Festival Co-host & Judge: Mike Paseornek
Longtime President of Lionsgate Films, currently heading his own production company.

The 5th Annual UnLonely Film Festival further illuminates loneliness and isolation, a Public Health Epidemic.

The UnLonely Film Festival, the first online film festival dedicated to short films about loneliness and isolation is accepting short film submissions for its Summer 2021 launch.

The UnLonely Film Festival selects around 35 short films by diverse filmmakers addressing the loneliness and isolation that so many of us experience, whether we are older adults, have major illness, are military families, struggle with issues of gender identity, or immigration status or just find navigating our social selves a day-to-day challenge.

This year’s festival will once again showcase the power of short films to engage and activate us, a critical requirement to fighting loneliness, while giving filmmakers the opportunity to have their work seen by a wide and attentive audience. 

Mike Paseornek, longtime President of Lionsgate Films, currently heading his own production company, will return as guest juror to help select winning films.

Accepted filmmakers are eligible to receive monetary prizes, an invitation to attend the launch event in New York City and may also have the opportunity to participate in a host of other screenings, conferences or events addressing loneliness and isolation.

For this year’s festival, we encourage filmmakers to send us short works that explore the experience of loneliness among:

•Older adults reflective of the long road traveled and what’s to come
•Individuals with major illness, along with their caregivers
•Veterans, active duty military and their loved ones struggling to maintain balance
•Individuals and families struggling with addiction
•Adolescents and young adults exploring identity in a sometimes alienating digital world
•Race and Sexual Orientation Minorities working to establish and legitimize identity
•Immigrants and refugees finding their way in a new place
• Creativity and connection
•Those experiencing “everyday loneliness” at work, at school and at home and how individuals have overcome and solved loneliness and healed.

Important Facts About Loneliness:

Loneliness has become one of today’s major public health issues—and it’s getting worse:
•Over 30% of individuals are affected by loneliness RIGHT NOW!
•Loneliness contributes to an early mortality rate equal to that of smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

The good news?
Compelling evidence indicates engagement with creative arts expression can greatly help, connecting those affected to themselves and others and promoting a shared sense of belonging.

3 winners and 5 honorable mentions receive a modest cash prize given at our launch event in the summer of 2021 in New York City. Prizes are given out by Mike Paseornek & industry guests.

UnLonely Film Festival Rules & Terms:
The UnLonely Film Festival (UFF) will only accept entries through FilmFreeway. Please ensure you read our Rules and Terms prior to submitting. Submitting a film through FilmFreeway you are accepting the below rules and terms.

Entries will be accepted between 10/12/2020 and 02/22/2021 (the “Entry Period”).

1) Entries should not exceed the time limits in each category including all titles and credits.
2) Entries should be in the smallest file size for HD 1280x720 resolution.
3) Entries should be in English or have English subtitles.
4) UFF reserve the right to refuse to screen any submission deemed by the Festival to be inappropriate. Should you wish to question UFF about their decision, you can contact us by email on filmfestival@artandhealing.com. Noncompliance with any Official Rules may result in disqualification. Decisions of the The Festival and judges are final. By submitting your entry, you acknowledge that you have read and understand, and agree to abide by, these Official Rules.
5) All submissions are screened and evaluated by the UFF Selection Committee. Their reports are final and confidential. The winners of the competition will be announced and screened in whole or in part at our UFF Launch event in the summer of 2021 in New York City. Submitters will be advised via email and the winners will also be announced on our website and on our Facebook page in the summer of 2021.
6) In the event of a film being withdrawn, UFF will not be liable to refund the fee or return the materials entered.
7) Participation in UFF grants us the authorization to show the entered film on our UFF channels and platforms, the FAH website and related social media accounts, as well as in any other non-commercial way that allows us to educate and inform our community on the benefit of creative arts expression to improve health and well-being.
8) A fee is required upon submission. For payment structures, see elsewhere on FilmFreeway site. Please ensure your film is ready to send to us at the time of entry.
9) The Festival will not be responsible for the cost of receiving any additional materials i.e. DVDs, posters, photos, etc.
10) If music or additional film material used in your film is not original, then permission from source must be obtained. The responsibility for this rests entirely with the filmmaker. In submitting your film, you agree to indemnify The Festival 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, and screening. Failure to obtain clearance could result in your film being withdrawn from the Festival. In this event, UFF will not be liable to refund the fee or return the materials entered.
11) The submission of a film to UFF will be considered to be an acknowledgment of the festival rules.
12) Entrants should UPLOAD their film to FilmFreeway on the day that the entry form is completed. Please include your press kit including still photos. WE WOULD LIKE TO ENSURE THAT THE JUDGES VIEW YOUR FILM IN THE HIGHEST QUALITY POSSIBLE SO WILL ONLY ACCEPT FINAL CUTS. PLEASE SURE THAT YOUR FILM IS READY AT THE TIME OF ENTRY.
13) UFF or filmfestival@artandhealing.com will contact you if there are any problems with your film.
14) Once we have received your Film, Photo(s), Fee and Form you will receive an email confirming your entry is ‘In Consideration’. Please note that unless we receive ALL these items your entry is NOT confirmed.

