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SR - Socially Relevant Film Festival New York

SR - Socially Relevant Film Festival New York - 2020

SR Socially Relevant™ Film Festival New York, a non-profit film festival founded by SAG-AFTRA actress Nora Armani, launches its 7th edition March 16-22, 2020 at Cinema Village, The School of Visual Arts MFA Social Documentary Film campus, The Center for Remembering and Sharing, Betaworks and The Tenri Cultural Institute in New York. Submissions are now open for SRFF 2020 on

The festival has successfully showcased over 300 films rom 35 countries with international and local filmmakers participating in the Q&A's and panels in parallel to the film screenings.

The Mission of the SR Film Festival is to shine the spotlight on filmmakers who tell socially relevant™, compelling, human-interest stories, across a broad range of social issues. The festival was created in response to the proliferation of violence and violent forms of storytelling in media and entertainment. SRFF believes in the power of cinema in raising awareness towards social issues and promoting positive social change. During its first six years, SRFF showcased 350 films from 35 countries. Submissions are received from all over the world. For more information visit the festival website.

AR/VR and 360 gear expo and film exhibit, panels on Women, Immigrations and Refugees, VR/AR and 360 films, Industry Panels at SVA Social Documentary MFA film department on Funding Film Ideas and The Hazardous Documentary are some of the topics. SAG-AFTRA hosts a low-budget film production workshop for visiting and local filmmakers in the festival, and the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment together with the Governor's Office of Motion Picture & Television present a workshop on filming in New York. Awards are given to winners in the form of special designer trophies and industry consultations from distriutors such as IndiePix and Cinema Libre Studio. 

The Festival's YouTube Channel

The Official Trailer of SRFF 2019 

The Official Trailer of SRFF 2018

The Official Trailer of SRFF 2017

The Sizzle Reel


Submissions now open for seventh Edition of SR Socially Relevant™ Film Festival NY 2020

FESTIVAL DATES for the next edition: March 18-22, 2020 - Cinema Village, 22 E 12th Street, New York, NY 10003

Submissions for the 2020 Edition re-open May 22 - 2019

PLEASE READ THE DESCRIPTION, THE RULES, and THE TERMS thoroughly before completing your submission.

SRFF does NOT waive entry fees. In some exceptional cases discount codes are offered.

SRFF believes waiving entry fees hurts the integrity of the competition. The same rules and entry fees should apply to all applicants so no one film is favored over another. We understand the financial constraint of making films and the costs involved in submitting to Festivals. However, we also feel that submitting free does not help anyone as it takes the seriousness out. We hope you can find it in your budget to submit your film to the festivals that will best help your career and your film's career move further forward. 
In some exceptional cases when working with partner organizations, we offer discount waivers to individuals filmmakers who are members of these partner organizations.

Special student discount waivers (with proper proof) are offered.

SR Socially Relevant (TM) Film Festival NY is a film festival that focuses on socially relevant human interest stories and raises awareness to social problems by offering positive solutions through the powerful medium of cinema. SR (TM) believes that through raised awareness, expanded knowledge about diverse cultures, and the human condition as a whole, it is possible to create a better world free of violence, hate, and crime.

SR Socially Relevant (TM) Film Festival New York shines the spotlight on filmmakers who tell compelling, socially relevant narratives across a broad range of social issues without resorting to gratuitous violence and violent forms of movie making.

SR's human interest stories and character-driven films reflect good storytelling as shorts, documentaries, narrative features and scripts in the competition.

SR films can be commercially viable and can become box office successes when distributed through the proper channels and platforms.

SR (TM) Films are enlightening, uplifting, entertaining, but most of all artistically appealing.

SR - Socially Relevant Film Festival New York is a festival that focuses on socially relevant film content and human interest stories.

SR aims to showcase socially relevant films of high artistic value that educate, enlighten, entertain, and that can be commercially viable. Socially Relevant films can be funny, dramatic, romantic, adventurous, comical, suspenseful, intellectually challenging, historical, psychologically inclined or tell a story that matters. In short, SR films can be anything BUT boring!

