The annual NBCUNIVERSAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL is a unique bi-coastal showcase of independent, narrative original short films, pilot presentations, and stand-alone episodic series, with a writer, director, cast, or theme of a diverse voice. This includes creatives of diverse backgrounds, including ethnicity, culture, women, members of the LGBTQ community or artists who are differently abled.

The festival is a nationwide search for distinctive storytelling and diverse talent, in front of, and behind the camera. Semi-finalist screenings are held August in New York City, and a finale red carpet awards gala is hosted at the DGA Theater in Los Angeles in October.

The festival hosts a series of events including acclaimed filmmaker workshops, industry tours and networking events. For over a decade, we have celebrated up and coming directors, writers, producers and actors, introducing them to top industry tastemakers, and awarding prizes ranging from camera packages and monetary grants, to development meetings and holding deals.

Past alumni have gone on to direct episodes of network and cable television, shadow directors on NBC primetime series, been cast as series regulars for new NBC pilots, and have sold their shorts as series to major cable networks. The 2017 Winner of the HARNESS Award for Social Justice went on to win the 2018 JURY AWARD at SUNDANCE.

Join us today in discovering the next generation of storytellers.

Learn more at www.nbcushortsfest.com

QUALIFICATIONS:
ONLY 2-22 minute NARRATIVE pieces are accepted.
We do NOT accept documentaries, animated films, or music videos.

Prize Packages are announced during the Finale Gala.

Last year's prize packages included:

OUTSTANDING ACTOR
1. $1,000 Wardrobe Budget to Bloomingdales
2. Premiere Headshot Package with SeanPaul San Pedro
3.Unlimitted coaching and training at the Performance Studios of their choice
4. NBC Talent Holding Deal

HARNESS Social Impact Award Sponsored by NBC's Social Responsibility Division
1. $10,000 Cash Grant

OUTSTANDING WRITER
1. Two tix to The WGA Awards (East Coast)
2. Final Round Placement into NBC Entertainment's Writers on the Verge Program or Universal Global Talent & Development's Emerging Writers Program
3. Professional Script Consultation Services and Pitch Prep
4. Development Meeting with Universal Pictures & Focus Features
5. $10,000 Cash Grant

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR
1. Development Meeting with Universal Pictures
2. Final Round Placement into NBC Entertainment's Emerging Director Program
3. Post Production Services Package from NBCU Studio Operations including lighting, grip, sound mixing, costumes and backlot access
4. $5,000 Cash Grant
5. $60,000 Camera Rental Package donation from the Panavision New Filmmaker Program to be used toward next project

#NBCUshortsFEST AUDIENCE AWARD
1. $1,000 Cash Grant

Outstanding COMEDY
1. $5,000 Cash Grant

Outstanding DRAMA
1. $5,000 Cash Grant

ALL 2017 SEMI-FINALISTS received:
1. NYC Airfare + Hotel accommodations to be honored at the festival
2. Top of The Rock VIP Tour
3. Invitation to SAG-AFTRA Champagne Kickoff Reception with Actor Amir Arison
4. Invitation to WGAE Roundtable & Luncheon with Writer/Actor Allen Maldonado
5. Live Actor Auditions with the New York NBC Casting Division
6. Red Carpet Access to the Semi-Finalists Wrap Party
7. High Resolution LED Projectors

ALL 2016 FINALISTS received:
1. Los Angeles Airfare+ Hotel accommodations to be honored at the festival
2. Invitation to WGAW Breakfast + VIP Library Tour
3. Invitation to Panavision Equipment Tour + Lunch
4. Complimentary Workshops, including KELDOF branding seminar & pitch workshop with NBC's Karen Horne
5. Universal Studios VIP Backlot Tour
6. Annual Subscription to TheHollywoodReporter.com
7. Premiere Software Editions of both Movie Magic Budgeting & Scheduling
8. 1TB Gtech Hard-Drives
9. Miroir HD Projectors
10. Opportunity to air films on festival HULU channel

2018 SUBMISSION INFO & RULES
Please read carefully.

• The producer, writer, and director must be eighteen (18) years of age or older, a legal resident of the US, and shall be eligible to be employed in the United States.

