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.

12 Reviews

Overall Rating
  • false
    Elias Plagianos

    Great Festival. Good communication. Great selection of films. Nice venues. There is press, and an elegant awards ceremony.

    October 2016
  • false
    rebekah smith

    A brilliant festival - well organised and solid communication between myself and the festival team, highly recommended 😁 Also a great selection of films :)

    October 2016
  • false
    Miguelina Olivares

    Fantastic event! I had a lot of fun and met with so many talented actors and directors. The location the awards ceremony took place was very classy and beautiful. I was nominated for an award and the after party and the music was awesome. Will def join again next year.

    August 2016
  • false
    Cinder Chou

    The entry fee is 100% worth it for this festival. From the get-go Steffanie and her team are incredibly communicative and welcoming. The festival is also very well organized and the events are loads of fun! These guys just love watching films and they show it by putting together a great festival for the filmmakers.

    August 2016
  • false
    Kevin Baggott

    Winter Film Festival is a fantastic festival. I had a feature narrative film there last year called, 'why do you smell like the ocean?' and we had a sold out show. Steffanie and her team were on top of their game the whole time. The Cinema Village is a great theatre in the heart of the city. And we won best actor! Who could ask for more?

    August 2016