FOLCS International Short Film Competition

The International Short Film Competition annually encourages and showcases the creation of short films exploring themes of justice, human rights, and the law by independent, emerging filmmakers from around the world. Finalist films are screened at the FOLCS Annual Awards Night.

FOLCS believes that film is a powerful way to address issues of injustice and human rights. Movies and documentaries, beyond being entertaining, can be enlightening; they can be a catalyst for conversation and a call for social change. The International Short Film Competition seeks to give a platform to these emerging voices.

Mark Your Calendars!

April 8, 2021

8th FOLCS Annual Awards Night

(Tickets will be released in March 2021)


About the Competition:


The FOLCS International Short Film Competition (F-ISFC) 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 shorts viewed by distinguished professionals from both the legal and entertainment fields. Each year F-ISFC features renowned filmmakers, actors, writers, journalists, public intellectuals, and members of the legal profession. F-ISFC also attracts overflowing and diverse crowds of film enthusiasts, which provides a great platform for showcasing your winning work!

About the Annual Awards Night:

The FOLCS Awards Night plays host to emerging filmmakers, screening a diverse set of legal, social justice, and human rights-themed shorts from around the world. This FREE event is the closing night of the competition and includes a red carpet and an awards presentation. Additionally, members of the audience have the opportunity to vote on which short will receive the Audience Favorite Award. In keeping with FOLCS Film Series tradition, at this red-carpet event, the finalist filmmakers participate in a post-screening discussion about their films.

8Th FOLCS Annual Awards Night is produced in partnership with the New York Film Academy.


Best Short, Best Screenplay, Outstanding Female Filmmaker, Young Filmmaker (18 years and younger), & Audience Favorite. Award Winners will receive a trophy (FOLCS-Y) and a Certificate of Award. 

Past Competitions Judges:

Daniel Anker, Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker; Henry Bean, director/screenwriter; Piero Basso, Chair of Cinematography, NYFA; Randall Dottin, Chair of Screenwriting Department, NYFA; Andrea Swift, Chair of Documentary Filmmaking, NYFA; Jonathan Whittaker, Chair of Short-Term Intensive Programs, NYFA;  Isaiah Sheffer, co-founder of Symphony Space; Ronald Guttman, film and TV actor; Nikzad Nodjoumi, art critic and fine art painter; Mark Ethan, actor and film professor; Sandy Gotham Meehan, Producer/Director/Writer; Annette Insdorf, film historian and director of undergraduate film studies at Columbia University; Larry Gross, producer/screenwriter; Dahlia Lithwick, Slate senior editor, and legal correspondent; Veleka Gray, director/actress/Emmy judge; Sara Nodjoumi, producer/screenwriter.



Explore FOLCS Past Competitions

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"Independent short films give us perspective, ground us, take us outside of the realm of our day-to-day, connect us with people we otherwise would not encounter and inevitably inspire us to reflect on our own values and the values of the society within which we live."

Shervin Abachi - Director of the FOLCS International Short Film Competition