for which it was submitted and potentially again for the Best of Fest.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Wonderful festival with a lot of heart and ambition! The Q&A's after each screening are an essential part of the festival and add to the overall quality of the monthly screening events. The enthusiastic audience is encouraged to mingle with the filmmakers in attendance. There are wins like the audience and Best of Fest awards that add a welcoming competitiveness to the event. I highly recommend this festival to cinephiles to check out well made and original films. And I encourage the local serious New York filmmakers to submit their films! I loved my experience with IndieWorks when my stop motion animated film screened last November and I look forward to submitting my next project.

    April 2018
  • Ashley Denise

    Love this festival! Christina and the CongestedCat team are consistently able to foster an organic sense of community. We always feel welcome here and keep coming back! Definitely recommended for any film lovers in New York!

    April 2018
  • A fantastic series run smoothly by awesome people. The moderated Q&As really added to the experience and I'd highly recommend checking back in with them every month!

    April 2018
  • Amazing experience! Excellent films, very friendly folks and great networking. I recommend it highly!

    May 2017
  • Michael Goldburg

    Great screening series in New York City! The awesome folks at Congested Cat do a wonderful job running this festival and are talented filmmakers in their own right. Always a full house in a cool venue and a great opportunity to meet other filmmakers. And great Q&As, media coverage, and awards. Submit your films!

    April 2017