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The Next Deadline for the 12th Annual Harlem International Film Festival is January 16.

Hi screens all films in the following categories: Animation, Documentary, Narrative, Experimental, Music Video, Webisode, and Youth Film for some of the most enthusiastic film audiences in New York City, as well as hosting a screenplay competition for aspiring and accomplished writers both locally and across the country.

The Harlem International Film Festival has screened over 800 of the world’s finest films from scores of countries including:  Argentina, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Lebanon, Mexico, Mozambique, New Zealand, Panama, Poland, Russia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Trinidad & Tobago, the UK and the US, providing a springboard to further success as well as bestowing over 300 awards including the illustrious annual Mira Nair Award for Rising Female Filmmaker.

Hi also offers the annual Harlem Spotlight Award to films produced in Harlem, about Harlem and its history or featuring key cast or crew members from Harlem.

Program Director Nasri Zacharia said, “Going into our 12th year, the Harlem International Film Festival increasingly has become a springboard and supporter for local NYC talent, as well as a growing exhibitor of phenomenal work from around the world.”

The Harlem International Film Festival has competition categories for both Feature length and Short projects. Feature Documentaries are considered 45 minutes and over and Narrative Features are 60 minutes and over (including titles and end credits).  Short works in Narrative and Documentary can both be applied for under the general Shorts category.

Animation, Music Video, Experimental and Webisode each have their own category.  Youth projects must have been completed while the director, producer or primary cast members were under 21 years old.

Competitions include:

Screenplay (Feature and Short)

Narrative Feature

Documentary Feature

World Cinema

Short Film (Narrative and Documentary)

Animation Competition


Music Video

Youth (Feature and Short)

Webisode (Narrative and Documentary)


Other categories the Festival awards are:

Director (Narrative and Documentary)



Ensemble Cast

Most Remarkable Young Person on Screen



Mira Nair Award for Rising Female Filmmaker

New York Showcase Award

Harlem Spotlight (Narrative, Documentary, and Short Film)


Submission Deadlines

  • Regular: January 16, 2016
  • Late: February 20, 2016
  • Extended: February 27, 2016


For more information please go to: