Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FOLCS International Short Film Competition

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+ Festival General Information
+ What is the FOLCS International Short Film Competition?
The FOLCS International Short Film Competition is an annual festival that celebrates the intersection of film, social justice, and human rights. It aims to provide a platform for independent and emerging filmmakers around the world to showcase their work that provokes thought, inspires change, and fosters a deeper understanding of the issues facing society today.
+ How and when can filmmakers submit their entries?
Filmmakers can submit their entries annually via FilmFreeway, a leading platform for film submissions, starting each year in June or July. The submission window remains open for three months, allowing filmmakers ample time to share their vision. We encourage filmmakers to prepare their submissions for the next cycle, which will open in mid-2024.
+ What types of films are accepted?
The competition welcomes films of any genre (animation, comedy, documentary, drama, musical, sci-fi, etc.) that can fashion a unique visual story about the relationship between law, justice, and society. Films should run 20 minutes or less, with no minimum runtime requirement.
+ Who judges the films?
Films are evaluated by an esteemed panel of jury members comprised of renowned filmmakers, actors, writers, journalists, public intellectuals, and members of the legal and entertainment fields. These judges bring a wealth of experience and insight to the selection process, ensuring that the winning films are of the highest quality and relevance.
+ What are the awards and prizes?
The competition recognizes excellence in several categories, including Best Short, 2nd Place, 3rd Place, Best Screenplay, Best Female Filmmaker, Best Young Filmmaker (21 years and younger), and Audience Favorite. Each winner receives a certificate and our unique, glass-made trophy, affectionately known as FOLCS-Y, symbolizing achievement in storytelling that illuminates issues of law, justice, and society.
+ What are the deadlines for submission?
For the upcoming competition, filmmakers generally should note the following deadlines:
  • Early Entry: Around August 1 | Fee: $25
  • Regular Entry: Around September 1 | Fee: $35
  • Late Entry: Around November 1 | Fee: $45
  • Student Fee: For all deadlines, a reduced fee of $15 is available for students.
+ FOLCS Annual Awards Night
+ What is the FOLCS Annual Awards Night?
The Awards Night is a celebratory event marking the culmination of the FOLCS International Short Film Competition. It’s an evening dedicated to recognizing the talent and effort of emerging filmmakers who have created works focusing on social justice, human rights, and the law. This year’s Awards Night marks the 11th of such, and it will be held on April 25, 2024, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM Eastern Time at the New York Film Academy in Manhattan.
+ Is there an entry fee to attend the Awards Night?
No, there is no entry fee. The event is free to attend, but we encourage donations to support the competition and its mission to foster dialogue on social justice through film.
+ Do I need to RSVP for the Awards Night?
Yes, an RSVP is required due to limited seating. However, please note that an RSVP does not guarantee a seat as admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. We recommend arriving early to ensure your spot.
+ What can I expect at the event?
The evening will start with a reception at 6:00 PM offering light beer, wine, and snacks, followed by the screening of selected finalist films. Not all finalist films will be screened, with selections made based on random choice and filmmaker attendance. The screenings will begin at 7:00 PM, and the awards presentation at 8:00 PM. Additionally, a photo booth will be available throughout the evening to capture memories of the event.
+ Are there any special features at the event?
A photo booth will be available for you to capture memories of the evening. You can take a copy of your photos with you as a keepsake.
+ If I watched the films online, can I still attend the Awards Night?
Absolutely! If you have already viewed the films online, we invite you to join us for the awards presentation. Depending on seat availability at 8:00 PM, we will accommodate guests for the awards segment of the evening.
+ Will all the finalist films be screened during the Awards Night?
From the 14 finalist films, only a selection will be screened at the awards night. These are chosen randomly and based on the filmmakers’ attendance. The screened films are not necessarily the award winners.
+ How does voting work?
Voting for the Audience Favorite Award is available both online and in person. Online voting concludes at 6:00 PM on April 25, while in-person voting takes place after the screenings but before the awards presentation.
+ Will the winners of all categories be announced during the Awards Night?
Yes, the winners across all categories, including the Audience Favorite, will be announced during the Awards Night. It’s a momentous occasion to celebrate the achievements of these talented filmmakers.
+ Is there a dress code for the Awards Night?
While there is no strict dress code, we encourage semi-formal attire to honor the filmmakers and the significance of the event.
+ Can I make a donation at the event?
Yes, donations are greatly appreciated and can be made at the event. Your support helps us continue to highlight important narratives and support the filmmaking community.
+ How do I get to the New York Film Academy (Manhattan)?
You can reach the venue via various modes of public transportation: (1) Bus: Routes 161, 28 pass near the academy; (2) Train: HARLEM and PATH lines have routes passing near; (3) Subway: Lines 4, 6, N, Q are convenient options. Here is the link to the exact location on Google Map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/XBxxvUVB1hijaAXY9
+ Is there anything else I should know about the event?
We strive to create an inclusive, engaging, and memorable experience for all attendees. Your participation, whether through viewing, voting, or discussing, contributes significantly to the event’s success. Your donations are greatly appreciated and help us continue to showcase these important narratives. Let’s celebrate the power of storytelling together!
+ Are there opportunities for volunteers?
Yes, the festival welcomes volunteers who wish to contribute their time and skills to ensure the event’s success. Interested individuals can apply to volunteer by contacting us at shorts@folcs.org.
+ FOLCS Screening Nights
+ What are the Screening Nights?
The Screening Nights are an online showcase of the finalist films from April 20, 2024, at 12:00 AM to April 30, 2024, at 11:55 PM Eastern Time. It allows audiences worldwide to watch and vote for their favorite films, engaging with themes of social justice, human rights, and the law from the comfort of their homes.
+ How can I access the Screening Nights?
Registrants will receive links and passwords for the online screenings on April 20th. Make sure you have registered for the event to receive these details.
+ Do I need to watch all the films in one go?
No, you can watch the films at your convenience during the Screening Nights period. The platform allows you to pause and resume watching according to your schedule.
+ Can I vote for my favorite film during the Screening Nights?
Yes, online voting is available throughout the Screening Nights. You can cast your vote for the Audience Favorite Award until 6:00 PM on April 25, contributing to the recognition of exceptional storytelling and impactful messages.
+ Are the Screening Nights accessible worldwide?
Yes, the online nature of the Screening Nights means that anyone around the world can join us in celebrating the finalists’ work, provided they have registered and received the access links.
+ Will there be any live discussions or Q&A sessions during the Screening Nights?
While the main focus is on the film showcase, we encourage participants to engage in discussions via our online platforms. Keep an eye on your email and our social media for announcements regarding live Q&A sessions or panel discussions with filmmakers and judges.
+ Can I share the films or Screening Nights link with others?
To respect the copyright and distribution rights of the filmmakers, we ask that you do not share the screening links or passwords. Encourage friends and family to register for the event to receive their own access.
+ Can I attend the Awards Night even if I only participate in the Screening Nights?
Yes, if you’ve engaged with the films online, you’re more than welcome to join us for the Awards Night, space permitting. It’s an excellent opportunity to celebrate the filmmakers and see if your favorites win any awards. Remember, the Awards Night is on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend arriving early.
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