The 2021 NewsFest will run LIVE from 7.26.2021 to 8.1.2021. Award winners will be honored at the live award show that is dedicated to them. Seminars, after-parties, events, screenings, and the film market will all be live.


The NewsFest — True Stories International Film and Writers Festival — is an exciting opportunity for documentarians, news professionals, news producers, anchors, field reporters, news crews and production teams, and, even the guy on the street, to have his/her/their work considered for an award.
Since its inception in 2019, this festival has offered a number of interesting categories in which to enter a piece. Those who have written manuscripts and screenplays based on true and actual events, and those who have composed original music to accompany features, series, segments, or music videos to go with them, are also eligible for coveted honors.
If you are a news professional, a documentarian, or a filmmaker who captures, reenacts, or adapts an authentic news event to a screenplay or narrative film, you’re invited to enter your work. This festival is not only for adults, but students, as well.
Whether you shot your footage on your smartphone or your fancy, studio-quality video camera — or anything in between — we want to see it.
One of the unique advantages of submitting to TheNewsFest is that category winners will have their winning entry televised in the local Las Vegas market! Also, all works will be judged by a panel of some of the most noted and award-winning news professionals in the business. (Judges will be announced in early June.)
The NewsFest has showcased important true stories from around the world. We offer 17 different categories.
Some of our previous winning filmmakers include: Rohini Ruhi Hak, who has brought us compelling stories from India, including her international award for “Got Cancer,” a story of
children battling cancer; Angela Koh of South Korea, whose stories take place in North and South Korea, while her other projects reveal the challenges with South Korean culture within the USA. Other winners include: Mederbek Zhalilov of Kyrgyzstan, who chronicled voter fraud in his own country; Thea Haavet, who told the story of Tim Peters, a brave refugee advocate, who smuggled desperate individuals from North Korea to freedom in South Korea. Then there was Arizona News television reporter, William Pitts, who shared some of his poignant hand-picked local stories — the ones that resonated with members of his community, and beyond. Joining him in taking awards was also Tommy Tucker, a U.S., citizen who cleverly documented his quest to urge his son to do his homework by holding up camera-friendly posters in various sports venues imploring his son to do better in school. Paul Foulkes of Japan told his own story of struggles with HIV and laid out the surprising gift that the disease had given him. Amy Leigh McCorkle, who allowed audiences to take an intimate look at her struggles with mental health as she chronicled her battles also received honors for her candid reporting. Anabelle Munro, who openly shared her own struggles with eating disorders, showed audiences how they could learn from her travails, Washington D.C. documentarian, Valerie Whitcomb, who recounted her brave account of her experience following a marijuana farmer in Tennessee; and Liane Scott, who brought the festival viewers the angst of the daily struggles among the members of that city’s Black community.
Past winning screenwriters have included award-winning writers such as the renowned Harold Brown of Canada; Ron Podell of Wyoming, John McCarney of Arizona, and Bob Messinger of New Jersey.
Among the winning music composers, we’ve honored Jill Sissel, Barbara Heller, The Poppyseeds, Paul Helou, and Jay Mullings.
The NewsFest is an unusual event under the Megafest umbrella — one that garners a great deal of interest as “real” stories are told in different news formats!

Selected Projects receive:
Selection Laurels
All Access Pass to the NewsFest and to the MegaFest of which it is a part. This is a $900 value and includes All MegaFest screenings, seminars and Parties (excluding Award Shows, Private or Charity events/screenings).

Winners will receive:
Certificate and/or Trophy
Overall Winners will have their winning entry televised in the local LA viewing area.

We are Accepting submissions focused on documentaries, feature films and scripts based on true stories and the news- local, regional, state, national or international. We are accepting film productions, written word, music and photography submissions. We want to read/see your work. If you are a documentary filmmaker, true story writer or filmmaker, news anchor, reporter, DP, AD, copywriter, producer, writer, editor, assignment editor, photojournalist, musician, etc. you can submit your work.

All entries will be judged on content, creativity, imagery, story and skill of the storyteller. News Productions, Historic pieces, and "True Story" films from created between 2010 to July 2022 may be submitted. Works in progress will be accepted. Online screeners are accepted for submission and for consideration by the Selection Committee but not for exhibition. Photos should be submitted as Jpegs with submitter’s name in the file name.

All Accepted Films must be submitted on MPEG4 (emailed and on thumbdrive) for exhibition. Screeners/thumbdrives are not returned.
We will NOT accept online Films for exhibition screening.
PAL system is NOT accepted.

