The NYCTFF is an organization for teens who want to showcase their films and have a shot at a $250 prize.

Run by students for students, NYCTFF is New York's premiere film festival for students looking to see their art on the big screen and gain the festival experience. As New York's only student-led, free-to-enter festival, we aim to create a space where all voices can be heard, and all student art can be shared.

After the films are screened, several official selections chosen by the judges will be awarded prizes for editing, cinematography, screenplay, and finally, best overall film. See more prize info below.

"Finalist" films (official selections--are shown at screening) are eligible for awards in categories for acting, cinematography, editing, story, and animation. Additionally, finalists are eligible to win awards for "Best in Show" and/or the "Audience Award," whereby the audience votes for who they feel should win.

Films are reviewed by a group of industry professionals, and accolades are awarded based on those reviews.

Awards and prizes:

Best In Show: 250$

Best Story: 100$

Best Edit: 100$

Best Cinematography: 100$

Best Documentary (New!): 100$

Best Performance (New!): 100$

Audience Award (New!): 100$

Official Rules:

All short films must be written, directed and edited by teens in grades 6-12, or ages 11-18.

Filmmakers must be NYC affiliated in some way (eg. go to school there, live there, attend or attended a program there). If you are confused as to what NYC affiliated means or if you are NYC affiliated, please email Films by filmmakers not affiliated with NYC will be disqualified. If we missed something while reviewing your submission and wish to appeal, you can contact us at

All entries must be mainly teen-produced. Note, however, that adults are permitted to assist with your film and encouraged to act!

Title pages and credits should be included in your film.

Unless relevant to the plot, please do not include bloopers in your submitted film.

Films must be under 30 minutes including title pages and credits, but please note that finalist films over 10 minutes are subject to being shortened if screened at the festival. The judges will, of course, be viewing the full-length films.

There is no limit to how many films each submitter may submit to the festival.

Format and Submission Requirements:

Films must be submitted in .mov, .wma or .mp4 format and submitted online at or here on FilmFreeway. Note that contestants must complete all three steps (agreeing to the submission rules and guidelines, filling out the submission form, and submitting a film) in order to have their entries considered.

All films will be previewed by a jury made up of select individuals for festival selection.

All entrants will be notified via email by September 1st 2022 as to whether or not their film has been selected as a finalist in the competition.

Films that do not meet the submission rules and guidelines will be disqualified.

Forms and videos must be submitted by July 1st, 2022, but exceptions will be made for films submitted within a few days after the deadline.

Judging and Awards
All films will be viewed and judged by a jury made up of select individuals (see the "Judges" page).

Legal Disclaimers:

By clicking the agree button and entering the NYC Teen Film Festival, the applicant agrees to all rules and regulations as defined in the official festival rules.

The applicant also grants a non-exclusive license, throughout the world and in perpetuity, to the NYC Teen Film Festival to:

Show their film to a paying or non-paying public at a future NYC Teen Film Festival.

Display the film, in part or in its entirety, on the NYC Teen Film Festival website and other video streaming websites.

Have the film listed in the NYC Teen Film Festival’s list of entries, in the festival credits, and in the program.

Copyrighted Music:
We allow the use of copyrighted music in films, but original music is encouraged!

Overall Rating
  • Very inclusive and just cool to be apart of

    October 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you! We were so happy to have you with us this year. Really beautiful film :)