"At NewFest, an LGBTQ film festival becomes a form of resistance" --Entertainment Weekly

Submissions for NewFest's 35th edition of The New York LGBTQ+ Film Festival (October 12 - 24, 2023) will open on February 8th, 2023.

To see event listings for our year-round virtual programming and receive updates on the festival, please visit our website, sign up for our mailing list, and follow us on social media. We look forward to hearing your story!

As part of NewFest’s Black Filmmakers Initiative, we are currently waiving festival submission fees for Black filmmakers with LGBTQ+ stories centering Black characters and perspectives. To request a waiver code, please email submissions@newfest.org with information on your completed and eligible project.


Founded in 1988, The New York LGBTQ+ Film Festival is one of the world's largest and most respected annual celebrations of the year’s best queer films from the U.S. and abroad--featuring over 150 films from more than 30 countries, as well as special events that bring together filmmakers, celebrities, movie lovers, industry professionals, and the LGBTQ+ community.

NewFest will celebrate its 35th annual edition of The New York LGBTQ+ Film Festival in October 2023--throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, and virtually nationwide--with nearly two weeks of premieres, panels, and parties. NewFest's collection of narratives, documentaries, shorts programs, and special events showcases the best in LGBTQ+ film and media.

NewFest is distinctive among LGBTQ+ film festivals for its high-quality programming, outstanding press coverage, community engagement, savvy audiences, and sensational parties. The festival’s impact in terms of propelling the work and careers of emerging filmmakers is historic and global, and uniquely channels the collaborative creative energy of New York City to celebrate queer films.

The New York LGBTQ+ Film Festival is produced annually by NewFest, New York’s leading LGBTQ+ film and media organization. NewFest gives voice and visibility to the full spectrum of LGBTQ+ experiences by championing films, supporting storytellers, and engaging audiences in order to inspire dialogue, shift cultural bias and empower our community.

*(due to ongoing precaution and regulations around COVID-19, exact format and dates within October 2023 are subject to change)

Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature
Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature
Grand Jury Award for Best New York Short Film

Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature
Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature
Audience Award for Best Documentary Short
Audience Award for Best Narrative Short

Emerging Black LGBTQ+ Filmmaker Award(s)

Films should be inclusive of--and of interest to--the LGBTQ+ community. We are seeking narrative, documentary, experimental, and animated films (both features and shorts) in 35mm, 16mm, or DCP (upon acceptance, NewFest will provide projection options for the specific venue in which the film will screen—IF THE FILMMAKER CANNOT PROVIDE THE CORRECT PROJECTION FORMAT, THE FILM WILL NOT BE SCREENED).

Rough cuts and works-in-progress are eligible for submission if the completed film will be ready for QC by September 1st, 2023. Please label the screener “Rough Cut” and specify what is missing (i.e. temp sound, needs color correction, etc).

By submitting your work to NewFest, you grant to NewFest a non-exclusive license to use an excerpt of your submission of up to two minutes in length, for promotional purposes only.

Still photos from your work are requested with your submission and are required for all films selected for the festival. Good stills make a difference in film placement and press coverage, particularly for short films. Even the shortest short can get press coverage or festival prominence with a captivating still. Stills must be in TIFF or JPEG format and 300dpi (dots per inch).

You are also encouraged to enclose a synopsis, production credits, press information, and other collateral regarding your film.

I have read and agree to the festival submission and participation requirements and certify that I am authorized to submit this film NewFest. I hold NewFest harmless from damage to or loss of the print en route or otherwise during the course of the festival’s possession of the film.

Overall Rating
  • We had such a blast screening our film Going Away at this year's festival! Newfest has been one of my favorite festivals for years, the welcoming environment and community they foster is like no other and this year was no different! You can tell that they really care about the filmmakers and creatives involved in the projects by the way they curate the social events and allow time for Q&A's after screenings (among many other things), making each person on a team feel valued. Highly recommend submitting!

    December 2022
  • fetti benton

    One of the top tier festivals in NY overall and not just the top LGBT festival in NY. Amazing experience, audience and staff! More festivals need to follow their lead especially when it comes to rolling out the red carpet for their filmmakers.

    November 2022
  • We had a great time. Would 100% recommend for filmmakers within the tri-state area especially. Thank you for giving our short Code Switch a platform!

    November 2022
  • John e. Kilberg

    The best film festival NYC has to offer for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

    November 2022
  • Tristan Scott-Behrends

    Could not say enough good about NewFest. The curation is excellent and well reflects the talent and stories in our community. The entire team was so welcoming and went out of their way to make filmmakers feel included and welcome. Really good networking events that made it very easy to connect with the other filmmakers.

    November 2021