The Manhattan Film Festival was founded in 2006, as Independent Features. The organization was founded by Philip J. Nelson and co-founded Jose Ruiz Jr. The two got their start in the film industry producing the 2001 independent film Promise of a New Day. In early 2006 they contemplated the production of another film but remembered the barriers they faced five years earlier. As the popularity of streaming video began to soar, Nelson thought it would be great if a film festival offered film selection via a web-based competition. That vision became the Independent Features Film Festival. To serve the needs of all filmmakers Independent Features later assembled a programming panel. They became the first film festival to offer film selection by a traditional programming panel in addition to film selection via a web-based competition.
The Manhattan Film Festival was recently named “25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee: 2012” by MovieMaker Magazine. Since their inception, they have worked to discover new ways to help filmmakers succeed in the ever changing film industry. As an organization founded by independent filmmakers they understand what goes into the production of a film and unlike other festivals, they sympathize with the costs associated with the art. This knowledge became the foundation of their widely popular Filmmaker Revenue Sharing Program, which is administered by the festival’s managing parent, Screenbooker.
Filmmakers are urged to submit their work. Film submissions are open through the latter half of the winter with late deadlines in the early spring. The festival runs in Manhattan during the latter half of June through July 1st. Film Anthropology and Norcross Media are official sponsors of the Manhattan Film Festival and will be present at the 2013 (7th Annual) event.