Submit Your Film


Thank you for submitting your film to us! As always, we look forward to reviewing your film and for supporting REEL Underground Film Festival!

Documentaries: We are looking for documentaries that provoke and inspire our audiences. We want to not only educate them, but motivate and inspire our audience to want to make films of their own or to get involved! Short films can be up to 30 minutes to qualify and which includes credits. Narratives: We are looking for narratives with strong story lines. Unique stories that our audience can relate to and/or understand. Narratives can be any genre and must be no more than 30 minutes including credits.

To ensure fairness, films are assigned a unique identifier and only are referred to by this code. Our reviewers are from all walks of life. Reviewers are not just local filmmakers and industry professionals, but audience members who would want to come, see, and perhaps purchase your film! Films are watch in their entirely and evaluated using a strict set of metrics. These metrics include, but not limited to as strength of story, originality, technical proficiency, acting, editing, and sound design. Reviewers are trained and we go over the set of metrics with them so that they can leave useful comments for our filmmakers.

The review process consists of three rounds. The first round: all films are reviewed by one set of reviewers. The second round: the highest scores are sent to a second round of reviewers. The third round: the highest scores from the second round are reviewed by festival staff, board, and film judges. At each level, feedback is required and compiled. At the end a final lineup based on scores, the time constraints of film blocks and how films will play in each film block are created.

We also try to include 25% of our films from filmmakers creating content around the New York City Region. We program the best films available to us that offer a fresh viewpoint or a unique story or character, meet programming time constraints, interest our audience, play well with the other films programmed, and are created by filmmakers we believe in.


—> Films must not be longer than 30 minutes including credits.
—> We accept films of any genre except commercials, VR, and trailers
—> Submissions are only accepted through FilmFreeway.
—> We will notified filmmakers no later than 5/1/2023 of their submission status.
—> Filmmaker confirmation and required docs are due by 5/15/2023.
—> Films not confirmed by 5/15/2023 will be pulled and replaced.
—> Short films in a foreign language must have English subtitles.
—> Films are required to be New York City Premiers.
—> Entry fees are non-refundable
—> All film entries must be filled out in its entirety on Film Freeway.

—> All film entries selected grant us the rights to use provided stills, footage, clips, trailers and information from the film for promotional purposes.
—> All short films submitted must be free from any legal disputes and the filmmaker must have cleared all rights for music, exhibition, copyright, etc.
—> REEL Underground Film Festival reserves the right to change any information contained in this document (including Festival dates, venues, events, awards and eligibility requirements) without further notice.

(Film Submissions Will Go Live in 2023)

Submissions Open: January 1, 2023
Early Deadline: February 1, 2023
Regular Deadline: March 1, 2023
Film Review Period: March 15, 2023
Filmmaker Notification: May 1, 2023
Filmmaker Participation Confirmation: May 15, 2023
Website Updates Due By: June 1, 2023
Tickets Go On Sale: July 1, 2023

For questions, please email us at