FESTIVAL DATES for the next edition: March 15-23, 2023 - Hybrid edition - Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Centre (Lincoln Center), Cinema Village, Uptown Dear Mama, Maison Francaise, Columbia University, JCC Harlem, West Harlem neighboring venues - and online.

PLEASE READ THE DESCRIPTION, THE RULES, and THE TERMS thoroughly before completing your submission.

SRFF does NOT waive entry fees. In some exceptional cases, discount codes are offered.

SRFF believes waiving entry fees hurts the integrity of the competition.

The same rules and entry fees should apply to all applicants so no one film is favored over another. We understand the financial constraint of making films and the costs involved in submitting them to Festivals. However, we also feel that submitting for free does not help anyone as it takes the seriousness out. It is important to research well and submit your film only to the festivals that are a good match and that will best help your career and your film's career move forward.

In some exceptional cases, we offer discount waivers to individual filmmakers from partner organizations. Special student discount waivers (with ID) are offered.

SR Socially Relevant™ Film Festival NY is a film festival that focuses exclusively on socially relevant human interest stories that raise awareness of social problems by offering positive solutions through the powerful medium of cinema. SRFF believes that through raised awareness, knowledge about diverse cultures, and the human condition as a whole, it is possible to create a better world free of violence, hate, and crime.

SR Socially Relevant™ Film Festival New York shines the spotlight on filmmakers who tell compelling, socially relevant™ narratives across a broad range of social issues without resorting to gratuitous violence and violent forms of filmmaking.

SRFF's human interest stories and character-driven films reflect good storytelling as shorts, documentaries, narrative features, web series, children's films, animation, and scripts in competition.

SR films can be commercially viable and can become box office successes when distributed through the proper channels and platforms. We put filmmakers in touch with our distributor industry partners.

SR Films are enlightening, uplifting, entertaining, but most of all artistically appealing.

SRFF - Socially Relevant Film Festival New York is a festival that focuses on socially relevant film content and human interest stories covering a broad range of social issues.

SR aims to showcase socially relevant films of high artistic value that educate, enlighten, entertain, and that can be commercially viable. Socially Relevant films can be funny, dramatic, romantic, adventurous, comical, suspenseful, intellectually challenging, historical, psychologically inclined, or tell a story that matters. In short, SR films can be anything BUT boring!

THE MISSION of the Festival is to spotlight filmmakers and their films that tackle the social and environmental issues of the day without relying on gratuitous violence, special effects, loud soundtracks, and sensationalism to draw in an audience. The festival supports its filmmakers beyond the weeklong festival, as it showcases the selection of films in other venues, events throughout the year, and some major film markets and festivals, such as it has done at the Cannes Film Festival.

Founded by Artistic Director Nora Armani, SRFF is based in New York. SRFF launched in Manhattan, the entertainment capital of the world in March 2014 as the festival's inaugural year at the Quad Cinema in Greenwich Village in New York City.

To date, SRFF has screened an international slate of over 620 films from 39 countries since its inception in 2013. The festival offers industry panels on Distribution, Storytelling, Diversity Casting, Marketing, and Film Finance in partnership with the School of Visual Arts Social Documentary Film School, and organizes spotlight panels on such themes as Empowering women, Low Budget Film Production workshop with SAG-AFTRA, Filming in New York with the NY Governor's Office for Film and TV Development. Script readings and more. New categories that are added are Children's Films, Web series, and Animation.

Filmmaker Q&A's follow most of the screenings where filmmakers are present in the case of almost all the feature films and most short films when possible. "Meet the Filmmaker" live broadcasts are held on a regular basis and broadcast live on YouTube and Facebook. The festival is devoted solely to filmmakers who deal with socially relevant film content. The film selections are made following the submission process on FilmFreeway.

The launch of the Socially Relevant film festival coincides with the growing trends related to socially conscientious consumers who seek alternatives to invasive films that rely on gratuitous violence and sensationalism to make box office numbers.

