New York City's Winter Film Awards (WFA) is a volunteer-run and operated celebration of the diversity of local and international film-making. Our Mission is to recognize excellence in cinema and to promote learning and artistic expression for people at all stages of their artistic careers with a focus on nurturing emerging filmmakers and helping them gain recognition and contacts to break into this difficult industry. We pride ourselves on our diverse collection of Festival selections, allowing our audience to enjoy films they normally wouldn’t think to seek out.
COVID-19 NOTICE: Winter in September? Winter Film Awards is dedicated to hosting a live in-person event and we have decided to wait until New York City reopens for our 10th anniversary Festival. Tentative dates for WFA21 are September 23-October 2.

No one can be sure what the world will be like by next summer; we do not know if our venues will be open, we do not know if our sponsors will still be available, we do not know if people will be able or willing to go out. Due to the uncertainty, we have cut our submission fees in half and have extended the submission period.
Now in its tenth year, the rapidly growing Festival showcases the work of emerging filmmakers from around the world. For the 2020 Festival, 79 films from 27 countries were screened, including an eclectic mix of Animated films, Documentaries, Feature narratives, Horror films, Music Videos, Narrative shorts and Web series, including 21 first-time filmmakers. 50% of the films were created by women, 53% were created by or about people of color.

Works of all genres, forms, and lengths are considered. All selected films are screened at Cinema Village, NYC's top indie cinema in the heart of Greenwich Village. The Festival includes ten days of film screenings, educational panels, professional development workshops and industry networking after-parties, which will conclude with a glittering awards ceremony .

Outstanding work will be awarded for each category, along with Best Director, Best Actor/Actress, Outstanding Woman Director, Best Student Film and the NY PERSPECTIVES Award for best depiction of the New York multi-cultural experience.

Winter Film Awards International Film Festival is an IMDB-qualifying festival.

Like many of the great film Festivals across the country and the world, WFA seeks to bring our audience compelling and unique content that inspires the viewers and honors the filmmakers. There are hundreds of film festivals in New York City; what makes us different is our intense focus on a bias-free submissions review, the variety of our films and helping new filmmakers reach what may be their first real audience.

WFA is a minority- and women-owned registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We work with all local NYC film schools, colleges, arts high schools and many cultural societies.

Over $75,000 in Swag, Prizes & Distribution Opportunities! Winners will receive prizes and distribution opportunities on various platforms and more!

Previous year's prizes have included distribution services, a $5k Tag Heuer wristwatch, a DJI drone, one-week theatrical run at a NYC theater, tons of software and equipment and more!

Winter Film Awards is dedicated to helping emerging filmmakers get recognition and press -- we work to ensure our films get written articles, video promos and red carpet interviews. We create an SEO enhanced page on our website for each accepted film, written reviews for all films over 20 minutes and tons of on camera interviews.

Please read this agreement carefully before you submit your film. By submitting your film, you expressly acknowledge and agree that you shall be bound by the terms of this agreement.

For additional information about Winter Film Awards, our selection process and what we look for, visit

For any additional information concerning submissions, contact us at

1) All films must have been completed not earlier than January 1, 2018.

2) Films must be in English or have English subtitles

3) Winter Film Awards is a non-profit organization and we do not pay Screening Fees

4) Films must be submitted via online screener - we do not accept hardcopies of DVDs

5) Winter Film Awards does not require World Premiere, but appreciates if you notify us if you are either a World Premiere, International Premiere (your first premiere outside your country of origin), North American Premiere or New York Premiere.

6) Submission fees are in U.S. dollars, per film entry. All submissions for Winter Film Awards International Film Festival are to be paid by credit card. The submission fee is non-refundable.

7) Submitting filmmakers/individuals will be notified by e-mail on or before January 5 2021. If the Festival will be postponed due to COVID-19, we will notify all submitters as soon as possible. Winter Film Awards does not send physical mail — please make sure the email address in your entry form is accurate. Changes of email address can be sent to Winter Film Awards is not liable for emails delayed by spam filters, server rejections, outdated email addresses or any other technical or human error.

8) If an accepted filmmaker is unable to submit the final screening copy of the film electronically, the filmmaker will be responsible for the mailing/shipping cost of the work for screening at the film festival. Films with incomplete materials by the deadline will forfeit their ability to screen in the festival. Winter Film Awards, its members, directors, employees, and volunteers are not responsible for lost, unplayable, misplaced, and undelivered film and media.

9) Submitted entry materials will not be returned.

10) A filmmaker with multiple entries (titles) must submit each entry and entry fee separately.

11) The Festival reserves the right to remove a film from the festival program for any reason or for no reason and shall not be liable for any refund or claims of any kind arising out of such removal.

12) The submitting filmmaker must own the copyright to the work. In the case of any legal dispute involving the film, Winter Film Awards will immediately remove the work from our schedule.

13) By submitting your film, Winter Film Awards is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes. 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.

14) You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Winter Film Awards 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.

Overall Rating
  • Really hospitable. Great communication. Had a very fun time & great to meet so many other creatives.

    October 2020
  • Sébastien Pins

    It was an honor to have my film screen at Winter Film Awards among so many talented artists! It was an overall great experience and I recommend this fest for any filmmaker!

    March 2020
  • Richa Rudola

    My film The Seal enjoyed a great screening and a very thoughtful Q&A session, thank you WFA! The communication was excellent throughout.

    March 2020
  • An amazing festival that actually supports indie filmmakers. So proud to be a part of the 2020 program. I definitely recommend it. :)

    March 2020
  • Ziyi Wang

    Great Festival ever! Very good experience

    March 2020