• The writer, director, cast, or theme of the short must be diverse: either ethnically, culturally, or of a diverse voice or community. Examples of diverse and inclusive backgrounds include female writers & directors, the LGBTQ community, and artists who are differently-abled.

• Short works must qualify under one of the following narrative genres: Comedy Short Film, Dramatic Short Film as well as strongly encourage Comedic Pilot Presentations and stand alone Web Series episodes. Any Documentaries, Animations, or Music Videos are not eligible.

• Projects must be 2-22 minutes in length. All others are not eligible.

• Submitted works must have been shot within two (2) years of the submission deadline date (i.e., February 1, 2016 – May 1, 2018). Any film over two (2) years old is not eligible.

• Submitting parties must hold complete ownership and rights of submitted product.

• Submitting parties must be able to grant screening rights and online streaming rights.

• Only wholly original works will be accepted; original works cannot be based off of, or include, any trademarked characters or any copyrighted stories, or portions thereof. Submissions are disqualified if based, in whole or in part, on pre-existing material, fictional or nonfiction, produced or un-produced, published or unpublished, unless such material was originally created and published/produced by the applicant, in another medium or licensed or cleared by applicant in other medium.

• This is a non-exclusive festival, meaning there is no conflict for your projects to have screened or to screen in future at other festivals.

• Films with prior commercial distribution or broadcast within the United States are NOT eligible for submission. In the case of small non-commercial, non-publicized showings, the NBCUniversal Media, LLC reserves the right to waive this rule in its sole discretion.

• In August, the festival semi-finals events and screening will take place in New York City. The entire team will be invited to attend; however, NBCUniversal reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to restrict the number of team members that can attend the event. NBCUniversal will award one (1) airfare & accommodation to either the director or writer. All other invited team members are responsible for their own travel and accommodations should they choose to attend.

• If selected to screen in the New York semi-finals in August, semi-finalists must provide their shorts in one of the following formats: DCP, HDCam (regular not SR) or QuickTime Pro Res 422.

• No revisions or updated versions will be accepted after the initial submission.

• An applicant may submit multiple separate entries.

• There is NO FEE for submitting a film to this festival.

• The 2018 submission window opens March 1st and closes April 30th.

• FilmFreeway profiles will be noted with a confirmation of receipt within one (1) week of arrival.

• The submitter of each film will be contacted & notified directly if selected as a semi-finalist & finalist. The submitter will have sole responsibility to contact & notify the writer, director, cast, producing parties, joint rights holders, etc.

• In October, the finalist screening will be held in Los Angeles. The entire team will be invited to attend; however, NBCUniversal reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to restrict the number of team members that can attend the event. NBCUniversal will award one (1) airfare & accommodation to either the director or writer. All other invited team members are responsible for their own travel and accommodations should they choose to attend.

• In the event your project is selected as a finalist, you will be required to provide additional items, such as: trailer, high res poster artwork variations, still images from the film, revised synopses, short bios of writer, director and lead cast member, closed caption file, script, and possibly social media handles & hashtags.

• In connection with the submissions, submitters may be eligible for a monetary award and are solely responsible for any local, state, and federal taxes and fees in connection with such award.

• NBCUniversal Short Film Festival reserves all right to cancel events & showcase screenings at its own discretion.  

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NBCUNIVERSAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL TERMS, CONDITIONS AND ARBITRATION PROVISION (the “Agreement”)

THIS IS A LEGAL DOCUMENT AFFECTING YOUR RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES. PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY

I have volunteered to participate in the "NBCUniversal Short Film Festival," a diversity showcase for content creators produced by NBCUniversal Media, LLC (the "Showcase"). In that regard, I, on behalf of myself and on behalf of the production company (if applicable) that produced the Submitted Material (as defined below) (jointly and severally, “I” or “me”) am voluntarily submitting to NBCUniversal Media, LLC and its respective parent, subsidiary, and affiliated entities and the sponsors of the Showcase (individually and collectively, "NBCUniversal"), the material which I have provided or may provide to NBCUniversal in connection with the Showcase, including, but not limited to my short film and any trailers or other promotional materials for my short film (individually and collectively, the "Submitted Material"). By submitting my Submitted Material to NBCUniversal and/or by clicking to accept these terms, I agree to the following:

1. I understand and agree that NBCUniversal will make all decisions regarding participation in the Showcase in its sole discretion, without any limitation whatsoever, including without limitation who to select for the Showcase and the recipients of any and all awards or services for the Showcase. I understand that I may not be selected for the Showcase and that by submitting the Submitted Material, I am not guaranteed to be part of the Showcase or any future showcases, or be selected as the recipient of any award or service.