More information can be found at https://www.ratedsrfilms.org

In order to qualify for competition selection, films MUST be at least NEW YORK PREMIERES, preferably the US or North American premieres, or even World Premieres...

For Documentary films, we go three years back (for SRFF 2024 we will go back exceptionally to 2020). The documentary submitted should be made on January 1st four years before the year of the festival, or later, meaning January 1st, 2020, or later.

For narrative features, we go two years back. For SRFF 2024, we will exceptionally go back 3 years, until 2021. The feature film should be made less than three years before the festival year or later, meaning January 1st, 2021, or later.

Shorts films follow the same guidelines, though in some cases, with shorts that we really like, we are more flexible both with the New York premiere status and the year of completion but not older than 2020.

Donated by festival partner Cinema Libre Studio of Los Angeles, In-kind winning awards (a total value of $20-25K) are offered in rewards. At the Jury's discretion, a Jury Special Mention is also awarded to films in the different categories.

Donated by festival partner Cinema Libre Studio of Los Angeles, a leader in the field of distribution and production. This award may not be exchanged for a monetary reward and is only in kind. Check the festival website for past winners and also the award categories that change and develop annually.

At the Jury's discretion, a Jury Special Mention Award is presented in this category.

Donated by festival partner digital distribution platform IndiePix, 5-6 titles curated by the festival from the slate of short films in the narrative and documentary categories will be released under the heading SR Socially Relevant Film Festival Collection. These will be promoted and streamed for pay-per-view or DVD release on the IndiePix Site. Filmmakers selected will be offered a proper distribution agreement.

Up to three finalists of the best screenplay competition category submitted to the festival selected by a special jury are offered the InkTip. A similar prize is offered by ISA (International Scriptwriting Association) which implies high visibility for the winning script.

Also for Screenwriters:
InkTip Script Listing: Winners will receive a 4-month InkTip Pro Membership. As an InkTip Pro Member, thousands of filmmakers can find and read your scripts, and you'll be able to pitch directly to production companies every week. With over 3,000 options and 400 movies made, InkTip is the place for independent film

We also have an award offered by Network ISA, which includes a 12-month inclusion on their platform, which is normally a paying service, to the winning script.

Programming of the festival is done by the collective and professionals on the advisory and selection committee, the final program is curated by the team based on these recommendations. We favor submissions that are made on our submissions platform FilmFreeway.

The Jury of the different categories is composed of distinguished and established international and US professionals from all disciplines and the voting takes place confidentially and anonymously.

1. Best Narrative Feature: Winning feature film. 1/2 day consultation with Cinema Libre for deliverables, packaging, and promotion. New awards are negotiated and announced annually.
2. Best Documentary Feature: Winning Documentary Distribution deal with IndiePix. Packaging and Consultation from Cinema Libre for the winning Documentary and discounts for post-production work.
Distribution on Digital Platform IndiePix. Check the festival website for details. www.ratedsrfilms.org
3. Screenwriting contest: Winners will receive a 4-month InkTip Pro Membership. As an InkTip Pro Member, thousands of filmmakers can find and read your scripts, and you'll be able to pitch directly to production companies every week. With over 3,000 options and 400 movies made, InkTip and ISA is the place for independent film. Other scriptwriting prizes include optioning a screenplay for possible production.
4. More awards are announced annually, depending on categories. Awards change, are added to, and reformulated depending on Jury recommendations.
Best Narrative Feature.
Best Documentary Feature
Best Narrative Short
Best Documentary Short
The Vania Exerjian Honor Award.

Additional awards:
The IndiePix Vision Award - A winner selected by IndiePix from the festival slate.
The Women Film Critics Circle Award - selected by WFCC from the narrative short films.

The festival has also given out, and gives (upon merit, and this varies from year to year):
The Ingenuity Award - Given to a film that has achieved a lot with nothing.
The SR Social Justice Award,
The Justice and Peace Award
The Lifetime Inspiration and/or Achievement Award
Pushing the Boundaries Award
Ensemble Film Award
Ingenuity Award

Brave Documentarist Award
Best Actor, Best Actress awards
The awards given out each year are selected from these award categories.