As a condition to the acceptance of your Film in the Festival you hereby represent and warrant the following:
1. You are as of the date of your executed consent over the age of 18.
2. Your submission is original and created by you.
3. You own or have all necessary permissions to display and perform your Film in public without (i) any payment by the Foundation to any third party or (b) violating any third party right including intellectual property rights. This includes any necessary consents by minors executed by their parent or guardian, music royalties, location fees, or other fees for the use of any trademarks or copyrights in the film.

Employees of The Foundation for Art & Healing, and their immediate families and those living in same household of each are not eligible. All federal, state, local, and municipal laws and regulations apply. By participating, entrants must certify that no portion of an entry is subject to any collective bargaining agreements, and that entrants have followed the Official Rules. Potential winners must provide all reasonable cooperation in connection with verifying eligibility and awarding any prizes.

You may limit the term of the below rights granted by you to the Foundation from three (3) years to one (1) year by providing written notice through registered or certified mail to the Foundation or by email to rmurphy@artandhealing.org.

You understand and agree that by accepting your Film in the Festival, you grant the Foundation the following limited rights:
a. For the limited period of three (3) years after the opening of the Festival, to post a link to your Film on the Foundation website at artsandhealing.com (the “Site”) or any other UnLonely Film Festival site (collectively the “Festival Sites”) maintained by the Foundation allowing for it be streamed by any visitor to the Festival Sites.
b. For the limited period of three (3) years after the opening of the Festival, allow the Foundation or its co-Sponsors to promote your entry in connection with the Festival in any manner including the use of still images taken from your entry, your name and likeness or the name and likeness of anyone appearing in your entry.
c. For the limited period of three (3) years after the opening of the Festival, allow the Foundation the right to maintain links to your entry after the conclusion of the Festival on the Site without payment of any kind.
d. Allow the Foundation for a limited period of three (3) years after the opening of the Festival to promote, display and perform the Film at UnLonely Project-related educational conferences or programs in support of our non-profit mission.
e. Allow organizations partnering with the Foundation for a limited period of three (3) years after the opening of the Festival to promote, display, and perform the Film provided (i) that the purpose of the third party is consistent with the educational purposes of the Festival, (ii) the consent is limited to a specific time and place, and (iii) the Foundation will not receive any compensation other than a nominal fee to cover its administrative costs.

You may limit the term of the rights granted by you to the Foundation from three (3) years to one (1) year by providing written notice through registered or certified mail to the Foundation or by email to rmurphy@artandhealing.org.

If you want to limit these rights to 1 year, a notice shall be sent no sooner than one year after the opening of the Festival and state that you wish to limit the rights of the Foundation to one year. Upon receipt of such notice by you the Foundation shall have ninety (90) days to comply with your request. Under no circumstances shall the Foundation be liable for any infringement of your rights by virtue of any acts by any third parties.

Prize(s). Any applicable taxes on prizes are the sole responsibility of the Winner. In order to obtain prizes, Winner must sign an affidavit of eligibility and release of liability / publicity release, may be required to complete tax or related forms. All expenses not specifically included, including but not limited to any taxes or expenses as set forth, are the sole responsibility of Winner. ONCE NOTIFIED, POTENTIAL WINNER MUST RESPOND WITH ALL REQUESTED DOCUMENTATION COMPLETED NO LATER THAN SEVEN DAYS AFTER FIRST ATTEMPTED NOTIFICATION. The Festival is not responsible for any change in Entrant’s email address. If attempted notification is returned as undeliverable, if any required documents are not returned within the required number of days, if a Winner cannot be verified, or if a Winner is otherwise unable to accept the prize as stated, the prize will be forfeited.