THE MISSION of the Festival is to spotlight filmmakers and their films that tackle the social and environmental issues of the day without relying on gratuitous violence, special effects, loud soundtracks and sensationalism to draw in an audience. The festival supports its filmmakers beyond the weeklong festival, as it showcases the selection films in other venues and at the Cannes Film Festival Doc Corner.

Founded by Artistic Director Nora Armani, SR is based in New York. SR launched in Manhattan, the entertainment capital of the world, where 55 films from 18 countries were screened over the course of one week from March 14-20, 2014. March 2014 marked the festival's inaugural year and screenings took place at the Quad Cinema in Greenwich Village in New York City.

To date, SRFF has screened an international slate of 330 films from 35 countries since its inception in 2013. The festival offers industry panels on Distribution, Storytelling, Diversity Casting, Marketing and Film Finance in partnership with the School of Visual Arts Social Documentary Film school, and organizes spotlight panels on such themes as Empowering women, VR/360º films, Low Budget Film Production workshop with SAG-AFTRA, Filming in New York with the NY Governor's Office for Film and TV Development. Script readings and more. We now have a VR/360º competition category.

Filmmaker Q&A's follow most of the screenings where filmmakers are present in the case of almost all the feature films and most short films when possible. The festival is devoted solely to filmmakers who deal with socially relevant film content. The film selections are made following the submission process on FilmFreeway.

The launch of the Socially Relevant film festival coincides with the growing trends related to socially conscientious consumers who seek alternatives to the invasive films that rely on gratuitous violence and sensationalism to make a box office entry.

More information can be found at


In order to qualify for competition selection, films MUST be at least NEW YORK PREMIERES, preferably US or North American or event World Premieres...

For Documentary films, we go three years back. The documentary submitted should be made January 1st three years before the year of the festival, or later.

For narrative features, we go two years back. The feature film should be made January 1st, two years before the festival year or later.

Shorts films follow the same guidelines, though in some cases, with shorts that are really good, we are more flexible with the New York premiere status.

In the inaugural year as well as the second edition, two lucky filmmakers of a feature-length documentary and narrative films: Small Small Thing and The Challat of Tunis, won a FREE one-week run at the QUAD CINEMA in New York under its QUADflix SELECT Program. The award was generously donated by the Quad Cinema. In the third edition of the festival, the winning film Before the Spring was offered a separate screening at the Cinepolis Chelsea Cinemas in addition to a host of other prizes. Check the festival's website for past winners in the other categories.

This in-kind winning awards (a total value of $15-20K) cannot be exchanged for monetary rewards. At the Jury's discretion, a Special Jury Prize is also awarded to films in the different categories.

Donated by festival partner Cinema Libre Studio of Los Angeles, a leader in the field of distribution and production, the award included a DVD VOD release deal for the winning documentaries in the first two years. In the third year, the distribution award was offered by IndiePix, while Cinema Libre offered a consultation package for promoting the film and advice on how best to go about its distribution. This award may not be exchanged for a monetary reward and is only in-kind. Check the festival website for past winners and also the award categories that change and develop annually.

At the Jury's discretion as special Jury Mention is presented in this category.

Donated by festival partner digital distribution platform IndiePix, 5-6 titles curated by the festival from the slate of short films in the narrative and documentary categories will be released under the heading SR Socially Relevant Film Festival Collection. These will be promoted and streamed for pay per view or DVD release on the IndiePix Site. Filmmakers selected will be offered a proper distribution agreement.

One of two best screenplays submitted to the festival selected by a special jury is offered a prize courtesy of Final Draft in the form of a download certificate of the latest scriptwriting software. And in addition, InkTip offers a prize listing free of charge on their website for up to two winning screenplays, to be searched and discovered by producers looking for new works.