Trophies designed and donated by our partners, and special City Winery SRFF-labeled wines (discontinued until further notice), are offered to the winners. Lost Pattern silk scarves with the festival Logo on it.

The Justice and Peace Award, the Lifetime of Inspiration Award, the Career Recognition Award, Empowering Women and Girls Award in memory of Vania Exerjian, and the Women Film Critics Circle Award in addition to cash prizes and other smaller in-kind awards are presented by the festival and may develop in number and category, or change from one year to another.

SRFF reserves the right to:
* Use clips and images from the selected films for trailers and publicity usage:
and is protected by the filmmakers from any third-party claims.
* Screen the winning films in other SRFF-related events internationally, and recommend the winning films to other international partner film festivals that collaborate with SRFF upon approval by the filmmakers.



Films that are in the official selection may not screen anywhere in the Greater New York Tri-State area within two months of the festival at a public screening, even in a shorter or slightly different version.

The following terms and conditions (the "Terms") govern the submission of a film (the "Film") or screenplay (the "Screenplay") to SR Film Festival New York ("SRFFNY"), through FilmFreeway.com (FilmFreeway) for consideration for the SR Socially Relevant Film Festival (the "Festival").

(1) By submitting a Film to SRFFNY for Festival consideration, the submitter (the "Applicant") represents that he or she has obtained consent from any and all owners, creators, writers producers, and/or other authorized representatives of the Film whose consent is required to submit the Film to SRFFNY (the "Film Owners"), and has read, understood and agreed to the Terms.

(2) SRFFNY may disqualify or reject, but is not required to do so, any submission that it determines in its sole discretion, is not in compliance, in whole or in part, with these Terms, and may do so without refunding any or all submission fees paid by the Applicant.

(3) As the author/rights owner of the film I/we have submitted to SRFFNY, I/we warrant as sole and exclusive owner/s of all legal rights and titles thereto have absolute authority to submit the film to SRFFNY. I/we will indemnify and hold harmless SRFFNY, its judges, sponsors, and partners, individually and collectively, from and against all claims, demands, losses, damages, costs, liabilities, and expenses including legal expenses arising out of or in connection with any and all third party claims based on films submitted to SRFFNY. SRFFNY winners will permit SRFFNY to use their name and/or likeness in post-competition publicity. By signing this form I/we understand and agree to all the terms and conditions of film entry. I have read through and agree to the SR Socially Relevant Film Festival New York Entry Procedure, Rules, Guidelines, and all Terms, and Conditions.

(4) As author/rights owner of the film I/we grant legal permission to include my/our film in the promotional distribution program. I/we own or control the copyright for the motion picture and have secured all the rights for the locations, music, actors, scripts, likenesses, products, etc.

(5) In the case of any rights related to Errors and Omissions, I, the filmmaker and submitter, relieve the festival of any responsibility of libel resulting from copyright infringement. I take full responsibility for such.

(1) Films submitted for Festival consideration under these Terms must be submitted in one of the categories set out below.

(2) Films that do not meet the eligibility requirements for any of the below categories should not be submitted and will not be considered by SRFFNY.

(3) The Festival is organized into a series of programs, which are subject to change from year to year, but might include, for example, a Gala, Closing Night, panel discussions, screenings, spotlight events, Q&As, etc. SRFFNY may slot selected films into programs at its sole and absolute discretion.

(4) SRFFNY expects all Films that it presents at the Festival to be, at minimum, North American or New York premieres, but reserves the right to present films that are not.

(5) A Film previously submitted to SRFFNY for Festival consideration can be re-applied for the festival in the following years, if not selected.

(6) Films submitted online via FilmFreeway's online screeners could receive preference. Films selected for the festival slate will be screened on BluRay or on DCP. Additional details regarding these screening formats will be provided to selected Films upon invitation on pre-selection. SRFFNY does not screen work in any other format in the current year.

