Our first year was a HUGE success. We want to thank our Sponsors Sweet Bitch Wine and the law firm of Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling. We screened every frame of every film within days of submission, and returned our detailed notes. Please see our reviews:

Visit our http://Facebook.com/transparentfilmfestival page for proof, and provide every filmmaker with our notes.

If a filmmaker requests to know why they were accepted or rejected, it shouldn't be too hard to provide a reason. That is how and why we started The Transparent Film Festival.

We also have a cable show in Manhattan New York City on Ch. 25 (The Lifestyle Channel) and promote those films and filmmakers who want to be promoted.

The Transparent Film Festival ("TFF") is based in the heart of New York City's buzzing East Village. TFF is ONLY for independent filmmakers. It's not for production companies, not for studios, but ONLY for the individual who puts his or her blood, sweat and tears, into telling a story using moving images.

Some important things you should know.

1. No one can "walk a friend's project in". Preference is not given to local filmmakers.

2. EVERY filmmaker who submits a film, will be told in writing SPECIFICALLY, the reason their film was chosen or passed over - as it relates (and this is important), to the merit of their submission. NO FORM LETTERS from us.

3. Every film will be watched, the date and time the film was screened posted on Facebook at http://facebook.com/transparentfilmfestival and our ratings sent to every filmmaker. While we screened every frame of every film last season, we cannot guarantee to do so this year as we expect many times the amount of submissions. If your film holds our interest we will watch it until the end.

4. Films submitted by any friends, family members or acquaintances related to festival staff, and or judges will be referred to qualified judges without a conflict of interest.

Our goal is simply to find unknown filmmakers and help them get exposure. If we send a request for download it means we would like to spotlight a clip from your film on our cable show and possibly on our streaming channel.

Some of our celebrity judges have either an Oscar, an Emmy or a Grammy award. They will be given a small amount of films that make it through the initial screening process.

If you are tired of spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on submission fees, and never hearing why you’ve been rejected, please consider submitting to the first-ever Transparent Film Festival.

Each year Transparent Film Festival will showcase a "Special" category which will change from year to year. The purpose of the category is to foster discussion around a controversial topic through the medium of film.

This year's Special Category will be "BIAS".

We're doubling our staff, prize amounts, and commitment to our filmmakers for 2020.

A total of $1000 will be distributed at TFF2020.

Category winners and runners up will receive cash prizes up to $1000.

Best Narrative Feature $300
Best Short - $200
Best Documentary $100
Best Series Pilot $100
Best Film Score or Soundtrack $100
Best Performance Piece $100
Best Special Category $100

More importantly, category winners will receive a valuable 1 hour conference call or Skype with the festival directors regarding critical issues that could impact whether or not your film gets a theatrical release. SAG clearance (if you have any SAG actors), Errors and Omissions Insurance, Clearance issues, Performing Rights Organization Cue Sheets for music, Sound Effects and Stock Media credits and attributions.

Those films that are accepted into the festival will also receive a review on Filmkilledme.com. NOTE: This site is in the process of being built.

ALL FILMS which aren't accepted into our inaugural festival will be given a brief critique and told the reason(s) why according to the 4-part score they receive as per the above.


The 2nd Transparent Film Festival (“TFF”) will take place on April 2nd, 3rd and 4th, 2020 in New York City.

1. Submission Deadlines
Submissions will be accepted from May 1, 2019. The early bird deadline is Thursday, Feb. 15, 2020. Early entry is encouraged but in no way guarantees acceptance.

2. Submission Format
Films must be submitted via online screener ONLY. We do not accept films sent over by DVD. If selected, you must provide a theatrical quality screener that is HD and 2K in size dimensions as we will be showing on a 2K projector.

IMPORTANT ITEM 1 - We will screen EVERY film. However, we will not watch it a second time. Changing or updating the originally submitted link is permitted however, we cannot guarantee that we watch your updated version in its entirety. If we like your film we'll suggest changes and most likely provide a waiver depending on length.

IMPORTANT ITEM 2 - If we send you a request for download, it means we want to promote your film:

1. On our Cable TV Show (audience reach of 620,000 people), in Manhattan NYC and streaming online. By approving our request for download, you consent to allowing us to promote your film.

It will not affect your acceptance status. We own no rights to your film. We just just think it’s cool at a minimum and think people should see it.

3. Submission Eligibility
- All submissions must have been completed after 1 January 2016. Yes this is correct. We will watch films from last year.
- We will not screen films with exclusive distribution already in place.

4. Premiere Status
- There is no premiere policy.

5. Submission Fee
All submissions for The Transparent Film Festival are to be paid through FilmFreeway platform. The submission fee is non-refundable.

6. Shipping - for selected films ONLY
If selected your MOV film can be sent on a thumb drive to:

Transparent Film Festival
c/o Palm Aisles Pictures
211 W. 56th St. - Suite 6B
New York, NY 10019


Via Google Drive Link to:

Please note that TFF will not accept Cash On Delivery shipments. TFF will not absorb any fees incurred in United States customs. All charges must be pre-paid.

8. Selection of Films

Every submission will be screened and reviewed under the following criteria, and given a 10 point score according to FilmFreeway's Scoring System resulting in a score from 10-100.

9. Notification
TFF will complete all selection procedures by March 1st, 2020, and inform all submitting parties, in writing, if their film has been successful or not after that time. Filmmakers whose submissions are accepted into the festival will be given a month to prepare, and will immediately receive information on how to make the most of participating in the Festival.

10. Festival Screenings
As selected films will be shown on 2K Projection Screen, selected films MUST provide an .MOV file that must be at least 1920 x 1080 HD quality. The film title and running time MUST be included in the file name. All foreign language films MUST contain English subtitles files.

11. Scheduling
Screenings are scheduled at the discretion of TFF. The festival organizers will make every effort to adhere to the published schedule, however, TFF reserves the right to make changes at any time for any reason. TFF will not be liable for any costs claimed as a result of a change in scheduling.

No film may be withdrawn from the festival after its selection.

12. Preference for live screenings will be given to those filmmakers who are selected, actively promote their screening and attend the festival. If a film is selected, and the filmmaker cannot attend their live screening, we may move that film to the online festival. Though last year over 30 films from around the world screened for which the filmmakers were not present.

Overall Rating
  • Brian MacDonald

    Quite the stark difference to most other festivals. It has been proven one of our films via a 2018 California Festival WAS NOT even viewed via their submission process. So with that--PROOF with Transparency... bang for buck, etc.

    May 2019
  • Great Festival! We really enjoyed the feedback! thank you.

    May 2019
  • Mahta Tasvir

    از توجه به فیلم من سپاسگذارم.

    May 2019
  • Great festival, will be back.

    April 2019
  • Awesome festival, especially for a first year! If you're like me and view most festivals as inverse cash machines, you'll be happy to know that Transparent exists in complete defiance to all the festivals who would gladly take your money despite not even watching your film. This is one of the rare filmmakers festivals that is truly, not-for-profit.

    Additionally, the festival runner, Brian, really put his heart and soul into every facet and it showed. From the screenings I attended, film selections were top shelf. Highly Recommended!

    April 2019