2. I have created and am submitting the Submitted Material completely voluntarily and on an unsolicited basis. NBCUniversal has not hired or otherwise retained me, in any way, to create or submit the Submitted Material. I understand that NBCUniversal will neither pay me any money nor provide me any other consideration or compensation for creating or submitting the Submitted Material, for executing this Agreement, for participating in the Showcase, or for granting any of the rights granted in this Agreement. I also understand that NBCUniversal has not promised to license or otherwise acquire the rights to any of the Submitted Material other than those rights I grant in Sections 4 and 5 herein, or to hire me for my creative services in the future, or to find me representation or future work or bookings. Except as provided below, or otherwise agreed in writing by NBCUniversal, all costs and expenses I may incur in connection with my submission of the Submitted Material, or my participation in the Showcase (if selected), or in connection with the production, distribution, exhibition or other exploitation of the Submitted Material, will be my sole responsibility.

3. I understand and agree that I am not submitting the Submitted Material in confidence and that no confidential relationship is, or is intended to be, created between NBCUniversal and me by my submission of the Submitted Material. Nothing in this Agreement, nor my creation or submission of the Submitted Material, shall be deemed to place NBCUniversal in any different position from any other member of the public with respect to the Submitted Material. Accordingly, NBCUniversal may use any part of the Submitted Material that any member of the public freely could use without liability to me.

4. I hereby grant to NBCUniversal, its successors, licensees, sponsors and assigns the non-exclusive, royalty-free right to exhibit, transmit, distribute, edit, reproduce, copy, publish, display, perform, translate, adapt, modify, use and otherwise exploit the Submitted Material (or any part thereof), as well as the name, image, voice, likeness and biographical information of me and/or the cast, crew and any other person or entity involved in the production of the Submitted Material, in and in connection with the Showcase (including, without limitation, at the Showcase finale screening), NBC’s Diversity Initiatives, and/or any future showcases, in any and all manner, media, and format whatsoever, whether now known or hereafter devised, throughout the universe in perpetuity, and in any and all advertisements, promotions, publicity, marketing or other material relating to the Showcase, NBC’s Diversity Initiatives, or any future showcases.

5. Without in any way limiting the foregoing, I hereby grant to NBCUniversal, its successors, licensees, sponsors and assigns the non-exclusive, royalty-free right to exhibit, transmit, distribute, edit, reproduce, copy, publish, display, perform, translate, adapt, modify, use and otherwise exploit the Submitted Material (or any part thereof) in any and all manner, media and format whatsoever, whether now known or hereafter devised, throughout the universe in perpetuity as follows: (a) on any website, broadcast, cable or other distribution or exhibition platform of NBCUniversal or its licensees, including, but not limited to, Hulu and Xfinity; (b) via the regular network signal of any broadcast, cable or distribution platform of NBCUniversal (the “Network Transmission”) (including, without limitation, in standard definition (“SD”), high definition (“HD”), Three Dimensional (“3D”), 4K Resolution (“4K”), and/or 8K Resolution (“8K”)); and, (c) authorize the retransmission of the Submitted Material (or any portion thereof) (including, without limitation, in SD, HD, 3D, 4K, and/or 8K), simultaneously or substantially simultaneously with such Network Transmission (including, without limitation, over-the-air, satellite, wire, cable, digital, telco, DBS, Internet, computer networks, set-top box, cellular and/or wireless) to any audio/visual receiving devices, whether now known or hereafter devised (including, without limitation, television equipment or monitors, set-top boxes, personal computers, smartphones, handheld or mobile devices and tablets). Neither NBCUniversal nor any other licensee of NBCUniversal shall be required to obtain any consent from, or pay any compensation to, me or any third party for such transmission and re-transmission or any other rights for which beyond that specifically provided by this Agreement (e.g., any transmission of the Submitted Material (or any portion thereof) and the simultaneous or substantially simultaneous re-transmissions of the Submitted Material (or any portion thereof) shall collectively be considered one exhibition of the Submitted Material (or any portion thereof) under this Agreement and in no event will any such re-transmission be considered a repeat exhibition). In addition, and without in any way limiting the foregoing, NBCUniversal may use the Submitted Material (or any portion thereof) to determine whether to invite me or any cast or production members of the Submitted Material to participate in any other NBC Diversity Initiative programs.

