Official Rules:

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

  • Filmmakers do not have to be NYC affiliated.

  • All entries must be mainly teen-produced. Note, however, that adults are permitted to assist with your film and are 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 via email (guidelines for this are given in step 3 on our website). Note that contestants must complete all three steps (agreeing to the submission rules and guidelines, filling out the submission form, and emailing in a film) in order to have their entry/ies considered.

  • All films will be reviewed by a jury made up of select individuals for festival selection. All entrants will be notified via email by a date TBD over the summer of 2021 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 June 20th, 2019. Exceptions will be made for films submitted within a few days after the deadline IF (1) your form is complete prior to the 20th and (2) we receive an email before the deadline notifying us that the submission of your film is forthcoming.

Judging and Awards

  • All films will be viewed by our team of festival coordinators and judged by a select group of established professionals in the film industry (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.

  • A film will never be shown or listed without crediting the filmmaker!


Copyrighted Music:

  • Original soundtracks are encouraged!










If you have any questions, please email


Note: With the exception of our requirement that filmmakers must be teenagers, many of our rules have a little wiggle room. If you think you have a valid reason why we should make an exception for your project, please reach out to us! We appreciate the initiative and don't want little technicalities to prevent you from submitting your work. 

STEP 1/3:


(scroll to bottom of page for next step)