Here are some of the frequently asked questions we get. If you don't see the info you're looking for, give us a shout here.


Q. How do I volunteer for The Lower East Side Film Festival?
A. Take a look at our volunteer page here.

Q. Where is The Lower East Side Film Festival?
A. The festival takes place at a number of different venues each year in New York City's famed Lower East Side, as well as a few additional venues in the surrounding neighborhoods. For a full list of venues and directions, visit our venue page here.  The Lower East Side Film Festival office is located at 50 Eldridge Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY, 10002. 

Q. Can I donate to The Lower East Side Film Festival?
A. YES! We can't do it without you! The LESFF is supported every year by amazing donors and sponsors that believe in our mission of providing fun and engaging film experiences to The Lower East Side at a fair price, as well as a commitment to showcasing innovative work from up and coming filmmakers from around the world. We are grateful for any contribution, big or small, so if you are so inclined, please visit our donate page here to see how you can become a part of The LESFF!

Q. My Brand/Company wants to sponsor The Lower East Side Film Festival - how do I go about getting in touch?
A. That's great! We work a variety of brands and would love to discuss a partnership. Email us at or visit our sponsorship page here more info. 

Q. Can I buy a pass to the festival?
A. We don’t currently offer passes to the festival. Each event is sold separately, and some events are free, but require an RSVP. Filmmakers receive special access to screenings, but ticketing is different for every event as capacity, venues, times, etc change each year. Please visit the schedule page for details on specific events.

Q. What if I don’t like the films I see at the festival?
A. That’s a shame. We liked ‘em. But you got some free booze out of it!

Q. Is The Lower East Side Film Festival appropriate for children?
A. We don’t want to exclude anyone from enjoying the LESFF, however, most screenings are not typically appropriate for kids. Booze is generally present, and most films would likely have an “R” or at least “PG-13” rating if they MPAA had a look at them. If you would like to bring kids (and the event is not listed as 21+, as some have been in the past), that is up to you! Unfortunately, we can’t be responsible for the content that is screened.

Q. How long are screenings?
A. It depends on the event, but our screenings generally don’t last more that 2 hours. Check the schedule page or film page for specific film run times and event info.

Q. Is The “LES Film Festival” short for “The Lesbian Film Festival?
A. Surprisingly, we get this questions a lot. No. It does not stand for lesbian, it stands for “Lower East Side”. BUT, the good news is we host a GAY Night at the fest every year with OUT Magazine so you can get your fix of all things LES.



Q. How do I submit my film?
A. There are a couple different ways to do so - please visit our submit page for all the instructions. If our submission period is closed, then hang on a few months and it will be open again for next year’s festival!

Q. Does my film have to take place in New York or The Lower East Side?
A. NO! We accept films in every genre from all over the world. We love to see NY based films (mainly b/c we are hoping to recognize ourselves as passersby in the background) but it is absolutely not necessary for your film to have anything to do with New York or the Lower East Side whatsoever.

Q. Who watches my film once I submit it, and how does it get judged?
A. Here at LESFF we have a crack team of filmmakers, festival staff, fest directors, and other talented folks in the film industry that will be viewing your film. Unfortunately we can’t reveal all of our secrets, but every film that becomes a part of the LESFF is chosen based on its quality of storytelling, filmmaking, creativity, innovation, and its ability to engage our audience. Every film and every festival is different, and we strive to choose the films that our best for our festival, our audience, and our mission.

Q. If my film is not finished, can I still submit it?
A. Nobody’s gonna stop ya! But….seeing the best representation of your work will help us decide if it is the best fit for our audience, so if you think submitting it w/o the proper sound mix or color correction will still get the point across, then by all means go ahead, but remember that your film will be judged alongside several other films that did dot all their “i”s and cross all their “t”s - so keep that in mind when submitting. Plus, LESFF’s submission period lasts for several months, so maybe just finish up your film in a couple months and submit it then!

Q. But if I do submit my film unfinished, can I send you an updated version before the festival begins?
A. You may do so, but the updated version of your film will likely only be seen by our programming committee if your film has been accepted to the festival upon viewing the original version. We'll gladly show the most recent and finalized version of your film at the festival, as long as the story, plot, general theme or mood has not changed between versions. 

Q. I’ve submitted my film as a DVD through Withoutabox, but it hasn’t been marked as “in consideration” - so how do I know that you’ve received it?
A. At LESFF we get loads of submissions, so sometimes it takes a bit to get through all of them - but not to worry, we will notify you soon! If it has been over 30 days and you still haven’t received any notification on the status of your film, then feel free to shoot us a note about it, and we will get our best people on it, stat!

Q. Is there a time limit for films?
A. Films that are considered “shorts”, “music videos”, or “web-series” need to be under 60 minutes.  Any film over 60 mins is generally considered a feature to us because screening it would take up a significant portion of any screening, as our screenings generally last 1-2 hours.