Also for Screenwriters: 
InkTip Script Listing: A listing of the winning script on InkTip so that producers and reps can find it. InkTip Magazine: Publication of the logline in InkTip's magazine sent to nearly 15000 producers and reps.

InkTip helps writers sell their scripts and get representation. Producers have made more than 200 films from scripts and writers they found through InkTip.

Programming is done by the collective and professionals on the advisory committee.

The Jury of the different categories is composed of distinguished and establish international and US professionals from all disciplines and the voting takes place confidentially and anonymously.

Awards & Prizes

1. Grand Prize: Winning feature film. 1/2 day consultation with Cinema Libre for deliverables, packaging, and promotion. Michael Aram designed trophy... And a week-long run of the winner in the first two years. New awards are negotiated and announced annually. 
2. Documentary Prize: Winning Documentary Distribution deal with IndiePix. Packaging and Consultation from Cinema Libre for the winning Documentary and discounts for post production work. 
Distribution on Digital Platform IndiePix. 2 year free membership to SundanceNow Doc Club. Check website for details. 
3. Short films: 5-6 selected films from the documentary and narrative shorts are streamed on under the SR Socially Relevant Film Festival Catalog heading. More films listed under curated festival programs on other platforms coming soon. FinalDraft scriptwriting certificates to be downloaded free of charge. 
4. Screenwriting contest: Best screenplay is featured on InkTip website for free to be discovered by producers looking for scripts. Other scriptwriting prizes. 
5. More awards announced annually, depending on categories.

Grand Prize Narrative Feature. 
Grand Prize Documentary Feature 
Best Narrative Short 
Best Documentary Short 
The Vanya Exerjian Empowering Women & Girls Award.

There are other additional prizes such as: 
The SR Social Justice Award, 
The Justice and Peace Award 
The Lifetime Inspiration and/ or Achievement Award 
Making a Difference Award 
The Hazardous (Brave) Documentary Award 
The Women Film Critics Circle Award 
Making a Difference award 
Pushing the Boundaries Award 
Ensemble Film Award 
Audience Award 
Brave Documentarist Award 
Best actor, Best Actress awards 
Best Screenwriting Award for Competition of scripts not produced to date. 
The awards given out each year are selected from these award categories.

Trophies designed and donated by Michael Aram, City Winery special label wines, are offered.

The Justice and Peace Award, the Lifetime of Inspiration Award, Career Recognition Award, Empowering Women and Girls award in memory of Vanya Exerjian, and the Women Film Critics' Circle Award in addition to cash prizes and other smaller in-kind awards are presented by the festival, and may develop in number and category, or change from one year to another.

SRFF reserves the right to: 
* Use the selected films for trailers and publicity usage: 
* Screen the winning films in other SRFF related events internationally, and recommend the winning films to other international film festivals that collaborate with SRFF after the approval of the filmmakers.

Rules & Terms



The following terms and conditions (the "Terms") govern the submission of a film (the "Film") or screenplay (the "Screenplay") to SR Film Festival New York ("SRFFNY"), through (FilmFreeway) for consideration for the 2020 SR Socially Relevant Film Festival (the "Festival").

(1) By submitting a Film to SRFFNY for Festival consideration, the submitter (the "Applicant") represents that he or she has obtained consent from any and all owners, creators, writers producers and/or other authorized representatives of the Film whose consent is required to submit the Film to SRFFNY (the "Film Owners"), and has read, understood and agreed to the Terms.

(2) SRFFNY may disqualify or reject, but is not required to do so, any submission that it determines in its sole discretion, is not in compliance, in whole or in part, with these Terms, and may do so without refunding any or all submission fees paid by the Applicant.

(3) As the author/rights owner of the film I/we have submitted to SRFFNY, I/we warrant as sole and exclusive owner/s of all legal right and title thereto have absolute authority to submit the film to SRFFNY. I/we will indemnify and hold harmless SRFFNY, its judges, sponsors and partners, individually and collectively, from and against all claims, demands, losses, damages, costs, liabilities and expenses including legal expenses arising out of or in connection with any and all third party claims based on films submitted to SRFFNY. RatedSRNY winners will permit SRFFNY to use their name and/or likeness in post-competition publicity. By signing this form I/we understand and agree to all the terms and conditions of film entry. I have read through and agree to the SR Socially Relevant Film Festival New York Entry Procedure, Rules, Guidelines, and all Terms and Conditions.