(7) Festival organizers and persons associated with the festival can submit films for screening and screenplays for consideration (out of competition).

(8) Winning films are to present, at their own production's expense, the screening or distribution deliverables as requested by the festival venue, the distributor, or exhibitor as the case might be.

(9) Selected film screeners are not returned unless an SAE is included from the start and a special request is made to this effect.


Submission Procedure

(1) All Films submitted under these Terms must be submitted in accordance with the procedure outlined herein. SRFFNY may disqualify or reject any Film that is not submitted in this way.

(2) To submit a film for Festival consideration, an Applicant must: (a) complete the registration process at FilmFreeway and pay the required fee as outlined in the different categories and (b) provide to SRFFNY a FilmFreeway online screener for review by SRFFNY programming staff. SRNY does not accept submissions in any other manner or format, including content burned to Read/Write (RW) discs, Blu-ray discs, or trailers. Please make sure to provide a link on FilmFreeway or a password-protected link on Vimeo, YouTube, etc.

(3) The submitted online material must:
a. contain one version only of the Film, in the original language of production, with English subtitles if the original language is not English;
b. be formatted in MPEG-2 video or .mov file.
The submitted screener hard drives or USB keys, must:
A. be labeled with the following: (I) the film title, (ii) production company name, phone number, and address, (iii) director's name, (iv) length in minutes, and (v) FilmFreeway tracking number;
B. be shipped in accordance with the shipping instructions set out below in sections 8 through 11.

(4) Applicants should test their HDs and USB keys thoroughly before shipping them. It is the Applicant's sole responsibility to ensure that the submitted screener plays in its entirety on an industry-standard projection. If SRFFNY is unable to view the file or BluRay backup, SRFFNY will attempt but is under no obligation, to contact the Applicant in order to obtain a replacement BluRay or to burn one for screening purposes
(5) SRFFNY will not review multiple versions of a submitted Film. Only one version of the Film may be submitted. If multiple versions are submitted, SRFFNY will view only the version that was received first.
(6) HD & DCP screeners will not be returned unless self-addressed stamped packaging is included, or postage is otherwise paid for.
HDs, BluRays, and DCP screeners that are sent as deliverables after the selection of the film may be returned after the festival ONLY if a self-addressed, postage-paid, return envelope is included when sending in the deliverables.
(7) All Films must be sent by way of prepaid shipping. SRFFNY will not accept collect shipments.
(8) The Festival is not responsible for and will not accept shipments incurring expenses for terminal charges, duties, taxes, or customs brokerage. Applicants should clearly indicate on all waybills that transportation and customs charges are to be billed to the sender. Any shipping charges incurred by SRFFNY will be billed back to the Applicant.
(9) Films should not be shipped in excessive packaging or with any materials other than those requested by SRFFNY. Please make sure to pack HDs/ BluRays and DCPs properly as many boxes arrive totally damaged in transit and with no label.
(10) SRFFNY is not responsible and bears no liability with respect to the clearance of shipments through US customs. However, SRFFNY recommends that Applicants sending submissions from outside of the USA take the following steps to increase the chance of successful review by US customs:
a. Include three copies of a commercial invoice (declaration of contents) containing the following information: i. Sender's name, address, and telephone number ii. Recipient's address iii. Title of film and format iv. The runtime of the film v. Fair market value (standard is US $20) vi. Country of manufacture vii. Declaration "Goods on loan for Festival purposes only. No commercial value." viii. Sender's signature.
b. The commercial invoice should be included with the courier waybill. Applicants shipping via international post should affix a customs declaration label to the outside of the package.
c. SRFFNY prefers FedEx, UPS, or DHL where available. If sent by the regular post office, it is preferable to not make it 'registered mail with signature request' as the post office often does not deliver packages even when we are in, and that obliges us to go to the post office and waste a lot of precious time in queues.
(11) SRFFNY does not confirm receipt of shipment and is not responsible for lost or misdirected packages. It is the Applicant's responsibility to ensure that the submission procedure is completed and that the HD/ BluRay/ DCP screener has been received by SRFFNY.

