The 12th annual Justice Film Festival returns to New York City February 21-24, 2024. This four-day event will consist of over 30 selected features and shorts including world premiere screenings, content from studios and emerging filmmakers, as well as “Behind The Lens” talkback sessions with filmmakers from around the world.

The Justice Film Festival continues its mission of inspiring justice seekers by presenting films of unexpected courage and redemption that are diverse in their issues and geography. Submit your film today only on FilmFreeway.

One of the ways we’re committed to this ideal is by continuing to feature films from a diverse group of filmmakers who are thoughtfully exploring the truth about the human condition with excellence, artistry and substance. In 2023 more than 50% of our filmmakers were women, and likewise more than 1/3 identified as BIPOC/AAPI. We look forward to building on this tradition in 2024.

Justice Film Festival is the premier showcase for films that celebrate social justice and affirm the dignity of all people. Since 2012, JFF has been dedicated to creating a platform for redemptive stories of marginalized people and ecosystems bravely overcoming challenges and bringing hope, compassion and light to a world in need of inspiration.

The Justice Film Festival is a juried contest with awards presented in the following categories: Best Feature Film, Best Short Film and Best Justice Film and one other fun award that we're still making up. Our panel of judges includes filmmakers, entertainment executives, non-profit leaders, professors, social entrepreneurs, authors and recording artists.

Please Note: Justice Film Festival rarely waives entry fees. JFF believes waiving entry fees hurts the integrity of the competition. The same rules and entry fees should apply to all applicants so no one film is favored over another. Only films that are submitted via FilmFreeway will be considered for competition.

1. Submissions must be accompanied by the applicable submission fee and a completed online entry form. All films must be in English or have English subtitles at the time submitted.
2. Films must be submitted as an online streaming video via
3. In the event of a password change or link change after submitting, please email the Festival at so we may update your entry. If the Festival is not notified of the change and the link is found to be inactive or the password to be incorrect, the submission may be deemed ineligible. That would be a bummer for everyone.
4. JFF screens films as digital files during the Festival and does NOT screen films on Blu-Ray, HD-CAM, or DCP. If you are unable or unwilling to provide us your film as a digital file for exhibition, please do not submit your film.
5. We are looking for films that have been completed in the same calendar year as the event, though we will also accept films completed in the prior calendar year.
6. Films that have been submitted to JFF in previous years are eligible to be resubmitted, provided they are eligible according to all of JFF’s current rules.
7. Films with US distribution (obtained prior to being selected for JFF screening) or films produced, financed or initiated by a major film studio or television network are ineligible for competition, but may be considered for a special screening. Films that have screened on US network or cable television or distributed to theaters prior to the festival dates are also ineligible for competition.
8. Short films that are publicly available online prior to the Festival may be considered for exhibition during the Festival, but we prefer that shorts not be publicly available online. Online, private screenings through another festival’s online program do not count as publicly available online.
9. We prefer World, North American, and US premieres and all things being equal, will often opt to program the film that has not yet had a release over one that has played at several festivals. That said, we often program films that have premiered elsewhere. If a film is screened online as part of a festival’s program that will count as a local premiere to the physical address of the festival played through.
10. Private invite-only screenings (for instance for cast and crew or donors) do not affect a film’s eligibility.
11. JFF reserves the right in its sole discretion to reject or disqualify any ineligible entries, without a refund.
12. Films that are selected to screen at the Festival may not necessarily be selected to be “in competition” for awards purposes. Notifications regarding potential selection for competition status possibly may occur subsequent to notifications of acceptance for exhibition.

1. Films must be the original work of the applicants. If a film is based upon another person’s life or upon a book or other underlying work, applicant(s) must secure any necessary rights to make such adaptations. However, it is not necessary to submit the adaptation rights agreements to the Festival. Neither the Festival nor its jurists will investigate or attest to the authenticity of an applicant’s statement of authorship or rights secured. By entering the competition, you represent that you have secured all necessary rights.
2. Applicants are solely responsible for obtaining all necessary rights and permissions for third-party materials included in their films, including but not limited to music, trademarks, logos, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights. JFF expressly disclaims all liability or responsibility for any violations of the foregoing.

