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.

Now in its sixth year, the rapidly growing Festival showcases the work of emerging filmmakers from around the world. For the 2016 Festival, 86 films from 26 countries were selected for screening, 40% made by women, 40% made by people of color, 26 first-time director. 75% had a budget under $50k and half passed the "Bechdel Test". Works of all genres, forms, and lengths are considered for Festival screening.

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

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 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.

Awards & Prizes

All winners to receive a beautiful crystal icicle statue. Over $50K in Prizes to be awarded to winners - previous year's prizes have included distribution services, a DJI drone, one-week theatrical run at a NYC theater, tons of software and equipment and more!

Rules & Terms

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, 2014.

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 Indie 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 2017. 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.

17 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Karni Haneman

    A great festival which truly gives the stage to some fantastic filmmakers and some of the best and most unique indie films I've seen!

    March 2017
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    Mariam Bakashvili

    One of the best film festival experiences so far. People are welcoming and take care of you well. Thank you so much for the great experience!

    March 2017
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    Kylie Garcelon

    Our film, Moral Compass, screened in 7 festivals in 2015/2016 and this festival was, by far the best festival we attended when taking in the quality of the venue, the caliber of the films and the attention to the film makers with opportunities for networking. This is a real festival with a real intention to showcase emerging talent and pay homage to independent film - Bravo Winter Film Awards Team - I hope we have the chance to attend again with our upcoming feature!

    March 2017
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    Irving Franco

    Really great festival :) really great people :)

    March 2017
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    Fabulous Four

    Fantastic experience. Would recommend for any serious and ambitious film maker.

    March 2017