6. Notwithstanding the provisions of Sections 4 and 5 above, I may request, in writing, the right to terminate NBCUniversal's rights to use the Submitted Material as set forth in Sections 4 and 5 above at any time commencing two (2) years from the date the Submitted Material was received by NBCUniversal pursuant to this Agreement, upon written notice addressed to the NBCUniversal Law Department at the following address: NBCUniversal Television Group, Legal Department, 100 Universal City Plaza, Bldg. 1320, Third Floor, Universal City, CA 91608 and delivered by certified or registered mail, in which case the rights granted in section 4 and 5 shall be terminated upon the Law Department’s receipt of such notice (unless the notice is received less than two (2) years after the date that the Submitted Material was received by NBCUniversal pursuant to this Agreement, in which case the rights shall not terminate until that date which is two (2) years after the date of this Agreement).

7. Subject to the rights granted to NBCUniversal as described above and the other terms and conditions herein, I shall retain the copyright in and to my Submitted Material.

8. I hereby represent and warrant that (a) I have the right to enter into this Agreement and grant the rights granted in this Agreement; (b) the Submitted Material consists or shall consist of original material protected by copyright that is, or prior to submission of the Submitted Material to NBCUniversal in accordance with the terms and conditions of this Agreement will be, owned or exclusively controlled by me; (c) if and to the extent that any elements of the Submitted Material are based in whole or in part on any existing formats, elements, materials or performances protected by copyrights owned or controlled by any third parties, or with respect to which any third party has any rights, I have obtained or shall obtain all rights in such formats, elements, materials and performances necessary for NBCUniversal to exploit the Submitted Material in accordance with the terms of this Agreement; and, (d) any use of the Submitted Material in the manner described in Sections 4 and 5 above, will not infringe upon or violate my rights or the rights of any third parties.

9. To the fullest extent permitted by law, I agree to defend, indemnify and hold free and harmless each of the following: (i) NBCUniversal, its licensees, successors and assigns; (ii) any Showcase sponsors and their respective advertising agencies; (iii) any program channels and any other services that may broadcast, exhibit, transmit, distribute, advertise, promote, market, publicize or otherwise use or exploit the Submitted Material; and, (iv) each of their respective officers, directors, partners, members, representatives, agents, employees and contractors (each of the foregoing being referred to individually and collectively as the “Indemnified Parties”), from and against any and all liabilities, actions, claims, suits, liens, judgments, demands, losses, costs, expenses and damages, including, without limitation, reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs and any and all damages of any kind and nature, whatsoever (all of the foregoing being referred to individually and collectively as “Claims”) that are caused by, arise out of, relate to or concern in any way the Submitted Material, including, but not limited to, one or more of the following allegations: (a) the breach by me of any of the terms, covenants, conditions, representations, warranties or promises contained in this Agreement; (b) the wrongful use of ideas, material or rights in the Submitted Material (including, without limitation, allegations of idea theft, copyright infringement, trademark infringement, breach of contract, right of publicity, and unfair competition); (c) the telecasts, broadcasts, exhibitions, distributions, advertisements, promotions, marketing, publicizing or any other use or exploitation of the Submitted Material in accordance with this Agreement; (d) the negligence, willful misconduct or other acts or omissions by me or the production company that produced the Submitted Material, their respective agents, employees, representatives, or contractors or any other cast members, on-camera participants, or crew members arising out of, relating to or concerning in any way the production of the Submitted Material (including, without limitation, development, pre-production, production and post-production activities); (e) the violation of or failure to comply with any applicable laws, codes, permit requirements, rules, orders, judgments, decrees, ordinances and/or provisions of any foreign, federal, state or local government agency, authority or court, including, without limitation, those relating to the production of sexual content (e.g., 18 USC §§ 2256 et seq. (as it may be amended); and, (f) the injury to or death of any agents, employees, representatives, or contractors or any other cast members, on-camera participants, or crew members of the Submitted Material in connection with the production of the Submitted Material (including, without limitation, development, pre-production, production and post-production activities). Notwithstanding the foregoing, I agree and acknowledge that NBCUniversal and its licensees, successors and assigns will have the right to control the defense of any claim(s) brought against NBCUniversal and its licensees, successors and assigns.

