THE ARTISTS FORUM INTERNATIONAL MUSIC COMPETITION, part of our juried arts programming, is open to musical artists of all genres seeking to gain exposure in the New York City and international music and media markets.

Its mission is to provide an accessible platform for songwriters and composers to present their best work for juried selection, increase artist communication and business contacts, provide career advancement opportunities, and publicly acknowledge talented artists in an industry-saturated arena.


Our 2021 Competition Theme: (THE) POLITICS OF EMOTION

THE ARTISTS FORUM invites artists to showcase interpretations for the phrase: The Politics of Emotion.

‘Politics’ is not necessarily defined in terms of government, policy, or voting, but in this case has a broader meaning — the navigation of the politics inherent within interpersonal relationships and its emotional impact. This idea can be applied to external circumstances within any personal, societal, national, or international scenario.


Each submission, reviewed by a panel of industry professionals, will be rated upon its individual merits. Finalists in each category will be judged against one another and a winner declared.

A list of competition jurors is forthcoming.

Award recognition for each category will be given at a live ceremony in New York City, alongside special presentations and performers. In the case of COVID-19 restrictions, our award ceremony will be conducted online and then televised on Manhattan cable stations shortly thereafter.

All music finalists will be video profiled and promoted on our online platforms.

Winners are eligible for a formal studio or Zoom interview with host to be promoted via THE ARTISTS FORUM: AFTV - a 20+ year arts based television program broadcasted from mid-town Manhattan in New York City.

Winners in their category will receive an opportunity for production mastering of one track by music legend Man Parrish.

Our Grand Prize winner will be presented with an opportunity for mentorship sessions with a prominent music industry professional and will receive both a Mixing and Mastering session by Mr. Parrish.

Depending on the category, submissions are judged on the following criteria:

• Creativity
• Originality
• Lyrics (if applicable)
• Melody
• Arrangement
• Theme Interpretation

Production value is not a strong component with our competition.
Demos are accepted.


Audio submissions are being accepted only through

• High Bit Rate .mp3 audio files only (320 kbps at 16 bit).
• Only original songs accepted - no covers.
• Works-in-Progress will not be accepted.
• No hate speech, explicit lyrics, or lyrics that glorify violence, death or destruction.
• Info Sheet pdf: Lyric sheet ( with English translations), Writers credit, *Country of Origin (usually location of writer's cultural development), *Country of Creation (if different than Country of Origin). *Also list under FilmFreeway's "Specifications" area.


• 5.5 minutes or under for all categories except:
• JAZZ (10 minutes or less)
• CLASSICAL (i.e. Symphonic or Operatic excerpt - 10 minutes or less)


In order to submit to this category, high school students and college undergrads must provide documentation of active enrollment in an educational institution plus your student ID.

PLEASE NOTE: Grad Students and all others are not eligible for student rates.


Entrants may submit as many songs as they wish - in the same category or in multiple categories. Each submission must be accompanied by a separate online entry fee.



THE ARTISTS FORUM INTERNATIONAL MUSIC COMPETITION does not pay performance fees. By submitting your work via you acknowledge that THE ARTISTS FORUM and its MUSIC COMPETITION will not pay to present your work.


The following information is required:

• Artist photographs and other promotional images in a .png or .jpg format
• Name, Mailing Address, Email Address, Phone Number
• Website (if any), social media handles
• Artist/Band bio, Artist's Country of Origin, Artist's Current Residency, Country of music production, lyric sheet
• Band or production listings, and social media handles for your main producers, musicians, talent, or band members in one pdf document.


By submitting your film to THE ARTISTS FORUM INTERNATIONAL MUSIC COMPETITION you are hereby agree to the following terms & conditions:

I hereby state that I am legally authorized to enter this work into THE ARTISTS FORUM INTERNATIONAL MUSIC COMPETITION .

I guarantee that I own the rights to this musical work in its entirety, or that I have secured in writing all proprietary rights as required by law the use of the following: music, audio samples, performances, and any other intellectual property used in the work and indicated on this form.

I have also acquired the necessary releases for all persons, talent, and/or crew, involved in producing the music submitted for this competition.

I will indemnify, safeguard, and hold harmless THE ARTISTS FORUM INC., THE ARTISTS FORUM INTERNATIONAL MUSIC COMPETITION , and all of their sponsors, related parties and/or affiliates, from any claims, damages, costs, expenses, and liabilities arising from the creation, publication, use, or reproduction of the musical work at present or in the future, including, but not limited to, claims for negligence and other infringements, fraud, unauthorized exhibition, discrimination, defamation, and breach of contract.

I agree to give THE ARTISTS FORUM INC. and THE ARTISTS FORUM INTERNATIONAL MUSIC COMPETITION a non-exclusive, perpetual right at no cost to duplicate or disperse the musical work in any media and in any manner it deems appropriate for promotional and educational purposes related to the festival.

I hereby have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the foregoing license, and all of my content does not infringe, violate, misappropriate or otherwise conflict with the rights of any third party, and complies with all applicable laws and regulations, foreign and domestic. I accept full legal responsibility for the intellectual property therein.

I agree to allow THE ARTISTS FORUM INC. and THE ARTISTS FORUM INTERNATIONAL MUSIC COMPETITION to use photographs, audio or visual interviews of myself, and other likenesses of me, as well as, my name, either actual or fictitious. I hold THE ARTISTS FORUM INC. and THE ARTISTS FORUM INTERNATIONAL MUSIC COMPETITION harmless from the damage to, or the loss of, film media and/or any publicity materials that I supply.

My submission and all activities related to my submission will be in compliance with the FilmFreeway’s Terms of Service.

I have read and fully comprehended the guidelines. I have complied with the terms of submission stated above and my application and payment into the competition verifies my acceptance of all Rules, Terms, and Submission Conditions.