The Evolution

The Sparrow Film Project started as a filmmaking contest in Astoria, New York. A rag-tag group of artists came together and picked made-up movie titles out of a hat. Based on the title picked, each participant had three weeks to make a three minute film. We screened all of the finished films and held an awards ceremony at The Sparrow Tavern.

Years later, this event continues to evolve. With each project, participants receive a new set of challenges that evoke passion and creativity for the artists involved and that generate cultural enrichment for the community. Once the films are submitted and judged by an independent panel, we celebrate the filmmakers and their efforts by hosting a gala — an emceed evening with live music, food and awards. We hope to continue providing a forum in which the community can invent, create, and share ideas in the film medium.

The Community

We endeavor to create a competition that serves as an invitation for amateurs, and a challenge to professionals. In turn the community that has grown around it reflects this. Our participants are a diverse group, including first time filmmakers as well as industry veterans with decades of experience. No matter their background or ability, all are welcome.

Over the years some of our participants have moved on to new parts of the country, or the world. Starting in 2013 we introduced online signup and submission to make it possible for their continued participation. As a result, these filmmakers have introduced the competition to their new communities, and our national and international participation continues to grow.

The Events

Participants and supporters alike share in the excitement surrounding the screenings and awards gala. With the assistance of the Museum of the Moving Image we host a weekend of screenings for all completed films in the Museum’s Bartos Theatre, culminating in a red carpet awards gala to celebrate the incredible achievement of our participants with a night of food, drink, and musical performances at the Museum’s Sumner Redstone Theatre.
Beyond the competition we also host events throughout the year to build our community. Some of those include:

  • Educational seminars featuring industry experts for filmmakers looking to broaden their skillset.
  • Networking events where local filmmakers can find new collaborators to work with.
  • Hosted screening for filmmakers to share their work with the community.

How the competition works.

Despite all our growth in the last eight years, the core experience of each Edition of the Sparrow Film Project remains the same:
draw an assignment for a three minute film that you'll make in three weeks.

Signup

You’ll need to sign up your team by midnight on the registration date in order to take part. Register online to receive your assignment by email. You can also register in person at Sparrow on Sunday between 9pm and 11:59pm to pay in cash and draw your own assignment after midnight.

Production

You have exactly three weeks to make your film! Fulfill all of your assignment requirements linkedin three minutes or less. Full rules on the guidelines page.

Guidelines

Turn In

Have your film ready to deliver online via our secure, reliable upload system by midnight on the turn in date. No late submissions accepted. After turn in, your film will go to our judges in preparation for the gala and screenings weekend!

Past Assignments

The Gala

We throw the celebration of the year at The Museum of the Moving Image to honor the nominated films.