(4) As author/rights owner of the film I/we grant legal permission to include my/our film in promotional distribution program. I/we own or control the copyright for the motion picture and have secured all the rights for the locations, music, actors, scripts, likenesses, products, etc.

(5) In the case of any rights related Errors and Omissions, I, the filmmaker and submitter, relieve the festival of any responsibility of libel resulting form copyright infringement. I take full responsibility of such.

(1) Films submitted to for Festival consideration under these Terms must be submitted in one of the categories set out below.

(2) Films that do not meet the eligibility requirements for any of the below categories should not be submitted and will not be considered by SRFFNY.

(3) The Festival is organized into a series of programs, which are subject to change from year to year, but might include, for example: Gala, Closing Night, panel discussions, screenings, spotlight events, Q&A's, etc. SRFFNY may slot selected films into programs at its sole and absolute discretion.

(4) SRFFNY expects all Films that it presents at the Festival to be, at minimum, North American or New York premieres, but reserves the right to present films that are not.

(5) A Film previously submitted to SRFFNY for Festival consideration can re-apply for the festival in the following years.

(6) Films submitted on-line via FilmFreeway's online screeners could receive preference. Films selected for the festival slate will be screened on BluRay or on DCP. Additional details regarding these screening formats will be provided to selected Films upon invitation on pre-selection. SRFFNY does not screen work in any other format in the current year.

(7) Festival organizers and persons associated with the festival can submit films for screening and screenplays for consideration (out of competition).

(8) Winning films are to present, at their own production's expense, the screening or distribution deliverables as requested by the festival venue, the distributor or exhibitor as the case might be.

(9) Selected film screeners are not returned unless a SAE is included from the start and a special request is made to this effect.

(10) Films that are in the official selection may not screen anywhere in the Greater New York Tri-State area within two months of the festival at a public screening, even in a shorter or slightly different version.


Submission Procedure

(1) All Films submitted under these Terms must be submitted in accordance with the procedure outlined herein. SRFFNY may disqualify or reject any Film that is not submitted in this way.

(2) To submit a film for Festival consideration, an Applicant must: (a) complete the registration process at FilmFreeway and pay the required fee as outlined in the different categories and (b) provide to SRFFNY a FilmFreeway online screener (a DVD screener may only be accepted under exceptional circumstances) for review by SRFFNY programming staff. SRNY does not accept submissions in any other manner or format, including content burned to Read/Write (RW) discs, BluRay discs or trailers. Please make sure to provide a link on FilmFreeway or a password protected link on Vimeo, YouTune.

(3) The submitted online material must: 
a. contain one version only of the Film, in the original language of production, with English subtitles if the original language is not English; 
b. be formatted in MPEG-2 video for Region 1/North America or Region 0/no region (i.e. the DVD is authored as a video DVD and not burned as a data disc containing Quicktime or other similar file formats); 
c. be labeled with the following: (i) title, (ii) production company name, phone number, and address, (iii) director's name, (iv) length in minutes, and (v) FilmFreeway tracking number; 
d. be shipped in accordance with the shipping instructions set out below in sections 8 through 11.

(4) Applicants should test their DVDs and BluRays thoroughly before submitting them. It is the Applicant's sole responsibility to ensure that the submitted DVD/ BluRay screener plays in its entirety on an industry-standard DVD player. If SRFFNY is unable to view the DVD or BluRay, SRFFNY will attempt but is under no obligation, to contact the Applicant in order to obtain a replacement DVD/BluRay, or to burn one for screening purposes

(5) SRFFNY will not review multiple versions of a submitted Film. Only one version of the Film may be submitted. If multiple versions are submitted, SRFFNY will view only the version that was received first.

