Introducing our Scholarship Program and Judging Sponsorship
At the New Jersey Web Festival we are constantly looking for ways to continuously improve our festival and the experience we offer creators. We are continuously blown away by the talent that submits to our festival, and by the community that they build each and every year with each other and with the larger creative community. We aim to be the bar for the festival experience for independent creators while also keeping our programming and awards accessible for creators everywhere.
It is a central mission of the NJWF to empower and uplift creators of global majority and/or historically underrepresented communities. We feel strongly that festivals and awards programs should be both accessible to all creators and professionally managed/adjudicated to instill confidence that every submission, acceptance, nomination, and award winner was fairly considered. We also feel strongly that our judges should be paid for their work to ensure to thank them for giving their experience to our festival.
In 2023 we created two sponsorship opportunities to assist us in these goals that will help us break down financial barriers-to-entry for underrepresented creators to submit to our festival as well as increase the number of judges we're able to hire to consider every single submission. Our Scholarship Judging Sponsorship Programs were huge successes. Both are designed to break down barriers-to-entry through increasing Access and Confidence for every single creator.
We're excited to bring these back for 2024 and beyond!
Learn more below, or Apply for the Scholarship Program now.
Our 2023 Sponsors
The most pressing barrier-to entry facing creators looking to submit to our festival is the financial burden of submission and/or attendance. For creators from historically underrepresented communities this burden compounds inside other societal and cultural barriers. We have created a scholarship program that is specifically designed to address this barrier for BIPOC, female-identifying, and/or LGBTQIA creators; as well as creators with disabilities.
Through the end of our submission process (final submission deadline is June 17, 2023) creators can submit to receive a full submission fee waiver. Fees will be covered out of a pot of money created by our incredible corporate sponsors. Throughout our submission process we will be adding additional sponsors to this program to continuously increase our available funds and cover fees for more and more projects. If you are a sponsor and would like to join us in this program, please follow the link below.
Creators who are interested in receiving this Scholarship can fill out the form at the link below. Projects will be selected randomly from the pool and contacted directly with their submission fee waiver as funds are available. We will select new recipients every other week so long as there are funds available and all shows who request a fee waiver will be eligible to be selected from the day they submit through the end of our submission deadline.
Every project that gets into the NJWF receives 1 three-day pass to all workshops and screenings at no additional cost to the creator. This scholarship program will additionally have funds available to help cover the cost for creators who want a full VIP All-Access Pass, which includes our Awards Gala. This program can be applied to after we announce acceptances next summer.
At the New Jersey Web Festival we have created a robust, comprehensive, and fair judging system for all content that is submitted to our festival. We maintain a pool of professionals from around the entertainment industry and each submission is considered by multiple judges whose experience allows them to fairly and accurately consider the piece. We believe that the time and experience of our judges should be compensated and pay each judge an honorarium for their work. A simple fact is that our judging system can only be fairer and more representative with more judges considering each individual submission.
In order to not have to raise our submission fees while still being able to have more judges per submission, we have created a sponsorship tier that covers the honorariums to pay our judges. Our partners on this program recognize the value of paying professionals for their work, and that in order to fairly and accurately consider submissions requires a judge with experience. If you would like to become a Judging Sponsor, please use the link below to learn more.
If you are an industry professional who would like to be considered to be a judge for our festival, please use the link below and contact us. In order to avoid bias and conflicts of interest, our judges may not be involved in any projects that have submitted or will submit to the 2023 festival for consideration.