When you think about New York and the arthouse cinema scene, names pop-up easily: Jim Jarmusch, John Cassavetes, Sofia Coppola, Woody Allen, Charlie Kaufman, Edward Burns, Hal Hartley, Nora Ephron, Spike Lee, Noah Baumbach, Chloé Zhao, Steve Buscemi, Paul Morrissey, Martin Scorsese, John Turturro, Abel Ferrara, Ben Stiller, Lloyd Kaufman and so many more.
All of them shared a passion for the big screen and, although all human and therefore potentially flawed, each of them added value to the rich and long film history of New York.
The Manhattan Independent Film Festival discovers, supports, and develops new talent in filmmaking, providing a platform for emerging and established filmmakers from around the world, and a unique focus on stories tied to Manhattan, and NYC. Recognizing the important role independent films have in the history of filmmaking, storytelling, and culture, the annual Manhattan Independent Film Festival wants to help empower the next generation of artists.
The festival is open to all forms and genres. We welcome filmmakers from around the world to submit their work. In addition to narrative, documentary, animated, experimental and underground work, the festival welcomes films that take place in Manhattan for their unique section ‘Manhattan Stories’.
Originally founded in 2015, the first two editions took place at The Producer’s Club and Videology. Starting 2022, the festival has found its new location at the 500 Park Avenue Screening Room. A cozy 55 seat, extremely well-situated venue with a great history and infrastructure. The ideal home for the next generation of filmmakers.
‘OFF ON’ SELECTION
Next to our physical screenings we’ll also be screening online with the special OFF ON SELECTION. The OFF ON Selection will go online one week prior to the opening of the physical part of the festival and will stay online until the last day of the festival. Viewers will be able to watch, but not download your film. If needed we can geo-block your film to our region.
We’re open to any genre (narrative, web series, made for tv, documentary, experimental …) and especially any duration (which is always an issue for the physical part of the festival). Selected filmmakers will receive all official selection perks (The Tarkovski Grant, The Producer’s Night nomination, …) and are in the running for any of the award titles. When you submit your film for consideration to both a physical section and the Off On Selection it is possible to be selected for both, but this is of course not guaranteed. Filmmakers that submit their film only to any of the other sections (so any other than the Off On Selection) will not be selected for an online screening.
Manhattan Independent Film Festival is
- A 'Climate Neutral Film Event', powered by TreePlan.org.
- An official festival partner of The Producer's Night Los Angeles (producersnight.com).
PROUD PARTNER OF THE BIGGER SCREEN
Manhattan Independent Film Festival is supported by The Bigger Screen, an organization that aims to make film as an art form more accessible and more inclusive. A short overview of their projects:
- SUPPORTING FILM FESTIVALS: Film festivals are not only a place to share films, but they are a safe haven for film makers to connect, share, and learn. The Bigger Screens supports and engages with over 25 respected international film festivals from mainstays like the 61st Ann Arbor Film Festival and the Brussels Independent Film Festival to emerging events such as the Venice Film Week and The Producer’s Night Los Angeles. These events bring filmmakers and filmgoers together, providing that place to connect and engage in a comfortable setting, away from Hollywood glitz and glamour.
- CONNECTING CULTURES PROGRAM: Each year, The Bigger Screen selects at least ten countries and grants filmmakers from those areas the ability to submit their work free of charge to partner festivals all over the world. This opens the door of film exposure to those who may not otherwise be able to enter. As we support inclusivity and shareable films, this program exemplifies our mission. Check out https://www.connectingculturesprogram.com to see if your country is included in this year’s program and submit your work for free.
- LOCAL FILMMAKERS PROGRAM: To encourage rising talent, we lowered the festival submission fee to local talent and even made it for free when submitted before the Extreme Early Bird Deadline. This provides a great opportunity for local filmmakers to enter the international film scene. Think global, act local, right?
- INCLUSIVE AUDIENCE PROGRAM: Our screenings are always low or even free of charge to provide opportunity for interested film goers to view up and coming, challenging, and inspiring pieces of art, encouraging students, seniors, and those in underprivileged environments to share the experience of film and cinema. We welcome film goers, regardless of income and financial status.
- THE TARKOVSKI GRANT: All selected filmmakers will receive The Tarkovski Grant, a film festival submission fee waiver package with an average value of about $500. This not only saves you a lot of money, but it also recognizes your work as something to watch for during the selection procedure, making a selection with another partner film festival more likely - but of course, never guaranteed. The Tarkovski Grant supports hundreds of filmmakers each year in their challenging journeys as independent filmmakers, by promoting existing films, no matter the genre, style or length.
