STORIES are the most transformational tool known to man.
And in this Brave New World we are experiencing, we need STORIES now more than ever!

Stories make people think, feel, and most importantly, stories help people make new choices about life. How many people do you think made a change in their lives after seeing Rocky? Or Selma? Or Shindler’s List?

Stories are not just entertainment. They teach, make people laugh and cry, and they INSPIRE people to reach out and connect again, and often, they inspire people to tell their own stories too.

So Manhattan Rep’s STORIES Film Festival is about the narrative, the amazing adventure, the social injustice, the love lost and found again, the crazy challenge, the political commentary, the wacky situation, the impossible dream, how to survive and actually have some fun in a pandemic and so much more, as we celebrate digital storytelling at it’s finest!

From September 15, 2021 through October 3, 2021, we will be streaming your Short Films (up to 45 minutes in length,) and Short Zoom Theatre Films (up to 45 minutes in length,) online where a worldwide audience can vote on your submission.

We will announce the Award Winners online on Saturday Night October 9, 2021!

Also, we will be hosting Zoom interview Q & A's with filmmakers and Zoom theatremakers. These Q & A videos will be posted on our site for all to see, before the Festival starts streaming on September 15, 2021.


- Best Short Film
- Best Director 
- Best Screenplay 
- Best Cinematography 
- Best Actor (Female)
- Best Actor (Male)
- Best Ensemble

- Best Zoom Theatre Flim
- Best Director 
- Best Zoom Theatre Play Script
- Best Zoom Theatre Scenic Design
- Best Actor (Female)
- Best Actor (Male)
- Best Ensemble


1. Submission Deadlines: 

Submissions will be accepted from June 8, 2021 - August 23, 2021

The Early Deadline is Wednesday June 30, 2021.
The Official Deadline is Monday July 26, 2021.
The Late Deadline is Monday August 23, 2021.

Submissions are "rolling" submissions, so you will be notified if we accept your submission or not, within two weeks of your submission, if not sooner, and at that time, we will set up your Zoom Q & A if you want one.

2. Submission Format: 

Films must be submitted via online screener ONLY through We do not accept films sent via DVD. Changing or updating the originally submitted link is not accepted.

3. Submission Eligibility:
Short Films and Short Zoom Theatre Films - 45 minutes or less.

4. We accept Short Films and Zoom Theatre Films of all genres. But they must be 45 minutes or less. We only accept submissions on

5. Films must be in English or have English subtitles.

6. Premiere Status:
There is no Premiere policy, period.
We will accept Short Films and Zoom Theatre Films that we love. Send them our way!

7. Submission Fee: 
All submission fees for STORIES FILM FESTIVAL are to be paid through FilmFreeway platform. The submission fee is non-refundable.

8. Notification: 

We will complete all Late Deadline selections by Friday August 27, 2021.

9. Virtual Streaming Schedule:
September 15, 2021 through October 3, 2021 at Midnight.

Overall Rating
  • Elena Clark

    Loved to be a part of this Fest and having a personal interview with Festival's Director

    July 2022
  • George Carrillo

    This is my 2nd time I had the privilege of being in this festival and everyone has been so kind and supportive. I am truly grateful for this experience and hope to return very soon (Maybe next year).

    October 2021
  • Casey Bell

    This was a great experience. They communicated and made me aware of the steps from beginning to end.

    October 2021
  • Jeff Schubert

    I really enjoyed meeting festival director Ken Wolf, who does a great job making you feel welcome, and communicating with filmmakers from the beginning to the end of the festival. Also liked the opportunity to be interviewed (via zoom) and have that included in the fest.

    October 2021
  • Robyne Parrish

    Ken is fantastic! Communicative and caring! He made me feel so warm and welcome at our interview. It did not feel like just another festival. Ken has a way of making one feel individual and special and he was very thoughtful about the work.

    October 2021