Stories by the River Film Festival is a unique and engaging opportunity for New England filmmakers to have their short films seen by an enthusiastic live audience, network with other filmmakers, and receive meaningful accolades for their work. Awards will be given and will benefit directors, writers, cast, and crew--which means that everyone could walk away with something more with which to promote themselves.

We love stories that dare to ask big question, explore life's challenges, or give audiences a fresh take on things. Stories by the River is a non-profit film production and distribution arm of The River South Center on the south shore of Boston, and we believe is celebrating and encouraging the next generation of filmmakers in New England!

- The Stories by the River Award for Excellence in Storytelling
- Best Picture
- Best Director
- Best Screenplay
- Best Ensemble Cast
- Best Production Design
- Best Cinematography
- Best Editing
- Audience Favorite
- Additional certificates will be awarded that evening for exceptional work to directors, cast and crew.

1. We will accept for consideration up to 40 films with a connecting to New England. Once we have reached that number, we will no longer accept submissions. So get your submissions in early.
2. We will only consider up to 2 (two) submissions from the same filmmaker. So please select your best work to submit.
3. Films must be produced in New England or have a significant connection to the region such having a director, writer, or producer who is from the region.
4. Please include a cover letter detailing your film's connection to New England (see previous rule). Films without such a connection will be disqualified! So be sure to include a cover letter detailing your film's connection to New England to ensure your film will be passed along to our judges and not disqualified for lack of information!
5. Maximum length of films: 30 minutes. NOTE: We prefer films that are 20 minutes and under, but we will definitely consider films up to 30 minutes in length if they really impress us and meet our festival's goals.
6. No graphic violence or erotic films.
7. Any genre of short film is welcome (excluding those listed above).
8. Films that examine the human condition and ask questions about life are highly encouraged. Films need not answer the questions they pose. (If you’d like more information on this, feel free to watch a few Stories by the River films:
9. Online submissions only: Vimeo, You Tube, or FilmFreeway video. These links may be private or password protected (be sure to provide us with the password). We cannot accept physical submissions by mail.
10. A panel of judges selected by Mikel J. Wisler and Kristina Stone Kaiser (co-founders of Stories by the River) will screen all eligible submissions. Selected film will then be presented with nominations for awards. Nominees will be chosen based on exceptional work and good storytelling. Nominees will be announced prior to the festival. Awards will be announced at the festival and certificates will be presented at the awards ceremony.
11. If your film is selected, we will ask you for either a Quicktime File we can use at the festival. We will need either .mov or .mp4 file to play your film the night of the festival. Files should not exceed 2 GB in size. We will ask that you upload the file to the festival's DropBox folder. Selected filmmakers will be sent instructions via email when notified of selection.

Overall Rating
  • Jeff Palmer

    Mikel, Kristina and the crew at Stories by the River put on an incredibly organized, thoughtfully curated and well-attended event. I was impressed with the collection of strong films, the spread of (free) refreshments and their screening format. The video projection was bright and the sound quality was solid. Great networking opportunities as well. Highly recommended!

    February 2017
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much, Jeffery! So glad to have you as part of our festival.