The New York World Film Festival is an annual event, where both emerging and established filmmakers from all over the world come together and showcase their work in the heart of New York City. The Festival focuses specifically on short films of different genres (narrative, documentary, experimental, and micro), which makes it a unique platform for artists to get noticed and meet their peers. Special “18 and under” and "First-Time Director" categories allow young voices to get their foot in the door and kickstart their career in filmmaking.

The New York World Film Festival takes place in May in New York City. It’s a day-long event with screenings, Q&As, networking events, meet-and-greets and non-stop celebration of the art of short film!

We encourage you to read the rules carefully before submitting.
By submitting you project, you acknowledge that you have read and agreed to all of the following rules and terms.


We accept short films from all over the World made after January 1st, 2019.

We do not require premieres.

We accept short films, no longer than 30 minutes long (including credits) for short film categories and under 5 minutes long (including credits) for the micro short film category.

Each film may be entered into the competition only once. You may submit multiple projects as long as they meet the submission criteria.

You can submit your film to the following categories (please, choose the ones that suit your film best):

Narrative short – fictional films of any genre, under 30 minutes long.
Documentary short - documentary films of any genre, under 30 minutes long.
Micro short film – fictional, experimental or documentary film of any genre, under 5 min long.
Experimental film – any art that doesn’t follow traditional narrative format, under 30 minutes long.
Student Film – fictional, documentary or experimental film of any genre, completed by an undergraduate or graduate student, under 30 minutes long.
First-Time Director - fictional, documentary or experimental film of any genre, under 30 min long. The film MUST be the first or second film for the director.
Young Directors (18 y.o. and under) – any type or genre, created by a young DIRECTOR 18 years old or younger, under 30 minutes long.

All non-English films must be submitted with English subtitles. Failure to provide working subtitles will result disqualification without refund of submission fees.

All projects must be uploaded directly to FilmFreeway or submitted as a password protected Vimeo link attached to your submission. We do not accept DVD or Blue-ray submissions or links via email. The films must be available to stream; any films that must be downloaded will be disqualified.

Work in progress is accepted, however your submission should be clearly marked as work in progress or a rough cut.

All submission fees are to be paid through FilmFreeway. The submission fee is non-refundable.

The New York World Film Festival reserves the right to reject any submission without explaining the reason. 

The New York World Film Festival reserves the right to disqualify any submission without explaining the reason. 


The New York World Film Festival DOES NOT PAY SCREENING FEES for submitted and selected films. By submitting your project, you acknowledge that The New York World Film Festival will not pay to present your work.

Coming soon.

Overall Rating
  • Kate Weare

    New York World Film Festival was really warm and wonderful to work with, and we will certainly be applying again with future films. One of the performers from our film was able to attend the screening in person and accept our trophy for best experimental film - thank you for that lovely gesture!

    January 2023
  • Jeffrey Huang

    Well organized film festival with fantastic communication. Thank you for selecting my film and nominating me for the "Young Directors" Category. - Jeffrey Huang, Branson

    November 2022
  • Interesting festival that bets on risky proposals.

    December 2021
  • I was so honored to have been nominated for an award at the NYWFF! The team answered questions in a very warm and welcoming way. Although it was virtual, the festival itself was well organized, and the team immediately corrected the small problem with my film’s link. These little things always happen—what shows the quality and engagement of the staff is how they respond, and the team here was perfect! I hope they will gain IMDb status, I would be proud to add my nomination for Best Young Director to my film.

    May 2021
  • Mimi Garrard

    We are very happy to be a part of this fine festival.

    Mimi Garrard

    May 2021