LIMITATIONS: The Festival is not responsible for incomplete, lost, late, damaged, illegible or misdirected mail/e-mail, any submission uploads or for any technical problems, including but not limited to malfunctions of any telephone lines, computer systems, servers, providers, hardware/software, lost or unavailable network connections or failed, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmission or any combination thereof in connection with entries submitted. The Festival is not responsible for any damage to any participant's computer system/software related to or resulting from participation or downloading any materials in this promotion. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS PROMOTION IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAW. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, THE FESTIVAL RESERVES THE RIGHT TO DISQUALIFY AND SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

General. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Festival and judges, which are binding and final on all matters. By participating, entrant agrees to hold Festival and its parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies and all of their respective officers, directors, employees, representatives and agents (collectively “Released Parties”) harmless against any and all claims, injuries, losses and liability for any injuries, losses or damages of any kind, including death, to persons, or property arising in whole or in part, directly or indirectly out of acceptance, possession, use or misuse of prize or participation in the contest. The Festival accepts no liability for content of entries. All entrants consent to use of name, likeness, entry of material in any manner by The Festival and/or its promotional partners for advertising and trade without further compensation, unless prohibited by law.

Reservation of Rights. This contest may be cancelled at the sole discretion of The Festival for any reason. These reasons may include, but are not limited to, infection of computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures or any other causes outside the control of The Festival which impair or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of the contest. The Festival reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual who tampers with the contest and to cancel, modify, terminate or suspend the contest or any submissions at any time for any reason stated or not stated therein.

Inappropriate Content. Submissions must not contain any inappropriate or offensive materials, as determined by The Festival. Any submission, which in the sole opinion of The Festival, is deemed inappropriate (e.g., defamation, pornography, gratuitous violence, inappropriate language, obscene, illegal, racially or morally offensive or likely to transmit or contain a virus, corrupted file or any similar element, etc.) or is inconsistent with the theme or image of the contest or The Festival may result in disqualification. Submissions must not contain content that disparages The Festival, or any other person or party affiliated with the promotion and administration of this Contest. Submissions must comply with all laws, rules, and regulations including, but not limited to, those concerning copyright, plagiarism, trademark, defamation and invasion of privacy.

YOU WILL NOT BE PAID FOR YOUR SUBMISSION or for granting any of these rights. You agree to waive all claims to and shall receive no royalties of any kind now or in the future from The Festival, its affiliates, or its licensees, successors and assigns for use of your submission in any way, and you represent, warrant and agree that no other party is entitled to claim royalties from the use of the submission as set forth in these Official Rules and that your submission is not subject to any collective bargaining agreements.

Overall Rating
  • Alex Rudolph

    It was a pretty incredible opportunity to share a project that has been the core of what we believe in with a community who acknowledges the same values. The UnLonely festival says it all.

    June 2020
  • Danny Yourd

    Even with the festival being forced to conduct everything online this year it was a blast and an honor to have my film participate in the festival. Communication was fantastic and highly recommend this festival for anyone seeking a wonderful platform for their film.

    June 2020
  • Ian Phillips

    The festival was online only this year (because of COVID) and it was still phenomenal. The website presentation they gave my film was perfect, and means so much because this is a time where people are streaming films at home. To have such a great landing page for the film really meant so much to me. They even have a festival member interpret the films meaning for the audience in a video that adds to the film's value and creates a dialogue. Thank you so much to Natalie and the wonderful curators of this festival.

    June 2020
  • We were so happy to have our film included in the festival. While our year's event sadly had to be made virtual due to COVID-19, the festival did a great job creating a meaningful event. AA great addition to the film festival circuit with a unique and important mission.

    June 2020
  • David Rosfeld

    This is a great festival with a great reason for being. Very supportive staff, and very well run. It programs a slate of diverse, high quality films from around the world that in unique ways engage with how we seek connection in a challenging world. I was honored to be apart of this festival along side so many incredible films.

    June 2020