Screenplays should be submitted as completed screenplays (PDF).
As the author of the screenplay, I/we have submitted to SRFFNY, I/we warrant as the sole and exclusive owner/s of all legal rights and titles thereto have absolute authority to submit the screenplay to SRFFNY. I/we will indemnify and hold harmless SRFFNY, its judges, sponsors, and partners, individually and collectively, from and against all claims, demands, losses, damages, costs, liabilities, and expenses including legal expenses arising out of or in connection with any and all third party claims based on scripts submitted to SRFFNY. SRFFNY winners will permit SRFFNY to use their name and/or likeness in post-competition publicity.
By submitting to the festival I/we hereby agree to the contents of this form, and I/we understand and agree to all the terms and conditions of films and screenplay entry. I have read through and agree to the SR Socially Relevant Film Festival New York Entry Procedure, Rules, Guidelines, and all Terms and Conditions.

(1) In order to be eligible for consideration, submissions must be complete, FilmFreeway registration completed, and all fees paid, by the deadlines outlined in the categories.
(2) SRFFNY may accept late submissions at its discretion, but an additional submission fee may apply as specified in the different categories.

SRFFNY will consider for inclusion in the Festival all eligible films that have been submitted by the above deadline and in accordance with these Terms. SRNY reserves the right to consider for inclusion in the Festival and includes in the Festival, films received at any time and through any means, channel, or process, including means, channels, or processes other than those outlined in these Terms. Nothing in these Terms or otherwise requires SRFFNY to select for Festival inclusion any of the Films submitted through the process outlined in these Terms.

(1) All selection decisions are at the sole and absolute discretion of SRFFNY and are final and non-reviewable. SRFFNY is not required to provide any feedback, comments, reasons, or any other information, regarding the selection or non-selection of any submitted Film or the process by which Films are or have been selected. SRFFNY is not responsible or liable for its selection decisions; for the contents of any internal comments or feedback regarding the Film that are or may be obtained from the Applicant or anyone else; for any communications by any representative of SRFFNY relating to the Film or the Festival selection process; for the manner in which the Film shall be, is or was considered and reviewed; or for any failure on the part of the Festival to provide the Applicant or anyone else with information concerning SRFFNY's consideration and/or review of the Film.
(2) SRFFNY will notify on or before January 15th, all applicants who have been selected to participate in the Festival. All Applicants who are not selected to participate in the Festival will be contacted by email on or around February 5th. SRFF will contact Applicants using the contact information provided in the FilmFreeway registration form. It is the applicant's responsibility to provide the correct contact information. SRFFNY is not responsible for any failed attempts to contact Applicants using the contact information provided.

(1) By submitting the film to SRFFNY, the Applicant and Film Owners (the "Submitting Parties") hereby warrant and represent that: (i) the film is wholly original and is not copied from and does not include any other work that is the subject of copyright or other protection, unless such work is in the public domain or the Submitting Parties have obtained any and all consents, releases, licenses, and other authorizations or waivers of any kind necessary for the inclusion or reproduction of any person, character, location, thing, trade-mark, sound recording, musical composition or other work in the film; (ii) the film does not defame any person or violate the common law or statutory rights, including, without limitation, the rights of privacy and publicity or any other right of any person; (iii) the film is not the subject of litigation; (iv) there are no agreements, nor will there be any agreements made subsequent to the date of this Film submission that would or could have the effect of impairing the Submitting Parties' ability to provide the film as contemplated herein, or otherwise conflict with any provision of these Terms; and (iv) the Submitting Parties have the full right, power and authority to submit the film to SRFFNY for Festival consideration, and to grant all of the rights granted hereunder and in the FilmFreeway registration form, and there is no obligation or disability which would in any way impair, restrict or impede the Submitting Parties from fully performing all obligations pursuant to the submission and these Terms.

