The Stony Brook Film Festival is produced by the Staller Center for the Arts on the campus of Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY. The festival in 2021 will be the 26th year of this very competitive and highly selective ten-day festival. All films are shown on our 40 foot screen in the Staller Center’s Main Stage Theater which seats over a 1000. Filmmakers who attend may be provided with travel assistance, lodging, and access to all our parties and events.

The festival works very hard to make sure that all films selected get seen by as many people as possible, including film industry insiders, distributors and other festival programmers. We also work very hard to insure that each screening has as close to a sold out house as possible. Our festival averages over 14,000 attendees, which includes passholders and single ticket buyers.

Over the past 25 years the Stony Brook Film Festival has shown numerous New York, East Coast, US and World Premieres from over 76 different countries, and more than 250 of them have been directed by women.

Attendeees have included Alan Alda, Thora Birch, Celine Bonnier, Steve Buscemi, Brian Cox, Dana Delany, Stephen Dorff, Matthew Glave, Karoline Herfurth, Sylvia Hoeks, Brent Huff, Nathan Lane, Ralph Macchio, Jena Malone, Mary Stuart Masterson, Tim Blake Nelson, Joe Pantoliano, Christopher Plummer, Lewis Pullman, John Putch, Missi Pyle, Eran Riklis, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Campbell Scott, Leelee Sobieski, Meg Steedle, David Strathairn, Tilda Swinton, Martin Talbot, Christine Vachon, Valerie Weiss and many others.

Travel assistance, lodging, awards, prizes and gifts are provided at upwards of $50,000 in value. Every festival includes Jury and Audience Choice Awards, as well as other awards recognizing special achievements given at the discretion of the Jury.

Audience Choice Best Feature

Audience Choice for Best Short

Jury Award for Best Feature

Jury Award for Best Short

We accept features and shorts in narrative, documentary and animated categories.

Films must not have been screened in U.S. prior to March 1, 2020 and must not have been completed prior to December 1, 2019.

We accept the following screening formats: DCP, MPEG 2, Pro Res 422, Blu-Ray or contact us.

Competition is open to U.S. and International entries.

No more than a total of 2 (two) submissions are permitted per director, and no more than a total of 5 (five) submissions are permitted per distributor or producer, regardless of film categories. If you are a distributor and would like to submit more than five films please email us your request and we will get back to you.

Feature films are 30 minutes in length or longer. Short films are under 30 minutes in length.

Films not in English must be subtitled in English.

Films that have shown theatrically or broadcast on television in New York prior to the Festival or are available on DVD or VOD are not generally eligible for consideration.

Overall Rating
  • Hasan Oswald

    Wow, what a festival.

    We were lucky enough to screen at this year's festival and even managed to take home an award.

    Although online for the first time, I can't speak highly enough about how this festival is run, and about those who run it. They put their whole hearts into this thing and it really shows.

    Just an absolutely legendary festival and crew.

    January 2021
  • L Zipoy

    It doesn't get any better than the Stony Brook Film Festival. I would give the fest 10 stars, if I could. The programming is off the charts amazing. And, the fest's pivot to the digital world has been seamless. The communication is wonderful, and the dedicated team, including Alan Inkles and Kent Marks, are a filmmaker's dream. Truly. I look forward to making another film so I can submit it to this wonderful fest.

    November 2020
    Response from festival:

    The feeling is absolutely mutual. You are a Festival Director’s dream as well. Receptive, complimentary and tremendously supportive of both the festival and your fellow filmmakers. Oh and by the way, a pretty amazing filmmaker as well! Can’t wait to show your next film IN PERSON 😍

  • Leonardo António

    Wonderful team and amazing organization. congratulations!

    August 2020
  • Nitzan Mager

    We were at Stony Brook with a short film, and now with our first feature. This festival does not disappoint. Possibly the best screening experience a filmmaker could ask for-- huge venue, huge built-in audience (no hustling to fill seats-- at all). We had a fantastic roundtable interview with fellow filmmakers, taped in front of a live audience. And the hospitality is first class. Really had a great experience and would absolutely recommend!

    January 2020
  • Nate Duncan

    This was my first time going through the festival circuit and before I started submitting my film I ask a couple of filmmaker friends, who had gone to over 100 festivals, which festivals were their favorite. Out of that conversation, I was told that Stony Brook was within the top 3 for each of them. I have to admit, I had never even heard of the Stony Brook Film Festival before they mentioned it but decided I would take their advice and submit my film. I was fortunate enough to get in and I can now tell you after going that this is by far one of the best festivals I have ever been too. The entire Stony Brook staff are extremely easy to communicate with and they will really take care of you. They have a beautiful facility where they screen the films at the University and they do a great job of packing out the screenings. They offer a wonderful Q&A following the screenings and treat you like royalty, they provided pickup and drop off to and from the airport and helped out with our travel. I would highly recommend submitting to this festival.

    August 2019