2017 New Voices Filmmaker Grant

Empowering the next generation of LGBTQ filmmakers

2017 New Voices Filmmaker Grant Recipients announced!

NewFest and American Eagle Outfitters would like to congratulate the recipients of the New Voices Filmmaker Grant, which awarded young LGBTQ+ talent in grants totaling $5,000. 

Grand Prize, $2,000
Joseph Sulsenti, “Fishy”

Runner-Ups, $1,000
Zachary Clarence, “The Woman’s Bathroom Project”
Jonah A. Davis, “Duality”
Jason Piemnoppakao, “Called Home”

Sign up for our mailing list and stay tuned for information on how you can watch the promising short films by these filmmakers. 

The recipients of the New Voices Filmmaker Grant were announced at OutCinema, NewFest & NYC Pride’s annual event at the SVA Theatre, on June 19th, 2017.

NewFest’s Programming & Operations Manager Nick McCarthy reveals the young LGBTQ filmmaker recipients of the New Voices Filmmaker Grant.

Young LGBTQ filmmaker Joseph Sulsenti (“FISHY”) accepting the New Voices Filmmaker grand prize and $2,000 grant. Photos credit: Yifu Chien

Are you an aspiring young filmmaker?

NewFest and American Eagle Outfitters are proud to announce the creation of the New Voices Filmmaker Grant and are currently accepting entries of short films, either narrative or documentary, that feature LGBTQ-themes and/or protagonists. The short film must be made by a director within the ages of 15 – 24 to be considered and must be between two (2) – ten (10) minutes in length.

If you and your film qualify, apply now for the New Voices Filmmaker Grant! See below for all rules and regulations.

The deadline has passed and the application is now closed. Grant recipients will be informed in early June.

This nationwide search for talent focuses on discovering the next generation of LGBTQ content creators. These grants contribute to the fostering of promising LGBTQ filmmakers, as well as provide direct support for the boundless imagination of young storytellers in the LGBT community. Two runner-up prizes will also be awarded. The winner will be announced at OutCinema, NewFest’s annual Pride event, on Monday, June 19th.


  • The submitted entry must have been created no earlier than April 2015.
  • The submitted entry must be between 2 minutes and 10 minutes in length.
  • The submitted entry can be any genre, and can be either non-fiction documentary or fictional narrative work, as long as the film features an LGBTQ individual.
  • The director and/or producer must be within the ages of fifteen (15) and twenty-four (24), as of April 5, 2017.
  • The film must have been made by an LGBTQ-identifying filmmaker and/or depict LGBTQ subjects or characters.
  • The applying filmmaker must be a resident of the USA.


  • To submit, fill out the complete application.
  • Entry to the competition is FREE.
  • We welcome submissions from individuals or groups of friends, youth and community groups, and schools and colleges.
  • If submitting DVD viewing discs (screeners), these must be sent at your own expense to NewFest, 601 West 26th st, Suite 325-95, New York, NY 10001. Screeners will NOT be returned, however they can be collected from the NewFest office.


  • All filmmakers need to submit an entry form.
  • Applicants will need to provide: (1) a Youtube or Vimeo link to your film (preferred) or (2) the source digital video file or a DVD.
  • Applying directors/producers must have had no more than three years professional experience.
  • If not in English, the submitted film must have subtitles
  • The award organizers are entitled to exclude films not fulfilling the above criteria.
  • Submitting parties must hold complete ownership and rights of submitted product.
  • Each filmmaker can submit up to two films.
  • Adults can be used as actors, but should not be involved in film production.
  • Films that include graphic language or content that’s unacceptable for audiences under 15 will not be considered.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you have the right to show the film to a public audience (i.e. secured all music and image rights). Filmmakers can use their own original music in their film, or they may use music that is copyright-free or public domain. If you do not have the permission to use the music/images in your film you cannot submit the film into the competition.
  • By submitting an Entry, the filmmaker grants American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. the irrevocable right and permission to use, publish, and display the submitted short films for any and all purposes if the Entry is chosen as a finalist. Additionally, filmmakers waive any right to royalties or other compensation arising or related to American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.’s use of such entries. There is neither a time limit nor any geographic limitations on the validity of these grant of rights.

The three finalists will be informed in early June of which prize they’ve received, but the winners’ names will not be publicly announced prior to OutCinema on Monday, June 19th. Due to the volume of entries we receive, only finalists will be informed of their prize.

If you have any questions about the New Voices Filmmaker Grant, please contact newvoices@newfest.org.