New York Lift-Off Film Festival 2022

For over ten years Lift-Off has been screening in the city of New York. It stands tall as the central hub of creative ambition. Bursting from its emergence out of the 20th Century as one of the worlds most recognizable and iconic cities. It is an undeniable powerhouse of independent art - a city of massive cultural, and business relevance to the entire film industry.

Lift-Off invites filmmakers to this exceptional showcase location, that aims to deliver more opportunities for ambitious creatives to build their professional lives. From talent agencies, sales agents, distributors, and the press - New York Lift-Off is the destination for filmmakers looking to build their career, and have the right eyes on their work. The audience feedback in NYC will give filmmakers a unique, quantifiable and intelligent breakdown as to how their work communicates.

Learn more about the Lift-Off Global Network and how we support our filmmakers. Watch coverage from our festivals, see the interviews and engage with our live workshops directly from our YouTube Channel. Simply copy and paste this link into a separate tab:


Lift-Off Global Network invites you to join our Network Members' platform which will provide you with the resources you need to launch your filmmaking career.

Intermediate Membership is an annual subscription of $89, which entitles you to:

- Fee waivers to all Lift-Off Showcases (worth $300)
- Free tickets to Lift-Off Film Festivals and the Lift-Off Season Awards
- Career guidance from the Lift-Off co-founders
- The chance to apply for representation at international film markets including Cannes, EFM, and AFM

Our Professional Membership is an annual subscription of $189, everything Intermediate Membership offers you:

- Fee waivers across our entire festival network (worth $700)
- Access to an international film jobs database
- Access to scripts from our Network
- Upload your own scripts
- Access to a detailed 5-week production accelerator course

For more information please head to our website:

Our prizes and awards stretch from the submission level, all the way through to the Lift-Off Season Awards at the end of each year. We offer as much as possible to all who submit, our officially selected filmmakers, our nominees, and winners.

At the submission level.

Value for your submission fee. Exclusive content emailed to every submitter up-to 24hrs from the time of submission.

High scoring films. If your film scores high but isn't included in our final programme you will be invited to our Lift-Off Online Film Festival initiative, an online competitions which run parallel with the respective live city screenings - where the top two winners get official selections at either of the next two Lift-Off cities.


The Lift-Off Season Awards

To celebrate and look back on the Lift-Off Season, Lift-Off host a prestigious awards ceremony called the Lift-Off Season Awards. The black tie event sees filmmakers, press, and industry professionals gather at the world-famous Lift-Off Season Awards for a night of awards, music, and networking.

Visit to find out more.

Nominees are chosen after each Lift-Off Film Festival.
The categories:

Best Feature Live Action Narrative
Best Feature Documentary
Best Short Live Action Narrative
Best Short Documentary
Best Director
Best Acting Ensemble
Best Music Video
Best Animation
Best Art Direction
Best Cinematography
Best Post Production
Best Screenplay
Best Actor
Best First-Time Film

We can’t wait to see which films get nominated this year!


Script Selections

The top 5 Screenplays will be showcased across the Community platform, featured in the Lift-Off newsletter which is sent to our 35,000 filmmakers, and shared across social media.

Screenwriters will be invited to include their work in our online Community portal. The portal is a curated database of quality scripts that are looking for production.

Lift-Off Community directors and producers are actively looking for projects to develop. They can use the portal to find their next potential projects, and contact the writers directly to discuss the optioning of scripts, development and rights.
All entries should be completed scripts, short or feature length, and you should be actively looking for collaboration or development.

If you pay a submission fee, we will screen your work. Our programme's are separated into categories based on your content's level of storytelling, production value, message and acting. During the festival we have two voting committees - our professional jury and the general public. The films are scored and the top voted films are then promoted into our internal Network Round, where the Jury and our Network's Professional Members vote for the winners. Winners are announced, prizes and Season Award Nominations are given for the content chosen during this final round.

Lift-Off Season Award Nominations are handed out based on merit within each category and are judged against the current crop of nominations we have so far from our City based festivals this Season. To get a sense of the event please check out our previous Season Award videos on YouTube:

We accept all films and scripts in any length or genre.
Digital online submission screeners only.
Feedback is sent shortly after the commencement of the festival.

Proudly, we have no other restrictions for your work. This includes your works premier status, it's age and/or whether your work has been made available online.

Overall Rating
  • Lisa Bell Roden

    What a great experience! New York Lift-Off was well-run and full of opportunities to connect and evolve. I am so grateful I could be a part of it.

    September 2021
    Response from festival:

    Great to see you on the Network Hub Lisa, stay in touch there. Especially if there's anything we can help with. Looking forward to seeing your future shorts!

  • Ronald Hinton

    I had an amazing experience being a part of the NY Lift-Off Film Festival with my film, My Hair, My Rules. The virtual experience was very fun and the audience votes led to excitement within my community. They were extremely responsive and after winning Audience Choice they invited me and the 3 others who received this award in their respective categories to a live stream on their Youtube channel. Their networking platform was great as well. The only thing I wish we had was more access to distributors or to those who could connect us/advise us on how to get distribution. Otherwise, they were a fantastic festival to be a part of.

    September 2021
    Response from festival:

    Many thanks for the review Ronald and for being a wonderful participant. So great to have you on the YouTube channel and learn more about the project. Throughout the year we will continue posting materials and info that we gather on sales agents etc... For example after markets we will be releasing videos/ content to share any insights we received. You won't be taken off the Hub, so you'll have access to that all year!

  • Johnny Gonzales

    Lift Off really care about Indie film makers and go above and beyond to help and connect film makers to other like minded individuals. They're platform is amazing and they also hold a monthly contest and the possibility of having your film screened.

    August 2021
    Response from festival:

    Such an honour to screen your brilliant film Johnny. Congratulations on the nomination for Best Feature Documentary! Bring on the Season Awards!! 🏆

  • James Freeman

    I am deeply grateful for your support and encouragement of my feature script about a Vietnamese refugee girl. Thanks also for organizing a writers' video meeting and making available to us the opportunity to make pitches and publish our interviews, each of which for me served as a learning experience. These features make the Global Lift-off series stand out among competitions.

    August 2021
    Response from festival:

    Great to hear you found the sessions valuable James, many thanks for participating in those. The script pitching is a new initiative that we're excited about, seeing how we can bring more of our creative community together. But as you say, it can also be a good learning curve too! Keep us updated on the Hub with any progress with the project or anyway we can help!

  • Michalis Lambrianides

    Thank you for the opportunity! Communication was excellent!

    August 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for being a part of the Judges' Select Features programme Michalis! Best of luck with the rest of your festival circuit.