FOLCS’ annual International Short Film Competition (ISFC) was created in 2011 with the thought that independent filmmakers from all around the globe would share their original short films on legal, social justice, and human right issues with the FOLCS audience. Entrants are free to construe this theme broadly and choose any subject in which the relationship between justice, law, and society can be fashioned into a unique visual story. The films can be about rights that have been denied, harms that have gone unaddressed, courtroom decisions that are in desperate need of an appeal, government regulations and statutes that are fundamentally unfair, or attempts to express what “justice” really means. We accept films in any genre, including documentary, animation, and drama.
The annual international film competition offers 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.
(By: Ellie Wen | United States)
(By Alexandre Dostie | Canada)
(ByAfshin Akhlaghi | Iran, Islamic Republic of)
(By Maya Rackoff | United States)
(By Jennie Allen | United States)
(By Corporon Gerard | France)
( By Desalos Isabelle | France)
(By Yasmin Mistry | United States)
An intimate look at how mass incarceration impacts a mother on Mother’s Day.
Country: United States
In 2027, hundreds of global surveillance companies are spying on the private lives of citizens. I.R.I.S. is one of them.
Award(s): 3rd Place
Going through painful memories is like taking a boat in a river full of dead bodies.
Country: Iran, Islamic Republic of
Award(s): 2nd Place
A documentary about the refugee crisis in South Tel Aviv and how to improve these circumstances with a sustainable food program.
Country: United States
Award(s): Best Young Filmmaker
A skeptical woman participates in an experimental research study, taking a high dose of psilocybin to face her fears about dying. This short film is inspired by the work of Dr. Bill Richards at John Hopkins School of Medicine, and by Michael Pollan’s article “The Trip Treatment.”
Country: United States
Award(s): Best Screenplay
An oyster farmer from the South of France, who only listens to his heart, is confronted with a situation that is going to make resentment, racism and intolerance rise in others.
From one Shore to another
Award(s): Audience Favorite
When Camille meets Etienne, there is something more than usual. But she has a secret which will ruin everything between them: she has HIV. When she runs away and then he catches her, the complicity turned to a lack of understanding. Despite their shared desire, those two hearts will hurt each other.
Sold for $100 at the age of 5, Fekri suffers through years of abuse before his plight is discovered. After almost a year of hospitalization and therapy, Fekri moves into a group home where he finds support, mentorship, and eventual forgiveness towards the family which sold him.
Award(s): Best Short; Outstanding Female Filmmaker
Chair of Cinematography, NYFA
Born and raised in northern Italy, Piero Basso studied Cinema and Art Studies at the University of Turin. He graduated summa cum laude with a thesis on the works of David Lynch, knowing that cinematography would be his ultimate pursuit. Piero began building a career as a director of photography while also specializing as a Steadicam operator.
He built his first years collaborating with some of the most talented director of his generation, including Gianluca and Massimiliano de Serio and Susanna Nicchiarelli. In 2008 he moved to the United States of America, to New York, where he still lives today, while keeping a strong professional connection with Europe and Italy. In 2009, after being invited to join the AIC (Italian Association of Cinematographers), he was in competition at the 29th Turin Film Festival with Santina directed by Gioberto Pignatelli, and in 2011 he was the cinematographer for Sette Opere di Misericordia, debut feature film for Gianluca and Massimiliano de Serio, presented in Competition at the 64th Locarno Film Festival.
The following years saw him mainly active in the USA shooting, between others, on Lanre Olabisi’s Somewhere in the Middle, Meredith Edwards’ Imagine I’m Beautiful and Rick Lopez’s American Genius for National Geographic. In 2014 Piero came back to Italy to light the first feature of Sebastiano Riso Più Buio di Mezzanotte, for a world premiere at the Semaine of the Critique during the 67th Cannes Film Festival the following year.
In the latest years, Piero has been active on multiple fronts. He shot Min Alesh?, a feature film in Ethiopia with local creative team and talents, while working as well on The Independents with director Greg Naughton, Teresa Costantini on Here and Now, Marco Risi on L’Aquila Grandi Speranze, a television series on the aftermath of the 2009 Earthquake. He has teamed again with Sebastiano Riso for Una Famiglia, in competition at the 74th Venice Film Festival, and worked for the first time with Federico Bondi on Dafne, presented in the Panorama Section at the 69th Berlin Film Festival and winner of the Fipresci award as Best Feature Film of the section. In the USA he recently worked with director Robert Jury on Working Man, with Peter Gerety, Talia Shire and Billy Brown as lead actors, his 16th major credit between cinema and television.