(6) DVD & DCP screeners will not be returned. 
DVD's, BluRays and DCP screeners that are sent as deliverables after selection of the film may be returned after the festival ONLY if a self-addressed, postage paid, return envelope is included when sending in the deliverables.

(7) All Films must be sent by way of prepaid shipping. SRFFNY will not accept collect shipments.

(8) The Festival is not responsible for and will not accept shipments incurring expenses for terminal charges, duties, taxes or customs brokerage. Applicants should clearly indicate on all waybills that transportation and customs charges are to be billed to the sender. Any shipping charges incurred by SRFFNY will be billed back to the Applicant.

(9) Films should not be shipped in excessive packaging or with any materials other than those requested by SRFFNY. Please make sure to pack DVD's/ BluRays and DCP's properly as many boxes arrive totally damaged in transit.

(10) SRFFNY is not responsible and bears no liability with respect to clearance of shipments through US customs. However, SRFFNY recommends that Applicants sending submissions from outside of the USA take the following steps to increase the chance of successful review by US customs: 
a. Include three copies of a commercial invoice (declaration of contents) containing the following information: i. Sender's name, address and telephone number ii. Recipient's address iii. Title of film and format iv. Runtime of film v. Fair market value (standard is US $20) vi. Country of manufacture vii. Declaration "Goods on loan for Festival purposes only. No commercial value." viii. Sender's signature. 
b. The commercial invoice should be included with the courier waybill. Applicants shipping via international post should affix a customs declaration label to the outside of the package. 
c. SRFFNY prefers FedEX, UPS or DHL where available.

(11) SRFFNY does not confirm receipt of shipment and is not responsible for lost or misdirected packages. It is the Applicant's responsibility to ensure that the submission procedure is completed and that the DVD/ BluRay/ DCP screener has been received by SRFFNY.

Screenplays should be submitted as completed screenplays (PDF). 
As the author of the screenplay, I/we have submitted to SRFFNY, I/we warrant as the sole and exclusive owner/s of all legal right and title thereto have absolute authority to submit the screenplay to SRFFNY. I/we will indemnify and hold harmless SRFFNY, its judges, sponsors and partners, individually and collectively, from and against all claims, demands, losses, damages, costs, liabilities and expenses including legal expenses arising out of or in connection with any and all third party claims based on scripts submitted to SRFFNY. SRFFNY winners will permit SRFFNY to use their name and/or likeness in post-competition publicity. By signing this form I/we understand and agree to all the terms and conditions of screenplay entry. I have read through and agree to the SR Socially Relevant Film Festival New York Entry Procedure, Rules, Guidelines, and all Terms and Conditions.

(1) In order to be eligible for consideration, DVD submissions must be post-marked, FilmFreeway registration completed, and all fees paid, by the deadlines outlined in the categories.

(2) SRFFNY may accept late submissions in its discretion, but an additional submission fee may apply as specified in the different categories.

SRFFNY will consider for inclusion in the Festival all eligible films that have been submitted by the above deadline and in accordance with these Terms. SRNY reserves the right to consider for inclusion in the Festival, and includes in the Festival, films received at any time and through any means, channel or process, including means, channels or processes other than those outlined in these Terms. Nothing in these Terms or otherwise requires SRFFNY to select for Festival inclusion any of the Films submitted through the process outlined in these Terms.

(1) All selection decisions are at the sole and absolute discretion of SRFFNY, and are final and non-reviewable. SRFFNY is not required to provide any feedback, comments or reasons, or any other information, regarding the selection or non-selection of any submitted Film or the process by which Films are or have been selected. SRFFNY is not responsible or liable for its selection decisions; for the contents of any internal comments or feedback regarding the Film that are or may be obtained from the Applicant or anyone else; for any communications by any representative of SRFFNY relating to the Film or the Festival selection process; for the manner in which the Film shall be, is or was considered and reviewed; or for any failure on the part of the Festival to provide the Applicant or anyone else with information concerning SRFFNY's consideration and/or review of the Film.

