LA Media is super excited for the 3rd annual New York City Drone Film Festival, which  is taking place this year on 17, 18 & 19 March 2017. The New York Drone Film Festival is considered to be the world’s first event exclusively dedicated to celebrating the art of drone cinematography.


A Drone Film Festival?

This is a new version of this event. Just ten years ago there wouldn’t have been a demand for this sort of festival and probably nobody would have taken drone footage so seriously. Director, landscape photographer, and aerial cinematographer Randy Scott Slavin founded the Festival in 2014 with a desire to change the perceptions of drones. “I’m tired of drones being synonymous with questionable legality, FAA regulation…I want to celebrate the art of aerial cinematography”. The goal of the festival is to offer drone operators/ filmmakers from every corner of the globe an opportunity an international platform to exhibit their work in front of industry professionals and the drone community.


The Who?

Although you’ve missed the 2017 deadline, if you think you’ve got serious drone cinematography chops, you should start thinking about submitting your work next year. The jury is comprised of a select group of film & television professionals and drone cinematographers. Some of who include Creative Producer Sam Scheffer at Mashable, Director of Product Experience at DJI Randy Jay Braun and many more.

This year the festival selections will be announced on or around January 22nd, 2017 and all successful applicants will be notified.


The What?

Wondering what type of footage they are looking for? Well, good news for all the drone lovers out there,  it’s got more categories than the Golden Globes. There really is something for everyone. See below for the different categories you can enter.


Drone Categories

NARRATIVE – A great film always centers around a great story and a drone film is no different.


LANDSCAPE/ARCHITECTURE – There’s no question that drones are an ideal tool for shooting landscapes and architecture. Show the judges how you are taking it to the next level?


SHOWREEL – Aerial cinematographers tend to collect a lot of footage.  This category is for those who wish to showcase a wide variety of their work.


NEWS & DOCUMENTARY – Aerial Cinematography used to shoot unscripted subjects. This is about real people in real situations.


TECHNICAL – Getting great drone shots is always technically difficult to achieve.  However, sometimes you’re flying in extreme weather conditions, flying $100k worth of gear on your drone, or dealing with intricate choreography.  This category is for those truly exceptional technical achievements in drone cinema.


FREESTYLE FPV – FPV pilots, this is your category.  Have footage of an outstanding freestyle run?  Submit here.  Have some high octane race footage?  This is the place.  This category is not about picture quality… it’s all about flying skills.


DRONIE – The “drone selfie.”  Enough said.


EXTREME SPORTS –  Extreme sports are best seen via drone and we want to see the best extreme sports footage in the world.  Mountain biking, wing suits, motocross, skateboarding and everything in between – show us what you’ve got.


X-FACTOR – Does your film not fit into the other categories but is still f@&ing awesome?  You can still get involved and submit.


FEATURING DRONES – This category is for films that feature drones. This includes stories about drones or starring drones. Films submitting to this category DO NOT have to be shot using drones.


STILL PHOTOGRAPHY – Motion picture photography and still photography are completely different arts. Finalists in this category will their work printed and displayed at #NYCDFF 2017 screenings and events.


The Rules

The submission guidelines are as follows: all films must be 5 minutes or under in length and at least 50% must be shot using a drone or UAV. All “Dronie” entries must be less than 1 minute in length. All “Showreel” entries must be 3 minutes or under in length. Films submitted to the “Featuring Drones” do not have to be shot with drones.


Why you should do it?

Well one, what have you got to lose? It is a great opportunity to get your drone work noticed by some of the big players. Greater exposure for your work means generating more opportunities for you to fly professionally. You might even win a new drone in the process! Also although drones are awesome how cool would it be to be part of New York’s biggest drone event? See no excuse needed. See what last year’s winners had to offer. If you think you can top it then you should definitely make a note in your diary to submit your work next year. Follow the action online this year with the hashtag #NYCDFF.


We hope you’ve found this blog helpful! Let us know what you think in the comments, tell us if we’ve missed something out. If you enjoyed this blog don’t forget to follow us on: TwitterFacebook and Instagram  for you daily dose of media & drone chat!