Each entry must be submitted separately.
All entries must be sent to The NewsFest prepaid and, for your own protection, should be insured. MPEG4s, DCPs submitted will not be returned. If Submitting DCP, please note the theater charges the filmmaker a fee ($300+) and a back-up Thumb drive is STILL REQUIRED. Screening times are dependent upon receipt of the screeners (MPEG4) and support materials (stills, poster art, and trailer if available). Please note Support materials (postcards, posters promo items) are not returned.

Films and Screenplays SELECTED for The NewsFest will be announced no later than July 12, 2021 (exceptions may be made if deemed necessary by TNF).
Every Entry must include an Electronic Press Kit and Downloadable Trailer and trailer link.

All presentation materials (posters, post cards, goody bag promos) and screening MPEG4s, DCPs for TNF must arrive at the MegaFest Offices no later than July 17, 2021. If screening files and screening thum bdrives are not received by this date the film will be pulled. NO EXCEPTIONS.

DCPS must be logged out, signed for, and picked up after your screening.
WE DO NOT RETURN/SHIP screening materials or promo materials (posters, postcards, goody bag items).
We will NOT accept online screeners for exhibition purposes.
PAL Formatted discs will not be accepted.

Please notify us by email of any address changes. Failure to provide screening materials will result in disqualification and the film being pulled from screening.

Please note TNF will NOT return or ship materials back to the submitter once the festival has commenced (this includes thumb drives, DCPs, posters, postcards, or promo materials)

All entries should be mailed to:
The NewsFest
C/O Theresa Coscarelli-Weston
3540 W. Sahara Ave. #283
Las Vegas, NV 89102

Submitting filmmakers acknowledge they have the legal right to exhibit the film and the collateral/promo materials at The NewsFest.

The NewsFest and MegaFest are hereby granted the right to utilize footage and promotional materials supplied by the submitting agent from any film submitted and accepted film, video, or project for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes. All accepted filmmakers agree that The NewsFest may use footage from their projects in order to promote the festival, their film or TNF Event via print, web and broadcast television. The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless TNF, its producers, vendors, sponsors, MegaFest, and supporters from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.
Written Word Submission Rules.

We are also currently accepting written word submissions: news-related scripts/ copy as: features shorts, short shorts, scenes, poetry, and prose.

One copy of an original screenplay or other written uploaded as a PDF file will be accepted. (Do NOT include more than 1 version). We do not accept hardcopy scripts.

The screenplay should be in standard industry format (12 point Courier).
Only one copy, draft, or version of any screenplay may be submitted by an entrant or entrants per submission.

Under no circumstances will substitutions of either corrected pages or new drafts of an entry screenplay be allowed under the original submission. Corrected or edited screenplays must be resubmitted as a NEW entry and will require a separate submission fee.

Multi-part scripts should be submitted as separate, stand-alone screenplays.
Features that are over 120 pages must be submitted as 2 different entries.
Entry fees will not be returned or adjusted.

Submissions must be the original work of the entrant(s) and may not be based, in whole or in part, on any other fiction or nonfiction material, published or unpublished, produced or un-produced.

Entries may, however, be adapted from the entrant’s (or entrants’) original work, which should be noted in the logline required on the application form.
Entries lacking a logline on the application form will be disqualified. Logline can be included on the cover letter or title page.

If the script is based on a true story, historical or contemporary, the "based on true story/events" button should be noted in the logline.

Collaborative work by two writers who share equally in its creation is eligible.
The collaborator’s name must be added during the online application process.
All entries must be received by or before the Extended Deadline of 7.5.2021

Nominees/Winners will be announced at the Award Show and Dinner. We do not ship Awards.

Entry fees will not be returned or adjusted.

Overall Rating
  • Tracy Taylor

    This was a great festival for our film! Personable, good networking, and knowledgeable staff. Good networking opportunity

    August 2021
  • Although I was unable to attend this year's festival in Las Vegas and therefore can't rate the event itself, the festival staff was wonderfully responsive in communicating with me throughout the entire selection and screening process. Their enthusiasm for our film is greatly appreciated!

    August 2021
  • Bill Baber

    Thank you NewsFest for honoring the artists who make documentaries and tell true stories. We are often overlooked in other festivals. I look forward to NewsFest 2022!

    August 2021
  • Laurel Adler and the amazing team at NewsFest provided a unique opportunity for visibility and networking, as our LGBTQ hate crime murder documentary, Park View, and accompanying music video, Left for Dead, took the Best Documentary and Best Music awards, respectively! Truly a niche festival that is not to be missed by those who love powerful true stories.

    August 2021
  • Anthony Feinstein

    NewsFest fills an import, unique niche in a crowded documentary field. I was so pleased to have my film shown. The organization was excellent and the whole experience was professional, rewarding and enjoyable. A first rate festival and one definitely worth following.

    August 2021