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2010 Tribeca Film Festival Entry Rules and Regulations

Submissions for the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival opened on September 14. Get a jumpstart on the new year and learn how to submit your film today!

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Submissions FAQ


The mission of the Tribeca Film Festival is to create platforms for filmmakers to reach the best possible audience for their work. Since submission of a film constitutes acceptance of these Entry Rules & Regulations (by filmmakers and their agents), please review this document carefully.



  • September 14, 2009 (3 pm EST) – Submissions open
  • November 13, 2009 (postmark) – Early entry deadline, Features and Shorts
  • December 14, 2009 (postmark) – Official entry deadline, All Features and Shorts completed in 2009
  • January 11, 2010 (arrive by) – Late Deadline 2009 Feature-length Works-In-Progress and Films completed after official deadline (Feature WIPs Only)*
  • April 21 - May 2, 2010 – 9th Annual Tribeca Film Festival in NYC (“TFF10”) 

*If a Feature WIP film sent in by the Late Deadline is selected, the film must be completed by March 2010.
Submitted works that are not final cuts must be clearly marked “Work in Progress (WIP)” or “Rough Cut” with an indication of what will change or what is missing (e.g., temp sound, Avid output, animation, etc.).

Due to the volume of submissions, only ONE replacement copy (i.e. Final Cut) will be accepted.

*Replacement copies will NOT be accepted after January 11, 2010, unless solicited by the Festival.



  • EARLY Deadline (11/13/09 - postmark) – Shorts ( < 40 min): US$25; Features ( ≥ 40 min): US$45
  • OFFICIAL Deadline (12/14/09 - postmark) – Shorts ( < 40 min): US$40; Features ( ≥ 40 min): US$65
  • LATE Deadline (01/11/10 – arrive by) – Feature WIPs Only ( ≥ 40 min): US$95

Entry fees are in US Dollars, per film and non-refundable. Read eligibility requirements carefully prior to submitting.

Fee waived for student entries if a photocopy of current and valid student ID card or letter from school verifying enrollment is submitted at time of entry.



To be eligible for consideration:

Entrants must fully comply with these Entry Rules & Regulations, including deadline(s) and entry material requirements, selected film requirements and premiere requirements for specific TFF10 sections (see below).

Non-English language works must either have English subtitles or be accompanied by dialogue lists in both English and the original language.

Submitted works must not, prior to or (unless approved in advance by Festival) during TFF10, be:

  • Publicly broadcast (via TV, internet or otherwise), except shorts may be shown prior to the TFF10 on a non-commercial website only and for a set, finite, and limited period (i.e., as part of an online-only film festival)
  • Commercially exhibited in the U.S.
  • Publicly exhibited in the New York City area or, prior to January 1, 2009, publicly exhibited anywhere



Apply online at and mail all required entry materials (see below).


All entries must include the following:

An online official TFF10 “Entry Form” properly completed and submitted.

The entry fee(s) (or student ID photocopy), which is payable by credit card (American Express, Visa, or MasterCard, Discover). You must include a copy of your payment receipt if you have paid by credit card.

TWO DVD copies of the work, formatted for multi-zone or for Zone 1 (North America), labeled with the work’s title, running time, director(s) name(s).

  • DVD format, please double check that your DVD plays in its entirety on consumer DVD players. Also, please do not put adhesive labels on the disc unless it is a professional output job (if burning yourself, use a permanent marker to write necessary info).
  • Entries will not be accepted for preview on any other format.

* Entry materials will not be returned.



Each entered work must be accompanied by its own entry form and by a separate DVD; please do not send a compilation DVD composed of works for separate entries.


If your work was submitted and considered for previous editions of the Tribeca Film Festival, you may re-enter it if you have made significant changes and if all eligibility requirements are met (see above).


Festival programmers select and invite all the films to be presented at TFF10, with premieres given priority. Invited filmmakers will be notified (by email, phone or fax via the information in the submitted entry form) around mid-March 2010. Most updates and correspondence will be sent via email. Make sure to update us with any other festival invitations prior to TFF10 at Festival may rescind invitations if the film’s eligibility status changes. 


You must fulfill the following requirements by the date(s) designated by the Festival upon invitation:

(1) You will be required to execute a release and agreement wherein you (i) accept responsibility for obtaining any and all clearances necessary to exhibit your film at 9th Annual Tribeca Film Festival (“TFF10”) (ii) warrant that you have the rights necessary to exhibit your film at TFF10 (iii) indemnify and hold harmless Tribeca Film Festival NYC, LLC at its affiliates against any claim arising out of exhibition of your film at TFF10.

