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 2019 will be the 24th 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. In 2018 we had over 14,000 attendees which included passholders and single ticket buyers.

Over the past 24 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 245 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, 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 features 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 July 1, 2018 and must not have been completed prior to January 1, 2018.

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
  • 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
  • Leon Chambers

    A wonderful festival that really champions the filmmaker. With only a small number of films selected and the films screened on huge screen in a 1,000 seat theatre, each film is given the perfect platform in front of a willing audience. And the fact they cover the cost you attending, it's hard to find something not to love about Stony Brook!

    August 2019
  • Hedva Goldschmidt

    "I had my U.S Premiere in the stony Brook Film Festival.
    I wish each one of you to have the opportunity to screen your film in such conditions: Amazing HUGE screen, best sound system and an audience of 1000 people!
    The festival is well organized, the team is extremely warm and nice. One of my best film festival experiences."

    Best regards,
    Ramy A. Katz

    August 2019
  • A really wonderful festival that honors and uplifts the filmmakers. The INTERMEDIUM team had a wonderful time in this beautiful area with such great people. A terrific place to premiere the film.

    August 2019
  • Sam Friedlander

    I can only say good things about Stony Brook Film Festival.

    Possibly the two most important things a film festival can do
    1- bring out an audience
    2- treat filmmakers well

    Stony Brook gets top marks on both.

    First off, if you’re film gets in, they treat you well by helping with travel, meals, accommodation, etc. They get A+ in hospitality and are in constant communication and very responsive.

    Secondly, their unique programming of 2 features, 2 shorts per night means that the festival audience isn’t fragmented and that you will get a HUGE turnout. We had about 1000 people in our screening. As a filmmaker, there’s nothing better a festival can do for your movie that bring out an enthusiastic and lively crowd to watch it.

    Honestly, all festivals should go to this format until they have enough of an audience to merit more screenings. Too many festivals admit dozens of films but then do nothing to bring an audience out to fill all those showtimes.

    I have screened 1 short and 1 feature at Stony Brook, and will definitely submit all my future projects there.

    Don’t miss this festival!!

    August 2019