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 love lost and found again, the crazy challenge, the social 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 May 1, 2021 through May 31, 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 June 5, 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 in May 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 March 8, 2021 - April 19, 2021

The Official Deadline is Monday March 29, 2021.
The Late Deadline is Monday April 19, 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.

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 Wednesday April 21, 2021.

9. Virtual Streaming Schedule:
May 1, 2021 through May 31, 2021 at Midnight.

Overall Rating
  • Wonderful to get recognized for the work of documenting and giving voice and perspective to this Challenging 😰 time in history

    March 2021
  • An honor to be part of this festival, and huge congrats to all the submissions, I loved every single movie and was so inspired. All the winners were well-deserved too, undisputed. Hope to keep working with the theater more!

    March 2021
  • Christina Soto

    A fantastic compilation of wonderful short films. Ken Wolfe went above and beyond by interviewing filmmakers and updating information until the date of festival. Very personable and well organized.

    March 2021
  • mark bellusci

    Great festival. Ken Wolf couldn’t have been more supportive and gracious. Thrilled that our film, Venmo Muscle, was selected. Thanks, Ken.

    March 2021
  • Absolutely uplifting festival experience. Turning one of my monologues for the stage into a recorded film was a total first for me. Ken Wolf, as festival producer and fellow theatre artist, was basically everything I could ask for in an executive director. Kudos to him and his team for bringing so many artists together under one umbrella. Between Ken's producing, teaching, directing, performing, and coaching, he's a whirling dervish of positive energy. Ken makes the art scene and the world in general a better place to exist. Bravo Manhattan Rep.

    March 2021