In 2018 he became the Chair of the Cinematography Program for New York Film Academy, at the New York Campus. Piero Basso is based in NYC, where he lives with his wife, daughter and son. He is bilingual and holds permanent residency in the U.S and European Citizenship.
Chair of Screenwriting Department, NYFA
Randall Dottin grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He received his BA from Dartmouth College and completed his MFA in Film Directing from the Columbia University School of the Arts Graduate Film Division in 2003. In the Summer of 1993 Randall landed an internship with Spike Lee’s production company 40 Acres and A Mule Filmworks.
His MFA thesis film, A-Alike, won the Student Academy Award for Best Narrative Film and the National Board of Review Award for Achievement in Filmmaking.
Randall’s short film, Lifted, was sponsored by Fox Searchlight’s program for emerging directors, the Fox Searchlab. Lifted completed post-production at George Lucas’ Skywalker Sound and had its premiere at Skywalker Ranch. Lifted was the official selection in over 40 festivals and won 10 festival awards. In July 2015, Lifted started a five-month broadcast run on CBS Television as part of a collection of short films.
In March 2009, Randall was named by INDIEWIRE Magazine as one of the Top Ten New Voices in Black Cinema. Randall is currently in production on a six-part documentary series titled, The House I Never Knew, which explore the residents of Chicago, Houston and Boston and their struggle to not become casualties of housing segregation.
The film won a $35,000 grant from the Sundance Institute and a $150,000 grant from the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Foundation In 2017, Randall recently completed Fevah, a short film starring Russell Hornsby (Fences), LaRoyce Hawkins (Chicago P.D.) and Melissa Jackson (The Next Three Days). The film has screened in over 25 film festivals and has won 3 festival awards.
When not writing and directing, Randall serves as Chair of the Screenwriting Department at the New York Film Academy. His former students have won screenwriting awards, film festivals awards and have recently began careers as staff writers and show-runners on American, South African and European television shows.
Chair of Documentary Filmmaking, NYFA
A cinematic storyteller with more than twenty years experience, Andrea Swift has created and collaborated on content, both indie and for PBS, AMC, National Geographic Educational, History and others, including films screened at festivals around the world, among them Berlin (Best Short, Panorama), Toronto (Black Filmmaker Foundation Award), Raindance (a “Best of Festival” selection), and at the United Nations Earth Summit and for members of Congress. Swift also executive produced and directed the Emmy nominated documentary-magazine series In the Life (PBS). Helping launch the next generation of cinematic storytellers, she taught filmmaking at Columbia University before founding the Documentary Department at New York Film Academy (NYFA). She is currently consulting, and story producing documentaries including the upcoming, Plastic River. MFA, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Chair of Short-Term Intensive Programs, NYFA
Jonathan Whittaker, Co-Chair of Filmmaking and the Virtual Reality Department at The New York Film Academy, is both an educator and media production professional. As a New York based content creator, he has produced, directed and lensed features, short films, music videos, live concerts, commercials, TV shows, virtual reality experiences and 3D specials. Two of his feature producing credits include Train Baby and America Here We Come. Nissan, Sony Pictures, FILM.UA, DirecTV, MiSK, Gillette, Hyundai and Sports Illustrated are just a few of his clients and collaborators. He has also worked and learned from such Hollywood luminaries as Martin Scorsese, Sam Mendes, Joel Schumacher and many others. When he is not on set or in an edit you can usually find him at the head of a lecture hall sharing his thoughts on the art of cinematography and the director’s craft. In addition to serving as a resident instructor at the NYFA New York campus he has also given guest lectures and spoken on panels spanning the globe, including the venerable Beijing Film Academy, Shanghai Theater Academy and King Saud University in Saudi Arabia.Jonathan Whittaker, Co-Chair of Filmmaking and the Virtual Reality Department at The New York Film Academy, is both an educator and media production professional. As a New York based content creator, he has produced, directed and lensed features, short films, music videos, live concerts, commercials, TV shows, virtual reality experiences and 3D specials. Two of his feature producing credits include “Train Baby” and “America Here We Come”.
Nissan, Sony Pictures, FILM.UA, DirecTV, MiSK, Gillette, Hyundai and Sports Illustrated are just a few of his clients and collaborators. He has also worked and learned from such Hollywood luminaries as Martin Scorsese, Sam Mendes, Joel Schumacher and many others. When he is not on set or in an edit you can usually find him at the head of a lecture hall sharing his thoughts on the art of
cinematography and the director’s craft. In addition to serving as a resident instructor at the NYFA New York campus he has also given guest lectures and spoken on panels spanning the globe, including the venerable Beijing Film Academy, Shanghai Theater Academy and King Saud University in Saudi Arabia.