1. Films that have not received a full color edit, or sound edit are eligible for submission. JFF prefers picture-locked submissions for the consideration process. JFF’s focus is on story, technical changes such as color or sound will not affect the final decision of any film. Should the film be accepted to play during the Festival, the filmmaker will have the opportunity to supply the Festival with their most recent version.
2. Filmmakers who are unsure whether to enter their film into the Feature Category or Shorts Category should select the category based upon the total running time of the film. Justice Film Festival reserves the right to switch the entry category or otherwise assign a category to fit programming needs and interests, and films will not be penalized for the original submission selection.
3. Once an entry payment has been received, we cannot provide a refund. If a payment is disputed by an entrant for any reason.
4. You must include your physical address either in your entry. Please do not submit a film without giving us your address, which we need for our records and to correctly represent the nationality of each of our filmmakers.
5. Please include in your cover letter if your film was SHOT IN NEW YORK CITY (include locations) or made by NYC FILMMAKERS. As our event has taken place in New York for many years we don’t want to miss films from our neighbors.

1. JFF has no obligation (other than as stated in these rules or on our website) to disclose any of the following information: 1) identities of screeners or judges; 2) notes, feedback, or information relating to the submitted project; and/or 3) details regarding the submission review or selection process.
2. JFF reserves the right to screen selected films at any of its ‘On Campus’ promotional screening events within six-months of the original screening date in New York.
3. All selected films will receive up to four complementary filmmaker passes to the Justice Film Festival in New York City.
4. JFF does not provide travel or lodging expenses for selected films and filmmakers. Discounted rates at nearby hotels will be made available.
5. JFF explicitly disclaims any liability or responsibility for any comments, notes, or opinions expressed about a submission, whether by JFF or by its volunteers.
6. Award winners will be announced at the festival. The judges’ decision is final. No cussin’.

Overall Rating
  • Matt Waldeck

    If your film is programmed at JFF, you should expect genuine support from a well connected and sophisticated filmmaking community curated by Andy Peterson and Chad Mulder. The opening night lineup featured the most authentic AAPI filmmaker experience I know of and the overall atmosphere of the festival was low key, but powerful. The various exhibition venues around Manhattan each had a different vibe and there was an organic camaraderie that developed among filmmakers and festival leadership. This is an important festival for filmmakers and one that personally led to the establishing of numerous relationships critical to the commercial success of our film.

    May 2023
  • Ryan Camp

    The Justice Film festival was one of my favorites to be a part of. The community was tight knit and really aligned in creating and celebrating work the seeks to make a difference in the world. Andy was an amazing host, welcoming everyone and communicating the vision of the event. I would highly recommend to anyone who gets a chance to participate.

    June 2022
  • Chris Zaluski

    A great experience! Really wonderful, thoughtful programming and some great networking opportunities with other filmmakers and creatives! Also, honored to have been a part of the festival's first San Diego iteration.

    March 2022
  • Sebastian Rogers

    The quality and depth of the films was inspiring and impactful. This festival has a purpose and calling - I would say everybody left more compassionate and alive then when they walked in!

    March 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Sebastian. It was an honor to share your film 'Love In a Time of Fear' at Justice Film Festival 2022. We'll look forward to seeing your next project soon!

  • I was very proud to have one of my short films, 'Family' selected to play as the closing night short film. The communication from Andy in the run up to the festival was great and although I was unable to attend it appears to have been a really successful festival.
    It would be great if there were some more photos to share via social media etc.. for those who were unable to attend but the whole festival and what it stands for is just great!
    I will be submitting my next film for sure! Highly recommended!

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    Truly our pleasure to share your beautiful film. We'll look forward to your next creation.