(2) You will be responsible for delivery of the exhibition copy of the invited work in one of the Exhibition Formats specified below to the address designated by the Festival. The Festival will arrange and cover the cost of the return shipping of your print or video after the conclusion of the Festival. We recommend shipment via courier in order to permit the tracking of your entry once it leaves your hands.

  • We exhibit in 35mm, 16mm, and HDCAM.
  • Due to our limited capacity to project 16mm, the Festival reserves the right to request that work originally in that format be supplied to us in HDCAM.
  • Films in competition will be required to provide a second exhibition copy to accommodate juror screenings.
  • The Festival may request additional exhibition copies to allow for multiple screenings at more than one venue.

(3) You will provide a properly completed and signed official TFF10 “Film Information Form” including all press and publication assets as specified in the “Materials Checklist.”

(4) You will provide at least one DVD copy of the finalized and completed film for Festival archives. 


Works invited to participate in the TFF10 will be shown in the section Festival programmers determine most appropriate in their sole discretion.
In Competition:

World Narrative Features

  • Open to works from all regions, but must be at least a North American “premiere” (i.e., not screened theatrically).
  • Eligible for Best Narrative Feature, Emerging Narrative Feature Filmmaker (for 1st and 2nd time feature directors), Best Actor, and Best Actress. 

World Documentary Features

  • Open to works from all regions, but must be at least a North American premiere (i.e., not screened theatrically).
  • Eligible for Best Documentary Feature, Emerging Narrative Documentary Filmmaker (for 1st and 2nd time feature directors). 

Shorts (narrative and documentary - under 40 minutes)

  • Eligible for Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Short, and Student Visionary Award.
  • Student short films must be produced through an accredited educational institution.
  • Shorts will play either in a shorts program or before a feature film.

Out of Competition
(all must be at least NY premieres unless otherwise noted): 

Gala, Spotlight

  • Both of these invitation-only sections feature advanced screenings of eagerly anticipated films before they hit theaters. 


  • Assortment of documentary and narrative films offers high-profile talent and notable subject matter sure to spark conversations (must be at least a US premiere). 


  • Premieres of works by outstanding new voices (must be a US premiere). 


  • A selection of outstanding films previously screened at festivals around the world. 


  • An opportunity to glance into film history's rear-view mirror and celebrate the invaluable work of film archives worldwide. 


  • Devoted to narrative and documentary features for late night audiences.


Film Series and Programs:

Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival

  • Showcase of films celebrating the spirit of competition. Line-up will be comprised of official selections of TFF10.

Sloan Science and Technology Film Series

  • Open to works of any length which have a scientific or technological theme and story line or whose protagonist is a scientist, engineer, or mathematician.
  • Films selected for this series may play in any section of the Festival.
  • This series is underwritten by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

 Youth Media Series (narrative and documentary – 15 minutes or less)

  • Open to works made by filmmakers younger than 20 years of age and residing within the five boroughs of NYC.
  • Youth filmmakers must play major creative roles on the production of the submitted works – as directors, writers, and/or editors. Any works reflecting more than 50% of creative control by filmmakers over the age of 20 will be ineligible (with preference given to films that are overwhelmingly youth made).
  • Youth Media qualified works will be considered for TFI’s Youth Media Series in addition to TFF10.


  • In 2009, cash awards totaled $140,000 in addition to $20,000 worth of in-kind services and products.
  • Unless otherwise agreed to by Festival programmers in writing, awards will be given to the winning film director (as identified in the Film Information Form) and will be fulfilled approximately 12-16 weeks after the closing date of TFF10.
  • Award eligibility is subject to any restrictions or conditions imposed by applicable laws and regulations (international, federal, state or otherwise), and the award recipient is responsible for all applicable taxes, customs, tariffs, insurance and similar charges or costs (if any).
  • All new feature-length works are eligible for the “Audience Award” regardless of section (except for the “Gala” section).
  • All feature-length films shot in NYC are eligible for the “Best New York Narrative” and “Best New York Documentary” awards. (Must be at least a NY premiere.)
  • 2010 Awards listed in the above Festival sections are subject to change.


All submissions must be sent prepaid (including any applicable customs fees) to:

Tribeca Film Festival
Attn: ENTRIES – “Film Title” – SHORT or FEATURE (Label appropriate category on outside of package)
375 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013

Questions: Email or call (212) 941-2305 or log on to

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Submissions FAQ (will be available on September 18).



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