All selected filmmakers will receive The Tarkovski Grant, a film festival submission fee waiver package with an average value of about $500. This not only saves you a lot of money, but it also recognizes your work as something to watch for during the selection procedure, making a selection with another partner film festival more likely - but of course, never guaranteed. The Tarkovski Grant supports hundreds of filmmakers each year in their challenging journeys as independent filmmakers, by promoting existing films, no matter the genre, style or length. The Tarkovski Grant is supported by film festivals from all over the world. Find out more here: www.thetarkovskigrant.org
All selected films are also automatically in the running for Producer's Night.
Producer's Night is an opportunity for independent filmmakers to have their work screened to a private group of elite Hollywood producers. For many directors, it could mean their ticket to the mainstream. The exclusive screening presented by Cinematory and Tarkovski will show the best of independent cinema from the past year's film festivals at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in West Hollywood. The only way to be considered for this by being selected at one of the partner film festivals. Manhattan Independent Film Festival is a proud partner film festival of Producer's Night. More information: www.producersnight.com
In an added effort to support new and emerging filmmakers, the Manhattan Independent Film Festival will offer a free year of access to Videomaker's digital magazine to all filmmakers submitting their work. Videomaker Magazine is dedicated to video production, features tips and tricks for shooting and editing, buyer's guides for equipment, and editorial content on the industry of film. More information: www.videomaker.com
Optional: an exclusive one-on-one interview on www.iFilmFestival.com. The Manhattan Independent Film Festival would like to offer more exposure to selected filmmakers and their work. Selected filmmakers will be invited after the festival to answer some online interview questions (about their work, future projects, views on film,...) if they wish to do so. The interview will appear as an article on film festival news page www.iFilmFestival.com, and will be shared on the Manhattan Independent Film Festival's Facebook page. The interview will only be used within this context, and won't be used for other purposes without the filmmaker's permission.
Each edition, the festival will also give out awards in the following categories:
Best Narrative Feature Film
Best Documentary Feature Film
Best Animated Feature Film
Best Narrative Short Film
Best Documentary Short Film
Best Animated Short Film
Best Underground Film
Best Experimental Film
Best Music Video
Best Manhattan Story
Best LGBTQ+ Film
The Manhattan Independent Film Festival accept all forms and genres. All non-English language films must be subtitled in English. Entry, accept the 'guaranteed selection submissions', does not guarantee acceptance into the festival. Submissions WILL NOT be returned. We also accept submissions that have premiered elsewhere and that may have distribution agreements already in place. Rough cuts and incomplete projects are not accepted. Multiple entries are allowed, however a separate entry form must be submitted for each. The festival has the capability to screen digital files.
EXHIBITION & SCREENING
Screenings are scheduled during the Festival at the discretion of the Manhattan Independent Film Festival. Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the published schedule, Manhattan Independent Film Festival reserves the right to make changes at any time for any reason. Manhattan Independent Film Festival will not be liable for any costs claimed as a result of a change in scheduling. No film may be withdrawn from the festival program after its selection. If chosen as an official selection, Manhattan Independent Film Festival is granted the permission to exhibit the film at the 2016 Manhattan Independent Film Festival and all associated screenings. Location and timing of any screenings of the film shall be the sole decision of the organizers of the Manhattan Independent Film Festival. Filmmakers will be solely responsible for all costs resulting from the submission of the film to the Festival including but not limited to postage or insurance of the film, and expenses of your staff or any representatives of the film. Producer will indemnify the organisers of the Festival against all claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses (including legal fees), proceedings and losses resulting from the screening of the film at the Festival or from claims by any third parties.
LOSS OR DAMAGE
Although every precaution will be taken to prevent loss or damage to materials while in the possession of the festival, The Manhattan Independent Film Festival is not responsible should any materials be damaged while in transit to or from, or while in the possession of the festival.
The filmmaker holds the Manhattan Independent Film Festival, its management, juries, subsidiaries, agents, sponsors, affiliates, and etc. harmless from any and all claims of liability resulting from entry. The filmmaker certifies to have full rights. Producer will indemnify the organisers of the Festival against all claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses (including legal fees), proceedings and losses resulting from the screening of the film at the Festival or from claims by any third parties.
The festival does not offer screening fees for its films. By submitting through FilmFreeway you are agreeing to NOT request a screening fee as a requirement for your film's participation in the festival, should your film get selected for the program.
Since the festival only requires a nominal entry fee, we will NOT accept requests for other entry fee waivers.