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2022 Cayuga Film Festival accepting entries from NY filmmakers through July 1

New York’s emerging filmmakers will have a chance to screen their films at the Second Annual Cayuga Film Festival this October.

Submissions now are open for documentaries, experimental, fiction and animated films from high school students, college students and emerging filmmakers of all ages in New York State.


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2022 Cayuga Film Festival

The Auburn Public Theater will host the 2022 Cayuga Film Festival on Saturday, October 29, followed by an awards ceremony for the 2022 and 2021 winners.

Folks at Cayuga Community College and the Auburn Public Theater established the festival in 2020.

“During the pandemic, we decided, you know what, with everything being virtual right now, it would actually be a little easier to start a festival and then after the pandemic, bring it to life. So it seemed like the perfect time to start the festival,” explained the festival’s Executive Producer Steve Keeler in a recent interview with FingerLakes1.com.

Categories are currently open for high school, college and emerging filmakers. The latter category is for filmmakers under 30 years old. There is also an ‘open’ category for filmmakers over the age of 30.

2021 Cayuga Film Festival awards ceremony. Credit: Christopher Molloy

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Submission process and deadlines

Films made between July 1, 2021 and July 1, 2022 will be accepted.

Categories are available for applicants of all ages. To enter, you must either be a resident of New York or have made the film while you were living or attending school in New York. Submissions are $10 per entry. More information on eligibility requirements here.

This year’s theme for the documentary category is human rights. The festival notes that the city of Auburn has a “deep history of championing equal rights” and cites this legacy as an inspiration for the Documentary Human Rights Award.

Submissions close on Friday, July 1, 2022. Visit the festival’s submission portal for more details on how to submit.

“Filmmakers will be notified on October 1. The schedule will be going out later when we curate the whole program,” said Festival Director Juliette Zyarowicz.

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Get involved

According to Zyarowicz, the Cayuga Film Festival is expanding to a two-day event this year.

Festival organizers are seeking volunteers for the event that kicks off on October 29.

“The first day, we’re going to have a screening of a feature-length documentary film with a Q&A by the director and producer. That will be a great event for young and emerging filmmakers to talk to folks who are doing it for a living,” said Zyarowicz.

On the second day, a screening will run from approximately noon until 5 p.m followed by an awards ceremony and a reception for winners at 6 p.m.

“Folks who want to volunteer can help with admissions into the screening. We have a T-shirt station for all the winners. We have awards to give out and people who need to be escorted to the reception. We have folks who are coming in from out of town who need to find places to stay and things to do,” added Keeler. “Volunteers can help with all those things.”

Another view of the 2021 screening event. Credit: Christopher Molloy

Zyarowicz provided the following advice for young filmmakers interested in submitting for the festival:

“Don’t be afraid to submit something and just see what happens. Not being afraid to submit your work to show people is really important, I think, because it’s also nice to have just get that feedback from people who maybe have a little bit of experience who can give you some pointers, especially if you’re looking to pursue a career in this.”

If you’re interested in volunteering, you can contact festival organizers through this webpage.

Visit this website for more information on the 2022 Cayuga Film Festival schedule.

Follow the festival on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates.

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