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New York International Childrens Film Festival, 26 Feb-21 March 2021

Deadline | Event Dates (period)
26 February 2021 - 21 March 2021
New York, NY
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Submission deadline
Submission/Registration Fee

Festival Description:

The Oscar®-qualifying New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF) announced its 2020 dates and opening of its call for film submissions. The festival, the largest for children and teens in North America, will be held February 26 through March 21, 2021 at major venues throughout New York City.

The Oscar®-qualifying New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival has become the largest film festival for children and teens in North America over its 23-year history. Presented over four weekends at major venues throughout New York City, the Festival showcases approximately 100 short and feature films, filmmaker Q&As, retrospective programs, parties, premieres, and industry forums. As an Academy Award®-qualifying Festival in the Best Live Action and Animated Short Film categories, the Festival attracts a prestigious jury: esteemed directors, academics, actors, and industry leaders such as Sofia Coppola, Taika Waititi, Kyle MacLachlan, Melissa Cobb, Jorge Gutiérrez, Uma Thurman, Nora Twomey, and more. Winners of the Festival’s juried prizes are eligible for consideration at the annual Academy Awards®. Audience awards are presented in each film category, with audience members of all ages voting on the Festival-winning films. NYICFF receives major editorial coverage in The New York Times, and its Best of the Fest programs tour to major museums, arthouse theaters and film festivals across the U.S.

More than 100 filmmakers participate in the Festival annually, from established veterans to emerging makers. They represent wonderfully diverse voices working in all genres and formats, producing work for audiences of all ages and lending their artistic voice to the festival. We often program films not initially created with a young audience in mind, and we encourage filmmakers to share work that may very well have expanded audience potential. Our audiences are up for the challenge of artistically complex work, and our written materials, intros & Q&As offer compelling context and spark great dialogue around your films.

NYICFF offers travel stipends to feature films in competition and where possible, supports cultural funding and discounted accommodations for shorts filmmakers. Through our industry forums, parties and q&a events, we facilitate meetings with studios, distributors, agents, funders and partner festivals (Sony Pictures Animation, Tonko House, 9 Story, Silvergate Media, Sesame Workshop, NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, and more) and foster inclusive practices and expanded access for talented filmmakers to be heard and grow.

2021 Call For Entries

To be eligible to screen in competition, production must be completed no earlier than January 1, 2019.

All official selections, both short and feature, are voted on by our audience and are eligible for our Audience Awards.

Jury Awards
- Best Animated Short Film
- Best Live Action Short Film

Audience Awards for Best Short Film
- Ages 3-6
- Ages 5-10
- Ages 8-14
- Ages 12-18
- Grown Ups' Award (Audience members 18 and over)

Grand Prize Awards
- Short Film
- Feature Film

Deadlines to submit:

  • Early deadline: 1 September 2020
  • Regular deadline: 1 October 2020
  • Late deadline for Shorts: 15 November 2020
  • Late deadline for Features: 1 December 2020

Festival Regulations and Entry Form



Event Dates

  • From 26 February 2021 to 21 March 2021


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