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 2024 will be the 29th 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 28 years the Stony Brook Film Festival has shown numerous New York, East Coast, US and World Premieres from over 78 different countries, and more than 280 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, Rachel Keller, Nathan Lane, Bai Ling, Ralph Macchio, Jena Malone, Meaghan Martin, Mary Stuart Masterson, Tim Blake Nelson, Joe Pantoliano, Christopher Plummer, Lewis Pullman, John Putch, Missi Pyle, Daniel Rashid, Eran Riklis, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Campbell Scott, Jayson Warner Smith, 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, 2023 and must not have been completed prior to December 1, 2022.

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
  • An amazing festival that we can't recommend highly enough! The Stony Brook team was extremely hospitable, kind, and caring for us throughout every stage.

    It's hard to find a festival that cares so much about the way films are seen, but Stony Brook really went all out for everybody. Each night there's only one film screening at a time, which gives an opportunity for larger audiences and filmmakers to engage with every film personally. The Staller Center is an amazing venue, seating 1000 people with a great image and sound quality. Kent & Alan, as well as their whole devoted team - were consistently ensuring that we had the best experience, from giving us the time and opportunity to test out the film's DCP projection beforehand to see if any changes needed to be made, to accomodating us with rides to and from the festival, as well as setting up fun post-screening events each night.

    We are so grateful for everything! We've never had a better festival experience than this and will definitely be submitting future work! Festivals can be such a fantastic way to appreciate film as a community, and we felt very much in a supportive community through this festival, thanks in huge part to the attentive Stony Brook team.

    August 2023
  • This festival is one of the best. Fantastic theater, always a great lineup and pairing of shorts and features, in a beautiful campus setting. Really filmmaker friendly. Highly recommend.

    August 2023
  • Heidi Hutner

    The best experience ever!!! As filmmakers, we were treated like stars— taken care of in every way. Everything about the festival was exceptional. I love this festival. The other films were exceptional. Filmmakers, I can’t recommend this festival enough. Apply!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Thank you to Alan and Kent— you are a dream to work with. Thanks to the whole staff! Fantastic experience.

    August 2023
  • Josh Nathan

    From the moment we were accepted Stony Brook took care of us. The entire team running the festival is tight-knit and committed to running a smooth show and prioritizing each screening. I really can't recommend this festival enough as a place to showcase your work (large, engaged audiences on a really big screen) and to enjoy time with other talented filmmakers and to see their work. The Stony Brook Film Festival is special.

    August 2023
  • Sean Wainsteim

    Stony Brook is a festival experience unlike any other. Sure, there's the generosity, hospitality, kindness, exquisite programming by Alan and Kent and things like the wonderful drivers and volunteer community and the friendly filmmaker lounge and the incredible venue and engaged audiences, scenic setting and the chance to check your print (!!!)... many things foreign to those of us Indie filmmakers fortunate enough to be invited to festivals (especially indie short film makers -as if there were any other kind but indie). But... attention to little things often reveal how much the big things matter - and so there, in the top-secret hidden filmmaker bathroom, there was a supply of essentials - mouthwash and deodorant and feminine hygiene products readily accessible. All so you can be your very best when it's time for your Q&A amidst the screenings of some genuine masterpieces lovingly curated and brought to this treat of a fest. So extremely honoured to be invited with my short Demon Box... and highly recommended.

    July 2023