Turning nine in 2019, QWFF includes an extremely popular multi-day annual film festival, year-round screening opportunities for QWFF alumni, special events to bring the Indie film community together, professional development opportunities and an educational initiative for youth and Seniors.

Our festival is about heart and guts. We LOVE a film that has a point of view and doesn't back off. This is a tough time on our planet and now is not the time to stop holding up the mirror and showing us who we are or what we have done or who we could be.

Now is not the time to back off from making sure that creative expression is alive and well in our country.

We are especially interested in maverick filmmakers of any orientation, ethnicity, country or region. Located in Queens, ‘The World’s Borough’ with 165 nationalities, we have an audience for your film.

Please challenge norms or take on systems. Please spill your guts, twist perceptions or scare us silly. We love horror, we love documentaries, the seriously funny and the uber real.

You can enter any of thousands of festivals. When you choose us, we don't take that lightly. We will give your film all of our attention in the screening process. If selected, you will be invited to the annual Festival Kick-Off event, the Press Conference at MoMI, the all hands on deck Trailer Party, publicity stunts, flash mobs, TV and radio interviews – we will build a community around you and your work.

So. Take a stand. Show us something you believe in. Bring on your craft and let's see what you got. Bring it.

2018 QWFF Statistics:
611 submissions representing 38 Nations, 47 from Queens and 33 alumni
189 acceptances representing 36 Nations, 31 from Queens and 21 alumni
65 films directed by women
3 screens between the Museum of the Moving Image and Kaufman Astoria Studios with 51 BLOCKS of incredible films serving 4,023 attendees.

SELECTION PROCESS: All films are screened by multiple members of our screening committee, using a score sheet that assess craft, technique, execution, material, originality and overall professionalism. High scoring films are moved into the Jury process which involves re-screenings and re-scorings.

PROGRAMMING: The festival is programmed by thematic BLOCKS with provocative titles, grouping complimentary films together to create specific cinematic experiences. Each BLOCK has a host and IS ALWAYS FOLLOWED BY A Q&A.

SPONSORS: QWFF is a 501c3 Non-Profit organization supported by City Council, Queens Council on the Arts / Department of Cultural Affairs grants, NYCommunity Bank, Investors Bank, Governor's Office of Film and Broadcasting, scores of local businesses and our incredible Friends of the Festival support group.

We award BEST and HONORABLE MENTION in every category, we include Best of Fest, Founders' Choice, Emerging Filmmaker and Unique Vision in our recognition. There are awards for excellence in Acting, Writing, Directing and Cinematography as well. If there is a film of special note that doesn't fit nicely into a category, often we design a special award to recognize that filmmaker's accomplishments.

Beyond the awards for BEST and HONORABLE MENTION in each category, there are special awards including 'Best of the Festival', 'Founder's Choice' for outstanding achievements. Prizes including professional memberships and other perks are announced as they are solidified.

Please read the submission information for your genre carefully.
All submissions must be an online screener.
We will watch your film. If there is an issue with your submission playing, we will notify you and give you every opportunity to get us a playable submission.
Foreign language work must be dubbed or subtitled in English.
Please do not send any paper press kits or any other print materials unless requested by the festival.

We notify those who will not be screening with us first.
Then we notify filmmakers who will be screening with us using the emails provided in the submission. The schedule will be posted on our website and each film screening with us will have a permanent page created for them on our website.

If selected we will ask for the highest quality downloadable file you can provide.
At that time, if you provide a drive it must come with a prepaid return package.
It is the filmmaker(s) responsibility to have all proper releases for any and all subject content. The opinion(s) expressed in the film are those of the filmmakers not the festival or it's associates.

Once your film has been accepted/scheduled into our festival, you may not withdraw your film. We work hard to create a great schedule and our venues aren't cheap. So. Please consider possible conflicts with other festivals BEFORE submitting to QWFF.

The responsibility for the shipping cost of any and all material(s) is that of the entrant. All material(s) must be prepaid. Any and all C.O.D's will be refused.

Although due care will be exercised by QWFF and its associates, friends and relatives, QWFF cannot accept responsibility for drives damaged or lost during shipping. The festival does not pay any rental fees for submitted work.

Overall Rating
  • Shawn Whitney

    The communication from QWFF was impeccable. They were organized, helpful and friendly and made us feel very welcome. They curated a great selection of films, that I felt privileged to get to see, in their beautiful venues. I did feel a little disconnected as, other than opening and closing nights, there didn't seem to be any organized social events to network with other filmmakers (I totally get the limited resources of smaller film festivals). Nonetheless, I would love to return in the future - and would make sure that I came earlier or stayed longer so that I could make the organized social events.

    May 2018
    Response from festival:

    thank you! I agree with your comment....I find that I am always making the decision between two number #1 priorities, and we always decide on the side of the screenings themselves. This year our go-to spot situated in-between both venues was closed for renovations and I just didn't find an alternative. I agree that it was a missed opportunity and I thank you for the note. We look forward to seeing what you come up with next do hope you come back!

  • Aaron Lehmann

    A great festival with a truly communal spirit. A ton of opportunities to meet talented filmmakers and to get the word out on your project.

    May 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Aaron! We appreciate your work and we will keep an eye on you!

  • Eva Depoorter

    What a wonderful experience it was to be part of Queens World Film Festival! Don and Katha did an amazing job: not only did they select an array of fantastic films and documentaries, they were also very helpful, hospitable and 100% dedicated. Besides the screenings, there were also lots of opportunities to mingle with other filmmakers and actors in a very casual and relaxed way. Queens World Film Festival is a festival 'from the heart'. And I am so honored to have witnessed it very closely.

    April 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you! It is our privilege and honor to screen the work of such a progressive and commanding filmmaker. The work that you create opens eyes and challenges boundaries and we were thrilled to include it in our 2018 lineup. Thank you!!!

  • The Queens World Film Festival was such an amazing experience. Don and Katha Cato are wunderkinds for what they are doing for the borough and for New York City. I am deeply humbled and appreciative to have screened with them and met them. They are exceptional human beings!

    April 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you! We are the lucky ones. Every year, it is incredible to find out how many more great human beings there are out there making art. It is our honor, completely our honor Orges!

  • Adam Vincent Wright

    Had the honor of screening at this festival two years in a row. Our screening was sold out and the opening night affair was a blast! Katha and Don work really hard to put together a first class festivital and it shows! So grateful and looking forward to visiting again!

    April 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for your work, your trust and your talent. We look forward to seeing what you come up with next!