10. I understand, acknowledge, and hereby do waive and release, for myself and my heirs, executors, and administrators, any and all rights, claims, and causes of action whatsoever I may have against each of the Indemnified Parties from any and all loss, liability, damage, claim, demand, cost, expense, injury, harm, matter, cause, or any other Claims arising from or in connection with my participation in the Showcase, and the acceptance or utilization of any awards or services that I may receive in connection with the Showcase (if any). I will cooperate with any request by NBCUniversal to execute and deliver any and all documents consistent herewith to effectuate the purposes of this Agreement (e.g., clearance agreement, indemnity agreements).

11. I understand that I may receive a monetary award in connection with the Submitted Material. I understand that I am solely responsible for any local, state, and federal taxes and fees in connection with any award or benefit awarded to me in connection with the Showcase (if any), and that such taxes may be based upon the full value of the award or benefit provided and that federal and/or state withholdings may be required and may be deducted from my award or benefit or requested from me as a reimbursement at NBCUniversal’s sole discretion. I understand that if there is a discrepancy between the approximate retail value of the award or benefit and the actual value of the award or benefit I receive, the value stated on the IRS Form 1099 issued to me will govern. I understand and agree that the Internal Revenue Service does not require my consent to any provision of this document other than the certifications required to avoid backup withholding.

12. I believe the Submitted Material to be unique and novel. However, I recognize that there may be pre-existing ideas, concepts, or proposals that are similar to my Submitted Material, and other persons, including NBCUniversal’s own employees, may have submitted to NBCUniversal or others, or made public, or may in the future originate and submit, or make public, similar or identical material that NBCUniversal may have the right to use, and I understand that I will not be entitled to any compensation because of NBCUniversal’s use of other similar or identical material in any manner. I understand and agree that NBCUniversal’s use of material containing features or elements similar or identical to those contained in the Submitted Material other than in the manner described in Sections 4 and 5 above, will not obligate NBCUniversal to negotiate with me nor entitle me to any consideration or compensation if NBCUniversal determines that it has an independent legal right to use that other material for any reason (for example, because the features or elements are not new or novel, were not originated by me, or were or may hereafter be independently created and submitted by other persons, including NBCUniversal employees).

13. I understand that NBCUniversal does not promise to license or acquire any rights to the Submitted Material other than that which is set forth in Sections 4 and 5 above, or to hire or otherwise retain me or any production personnel of the Submitted Material for my or their creative services in the future. If NBCUniversal wishes to use the Submitted Material in any manner other than that described in Sections 4 and 5 above (and if it is original, novel and valuable), or if NBCUniversal wishes to hire or retain me for my creative services, I understand that we would have to separately meet and negotiate the terms of any such potential future arrangements and enter into separate written agreements that would supersede this Agreement with regard to the specific material or my services.

14. If for any reason the Showcase is canceled or cannot be administered or completed as planned, NBCUniversal reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to terminate, modify and/or suspend the Showcase. Notwithstanding the foregoing, NBCUniversal reserves the right to terminate, modify or suspend this Showcase due to any of the following reasons: act of God; unavoidable accident; epidemic; fire; blackout; act of public enemy; war, riot or civil commotion; enactment, rule, order or act of government or governmental instrumentality or tribunal; strike, lockout or other labor dispute; inclement weather; the recapture of any time period scheduled for the live telecast of a program for an event of national importance or emergency; failure of technical facilities; failure of essential production, or technical personnel to appear or be available for production or broadcast; or other cause beyond its control. By submitting my Submitted Material, I agree that should this Showcase be terminated for any reason, I irrevocably waive any right to seek and/or obtain rescission and/or equitable and/or injunctive relief.