(2) The Submitting Parties agree to indemnify and hold harmless SRFFNY, its licensees, successors, and assigns, and its and their members, officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, associates, and affiliates (each, a "Releasee"), from any claim, suit, action or other proceeding brought against a Releasee and from any losses, costs, or damages, including the Releasee's full legal costs, which it may have suffered or incurred or may suffer or incur, directly or indirectly based on, in connection with, or arising from the use and exhibition of the Film submitted by the Applicant or the breach or alleged breach of any representation, warranty or other agreement made by the Applicant in these Terms, or in the Applicant's FilmFreeway registration form.

(3) SRFFNY takes all reasonable anti-piracy precautions. While in SRFFNY's possession, all Films are securely stored and regularly inventoried. Access to Films is limited to SRFFNY staff who require access in order to screen and consider submissions. No duplication and loaning of Films are permitted. By submitting a Film to SRFFNY, the Submitting Parties hereby release SRFFNY from any and all liability in the event of theft, unauthorized access or copying, or any breach of copyright of the submitted Film while it is in SRFFNY's possession.

(1) SRFFNY reserves the right to rule, in its sole discretion, on cases and situations not foreseen by these Terms. Condition and unforeseen changes and circumstances may arise in which case SRFFNY will do its best to retain the status quo but may have in certain circumstances to make necessary changes to accommodate such unforeseen circumstances.
The person who has completed this entry form confirms having READ and AGREES TO ABIDE BY all regulations and statements provided herein.
(2) Some conditions may change without notice. It is the responsibility of each applicant to verify such changes and decide their position accordingly.
(3) Most awards are given by partner organizations and although SRFFNY makes sure to honor all awards as announced, in some unexpected cases substitutions may occur that are not in SRFFNY's control and that is the sole discretion of the awarding parties. SRFFNY apologizes in advance for any inconveniences resulting from such unexpected and rare changes or substitutions.

SRFF reserves the right to:
* Use clips and images from the selected films for trailers and publicity usage:
and is protected by the filmmakers from any third-party claims.
* Screen the winning films in other SRFF-related events internationally, and recommend the winning films to other international partner film festivals that collaborate with SRFF after the approval of the filmmakers.

Overall Rating
  • Sandra Fox-sohner

    Great people! Good review and advice.

    May 2023
  • Giulia Olivieri

    Super good experience! Nora, the founder, really cares about her filmmakers, she and her team organize events to let them them join the networking experience of the Festival. Good films too, interesting, touching and on various topics.

    April 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Giulia!
    It was wonderful to meet you and screen your unique film.
    I am glad you had an opportunity to be present in person and make the most of this experience.

  • Even though I couldn't attend the festival, I had an amazing experience with the SRFF team. From the warm message of my film selection, remote events/interviews, networking opportunities, close communication about schedules etc., everything was excellent. The festival organizers, especially Nora's motivation and hard work to make this festival the best experience, was inspiring. I highly recommend it.

    April 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Alexandrine,
    Congratulations on your win and good luck for the future of your film and your directing career.

  • karen kramer

    It is rare these days to find a film festival that is so well-run and fantastic. For weeks before the festival even started Nora sent us great information about screenings, zoom meetings, events. From start to finish the respect and priority were always for the filmmakers. Good films, good networking, good happy hours, this is the way a film festival should be. Although the festival has been over for several weeks I can't stop talking about it to friends. Highly recommended.

    April 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your kind words Karen,
    It was a pleasure having you with us this year and screening your film Which was one of the audience favorites.
    We hope to see you again in the near future with more of your work. Or even without a film. Once a family always a family. For us all the filmmakers who come to the festival are like family.
    Best wishes,

  • Zivar Hojati

    All things was excellent. Thanks so much 😊🌺

    April 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Zivar,
    It was a pleasure screening your film and seeing you even though briefly.