The Bowery Film Festival in NYC is determined to bring about a cinematic revolution unseen since the 70’s, striving to discover a new wave of renegade filmmakers creating raw, gritty, funny, and bombastic art in one of the most culturally rich and progressive neighborhoods in New York City. Our mission is simple: to showcase works from filmmakers of all walks of life regardless of gender, race, age, creed, sexual orientation, or political affiliation and provide them with a platform to jumpstart their careers.

In 2019, BFF was mentioned in the New York Times for its radical kick ass opening night party at the hip Katra Lounge on the Bowery. New York Magazine says that we provide “great opportunities for aspiring filmmakers to network and establish street cred over booze… with radical lineups and local flavors.” HoneySuckle Magazine agrees “an incredible night of groundbreaking, heartbreaking, and hilarious films… remaining true to its Bowery roots and foraging ahead in new territory – exactly what the festival’s namesake neighborhood is known for.” Finally, NY1’s Emmy-Award winning reporter Cheryl Wills noted in a live coverage, the “Bowery Film Festival is hot on movies that are adventurous and have shock value.”

Located in one of the oldest thoroughfares in NYC, the Bowery is known by its singular namesake where world-renowned artists have lived, created and thrived…The Bowery also marked the eastern border of the "Five Points" slum popularized in the movie Gangs of New York. Home to Martin Scorsese, William Burroughs, and the Punk Rock Scene, the Bowery is one of the great highways of humanity, a highway of seething life, varied interests, fun, diverse culture, art, and rock-and-roll.

Bowery Film Festival hosts live screening events in movie theaters, unique spaces and historical venues on the Bowery along with Q&A with filmmakers and the opportunity to network at our opening and closing night parties. We have over $20,000 in total prizes and the bragging rights of having screened on the Bowery!


All genres/forms accepted. Seeking Feature Films, Short Films, Web Series, Documentary, Music Videos, Experimental Works, Animation, and Video Art. We accept works-in-progress.

Although we have no premiere policy, works must have been completed after January 1, 2017. All foreign-language works MUST be subtitled in English to be considered.

1. Submission Eligibility
- All submissions must have been completed after January 1, 2018.
- Although we prefer New York Premieres, there is no premiere policy.
- Works-in-progress are accepted.

2. Exhibition Format: h.264 Quicktime file

3. Submitters understand that submission of their work authorizes Bowery Film Festival to screen the work, and use the work for any exhibition, education and/or publicity purposes related to Bowery Film Festival. Bowery Film Festival is not responsible for any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, or royalty infringement related to the work. Submitters may receive future correspondence from the Bowery Film Festival.

Overall Rating
  • Nicholas Marchetti

    They put together a very solid program in this very difficult year. I'm looking forward to what they do next year!

    January 2021
  • Shara Ashley Zeiger

    What a wonderful fest! Really great films, some fun events, and their awards are AMAZING! (gear, subscriptions, rentals, etc.)

    March 2020
  • The Bowery Film Festival was a blast to attend! Since it's they're 2nd year, they still have a lot to improve on, but nonetheless it's handled pretty well by the runners.
    This festival's got a bright future ahead of it, and it's something that filmmakers around the world should consider submitting to.

    November 2019
  • Andrea Holz

    Great festival, amazing people, cool prizes. It was an honor to have my work showcased in such an amazing block of films.

    November 2019
  • Attended two evenings of this festival in 2019 as a director and once in 2018 as an audience member.

    They seem to have taken a nice step forward in just that one year and continue to be trending in a good direction.

    The communication was good, the energy was very positive. The venue selection has improved since the previous year. They used Teatro Latea and The Wild Project, and I think the Wild Project was a better screening experience and Latea was better in providing space for people to gather before/after the screening. Wild Project got a little overly packed and couldn’t hold all the attendees in the lobby. The good side of that is that Wild Project had a very full house for the screenings.

    Two particular things about this festival I’ve noticed:

    1. They are open to more unusual, non-traditional films. And are comfortable grouping films that wouldn’t normally be paired together. While the theme may be a little broad it can make for some fun screening blocks, with pleasant surprises.

    2. This seems to be an especially good place to submit romantic comedy pilots about late 20s/early 30s in NYC who are hopeless in the romance category. In the two years I’ve attended - short films/shows with a late 90s early 00s romantic comedy sensibility have won. (Joe, Adulthood) They are both essentially different takes of the logline I provided.

    One thing I’d like to see them include in the future is better lighting for their step and repeat red carpet area. At Latea it was very lowly lit and poorly lit with over head lighting. You would’ve needed a DSLR flash get a quality photo. At Wild Project, it was a better, but again the light wasn’t great. However they did have a photographer at Wild Project who took nice photos on the DSLR with a flash. If they make those photos available to filmmakers afterward that would be valuable.

    Overall, this is a very inclusive film festival with good energy. I look forward to watching it grow over the next few years and applaud the team for putting it together. Would recommend it to people looking for an audience for their non-conventional film, and who want to go into screening blocks that can surprise them with different experiences.

    November 2019