Short Film Competition

Short Film Competition

The annual international film competition for legal-themed shorts, offering independent and emerging filmmakers the chance to screen their work in New York City and creatively engage the public in discussions regarding justice and popular culture.

Now accepting submissions for the 2015 competition year!Finalist shorts will be screened at the FOLCS Awards Night during the 10th Annual Forum Film Festival in New York City.


Click here to view the 2014 FOLCS Awards Night Highlights

  • Early entry deadline:
    May 30, 2015; entry fee: $20

  • Regular: June 30, 2015; entry fee: $30
  • Late: August 10, 2015; entry fee: $40


“Legal theme” may be broadly construed. You are free to choose any subject in which the relationship between law, justice, and society can be fashioned into a unique visual story. For example, your film could be about rights that have been denied, harms that have gone unaddressed, the aftereffects of courtroom decisions, government regulations and statutes, or an attempt to take a new look at what “justice” really means. Any genre (animation, comedy, documentary, drama, musical, sci-fi, etc.) is permitted. Films should run 25 minutes or less, there is no minimum runtime requirement.

Awards: Best Short, Best Screenplay, Outstanding Woman Filmmaker, Young Filmmaker, & Audience Favorite. Winner of the Best Short Award will also receive an InkTip Script Listing: a listing of your script on InkTip so that producers and reps can find you.

Download entry form

Entry fee payable by check or PayPal

Or submit via the following sites:




About the FOLCS International Short Film Competition

The FOLCS International Short Film Competition was created in 2011 to encourage the creation of short films exploring themes of law and justice. Expanding in reach each year, independent and aspiring filmmakers from around the globe are invited to submit their original shorts. Entrants not only have the chance to have their work screened before a New York audience, but also the opportunity to have their short viewed by distinguished professionals from both the legal and entertainment fields. Each year the Film Festival features renowned filmmakers, actors, writers, journalists, public intellectuals, and members of the legal profession. The Film Festival also attracts overflowing and diverse crowds of film enthusiasts, which provides a great platform for showcasing your winning work! The night will open with a red carpet for our attending filmmakers and will include an awards presentation and reception. In addition, the audience has the opportunity to vote on which short will receive the Audience Favorite Award!

Past Competition Judges: • 2012: Annette Insdorf, film historian and director of undergraduate film studies at Columbia University; Daniel Anker, Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker; film and TV actor, Ronald Guttman; Isaiah Sheffer, co-founder of Symphony Space; and Mark Ethan, actor and film professor. • 2013: Henry Bean, director/screenwriter; Larry Gross, producer/screenwriter; Dahlia Lithwick, Slate senior editor and legal correspondent; and Veleka Gray, director/actress/Emmy judge.

Click Here for a List of Past Selected Finalist Films and Awards


Who can submit?
Independent and aspiring filmmakers of any age are encouraged to submit.

Can I submit my short if it is available online, in distribution, or has been previously screened at other festivals?
Yes. There is no premiere requirement for films submitted to the FOLCS’s Competition.

What formats do you accept?
We prefer online downloadable submissions, but will accept NTSC Region 0 or 1 DVDs as well. Preferred files are .mp4 or .mov . We do not accept VHS, non-standard DVDs (i.e., no Blu-Ray), and other formats (mini DV, Beta, etc.).

Where can I upload my video?
You may use a file sharing systems such as Dropbox, Vimeo, WeTransfer, or Google Drive. Entries must be downloadable.

Are works in progress accepted? Yes, works in progress will be accepted if they are substantially complete (i.e., edit locked, but needs color correction or sound mixing). However, please note before the start of your film what elements are incomplete. Only the first version of the film submitted will be considered for judging purposes, so entrants are encouraged to submit as finished an edit as possible.

Can I submit more than one film?
Yes, but you must fill out a separate entry form for each submission.

Can I re-submit a short I previously submitted?
Yes, if your short was: 1) not a finalist in a previous year and 2) has been re-edited to some extent.

When are finalists announced?
Filmmakers will be notified in mid-September if their film has been chosen as a finalist for screening at our festival.

Other questions? 


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