15. I agree that I must give NBCUniversal written notice, by certified or registered mail to the NBCUniversal Law Department at the address listed in Section 6 above, of any claim arising in connection with the Submitted Material or in connection with this Agreement. I agree to provide that notice within thirty (30) calendar days after I acquire knowledge of the claim. Notwithstanding the foregoing, I must commence a formal arbitration proceeding pursuant to Section 14 above, within six (6) months after the date of NBCUniversal’s first use of the Submitted Material. My failure to commence a formal arbitration proceeding within that six-month period shall be deemed an irrevocable waiver of any rights I might have with respect to any claim against NBCUniversal.

16. Except to the extent prohibited by any applicable collective bargaining agreement, any controversy arising out of, relating to, or concerning in any way this Agreement, or NBCUniversal’s use of the Submitted Material, shall be conclusively determined by arbitration as provided by California law and the JAMS Streamlined Arbitration Rules and Procedures, or any subsequent versions in effect at the time the arbitration is commenced. The arbitrator in any such arbitration shall be a licensed attorney or former judge experienced in entertainment law who is mutually selected by us, or, if we cannot agree on an arbitrator, a licensed attorney or former judge experienced in entertainment law appointed by JAMS. The arbitrator's decision and authority shall be controlled by the terms of this Agreement. No award may exceed: (1) the minimum rate that would be due under the Writers Guild of America Theatrical and Television Basic Agreement currently in effect for a network, primetime, one-half hour broadcast story and teleplay (so-called "bargain rates," and not to include minimums payable for pilot scripts, back-up scripts or spin-offs), if the material is used as the basis of any national network broadcast or cable programs or any online, electronic, interactive or internet programs; (2) $5,000.00, if the material is used as the basis of any programs broadcast only on NBCUniversal-owned stations; or, (3) $1,000.00, if the material is used for any other commercial purpose. I agree that I can suffer no damages in excess of these amounts from NBCUniversal’s use of the Submitted Material or for any other claim with respect to it. Judgment upon the award may be entered in any court having jurisdiction. Although I may commence an arbitration action at law for the sole purpose of (1) enforcing or interpreting this Agreement, or (2) enforcing an arbitration award, my remedy is limited to money damages; in particular, I expressly waive the right to seek any other relief at law or equity (including, without limitation, injunctive relief) with respect to the Submitted Material or this Agreement. I may only commence an action at law for the sole purpose of enforcing an arbitration award. Notwithstanding the foregoing, I understand and acknowledge that the entity to which I am providing the Submitted Material may not be a signatory to the Writers Guild of America Theatrical and Television Basic Agreement.

17. I understand that NBCUniversal will not return or acknowledge the Submitted Material, and that I have retained a copy of the Submitted Material. I release NBCUniversal from any liability for loss of or damage to the Submitted Material.

18. This Agreement constitutes our entire understanding with respect to the subject matter hereof. Any modification or waiver must be in writing, signed by NBCUniversal and me. The illegality, invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of this Agreement shall in no way affect the validity or enforceability of any of the remainder of this Agreement, which shall be enforced to the maximum extent permitted by law. This Agreement applies equally to any other material that I may submit to NBCUniversal, unless agreed to the contrary by NBCUniversal and me, in writing, at the time of the submission.

19. No termination of this Agreement and no acts with respect to the Submitted Material (such as returning it to me) will be deemed to affect our respective rights and obligations under this Agreement (including those as to amount of compensation, agreement to arbitrate, and time for bringing any action), and all such rights and obligations shall survive any termination or acts.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Thomas Nolle

    We had such a great time at the NBCUniversal Short Film Fest, it was a great journey and we even received a travel stipend to help put us up in New York. One of the best festivals I've ever been to!

    September 2018
  • This is by far the best short film festival. The team at NBCU really cares about the advancement of talent and filmmakers. Yes, of course, they screen your work but they also have a support program to advance your career.

    August 2018