(2) SRFFNY will notify by January 10th, all Applicants who have been selected to participate in the Festival. All Applicants who are not selected to participate in the Festival will be contacted by email on or around February 5th. SRFF will contact Applicants using the contact information provided in the FilmFreeway registration form. It is the applicant's responsibility to provide the correct and functional contact information. SRFFNY is not responsible for any failed attempts to contact Applicants using the contact information provided.

(1) By submitting the film to SRFFNY, the Applicant and Film Owners (the "Submitting Parties") hereby warrant and represent that: (i) the film is wholly original and is not copied from and does not include any other work that is the subject of copyright or other protection, unless such work is in the public domain or the Submitting Parties have obtained any and all consents, releases, licenses, and other authorizations or waivers of any kind necessary for the inclusion or reproduction of any person, character, location, thing, trade-mark, sound recording, musical composition or other work in the film; (ii) the film does not defame any person or violate the common law or statutory rights, including, without limitation, the rights of privacy and publicity or any other right of any person; (iii) the film is not the subject of litigation; (iv) there are no agreements, nor will there be any agreements made subsequent to the date of this Film submission that would or could have the effect of impairing the Submitting Parties' ability to provide the film as contemplated herein, or otherwise conflict with any provision of these Terms; and (iv) the Submitting Parties have the full right, power and authority to submit the film to SRFFNY for Festival consideration, and to grant all of the rights granted hereunder and in the FilmFreeway registration form, and there is no obligation or disability which would in any way impair, restrict or impede the Submitting Parties from fully performing all obligations pursuant to the submission and these Terms.

(2) The Submitting Parties agree to indemnify and hold harmless Rated SRFFNY, its licensees, successors and assigns, and its and their members, officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, associates and affiliates (each, a "Releasee"), from any claim, suit, action or other proceeding brought against a Releasee and from any losses, costs, or damages, including the Releasee's full legal costs, which it may have suffered or incurred or may suffer or incur, directly or indirectly based on, in connection with, or arising from the use and exhibition of the Film submitted by the Applicant or the breach or alleged breach of any representation, warranty or other agreement made by the Applicant in these Terms, or in the Applicant's FilmFreeway registration form.

(3) SRFFNY takes all reasonable anti-piracy precautions. While in SRFFNY's possession, all Films are securely stored and regularly inventoried. Access to Films is limited to SRFFNY staff who require access in order to screen and consider submissions. No duplication and loaning of Films are permitted. By submitting a Film to SRFFNY, the Submitting Parties hereby release SRFFNY from any and all liability in the event of theft, unauthorized access or copying, or any breach of copyright of the submitted Film while it is in SRFFNY's possession.

(1) SRFFNY reserves the right to rule, in its sole discretion, on cases and situations not foreseen by these Terms. Condition and unforeseen changes and circumstances may arise in which case SRFFNY will do its best to retain the status quo, but may have in certain circumstances to make necessary changes to accommodate such unforeseen circumstances. The person who has completed this entry form has READ and AGREES TO ABIDE BY all regulations and statements provided within this form. 
(2) Some conditions may change without notice. It is the responsibility of each applicant to verify such changes and decide their position accordingly. 
(3) Most awards are given by partner organizations and although SRFFNY makes sure to honor all awards as announced, in some unexpected cases substitutions may occur that are not in the control of SRFFNY and that is the sole discretion of the awarding parties. SRFFNY apologizes in advance for any inconveniences resulting from such unexpected and rare changes or substitutions.

SRFF reserves the right to: 
* Use the selected films for trailers and publicity usage: 
* Screen the winning films in other SRFF related events internationally, and recommend the winning films to other international film festivals that collaborate with SRFF after the approval of the filmmakers.


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About SR - Socially Relevant Film Festival New York

(SR Socially Relevant Film Festival New York)

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