LES, THE LOWER EAST SIDE FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS is an annual celebration of the rich artistic culture and ethnic diversity of this area. For three days over Memorial Day Weekend, TNC produces a cabaret-style festival featuring over 100 performing groups from the Lower East Side. All cultures and disciplines are represented. Saturday afternoon, a Street Fair is held on East 10th Street, which includes food and goods sold by local merchants, and performances by local poets, musicians and performance artists. Inside, there is a children's program performed for and by students from local schools and a Film Festival running all afternoon and evening. Sunday evening, a Poetry reading is held.
This highly anticipated and popular event has grown tenfold since its inception in 1996, and is attended by over 3000 people annually. The purpose of this festival is to unify the community, create a positive image for the Lower East Side, and discover new writing talent.
The Film Program is a 12-hour long film festival of art-house, experimental and independent films. The theme of 2019 is: "Films that go against the Norm."


The theme this year is: "FILMS THAT GO AGAINST THE NORM."
This means in terms of content or style.

We strongly encourage films that are related to the Lower East Side, the East Village or the West Village as well as filmmakers from these districts.
Films that relate to ethnic communities of the Lower East Side (Ukrainian, Russian, Irish, Black, Hispanic, Jewish, Italian, etc) will also be considered, regardless of the film's geographical origin.

We place no restrictions on your work in terms of premiere status or whether your work has been made available online. Films do not have to be recent, but documentaries or music video's will most likely not be accepted.

We accept all lengths. Submissions are free of charge and all screenings are free and open to the public.

All films must be submitted in English or with English subtitles.

By submitting to us, you give us the right to screen your film in front of a live audience at the Film Program of LES, The Lower East Side Festival for the Arts.

Submission options:
A. Upload the screener onto FilmFreeway
B. Email a password protected streaming link of the film to filmprogramtnc@gmail.com
C. Mail a DVD to: Eva Dorrepaal, PO Box 879, New York, NY 10163 (DVD's will not be returned)

By submitting to the Film Program of LES The Lowers East Side Festival of the Arts, all listed creators authorize the submission. In submitting your work you are admitting that your entry is your original work, and does not infringe on the copyright or other rights of other people. Filmmakers are responsible for sorting out the copyright on their own materials.

Any filmmaker or member of a film entourage causing a disruption or acting aggressively, disrespectfully or threateningly to any of the volunteer staff or employees of the festival may have their film pulled from exhibition at any time.

By submitting you acknowledge that you are not entitled to damage claims of any kind if your film is unable to screen due to technical, compatibility or operational difficulties or if your film needs to be rescheduled, cancelled or delayed for any reason. LES The Lower East Side Festival for the Arts will not be liable for any costs claimed as a result of change or delay in scheduling.

If your film is accepted to be part of the program, you will do your best to work with us to have the film’s director and other key personnel (actors, writers, producers, etc.) attending the festival to present the film. Films and loglines have to be submitted at the latest by May 5th in the requested format and size to ensure screening.

We reserve the right to update our terms and conditions.

Overall Rating
  • Motion Hr

    Communication was always through mail chains. We didn't attend.

    July 2019
  • Stacey Larkins

    Awesome experience, very interesting selection of films, and the Theater For the New City was a really cool location for the film screenings.

    June 2019
  • Great event, excellent platform.
    We hope being back next year.

    June 2019
  • This festival was FANTASTIC! Not only was it very organized and time efficient but it was a fun experience. They were very welcoming and it felt like home. I will definitely be attending and submitting again. EXCELLENT, ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT!!!

    June 2019