New York State Fair Drone Film Festival

The Great New York State Fair Announces New Drone Video Competition and Festival

The Great New York State Fair is launching the state’s first-ever competition for videos created using cameras on drones.  Entries for the professionally-judged competition can be uploaded at the event’s site on through July 31.  Videos in eight categories, including a category for films featuring New York State, will compete for medals, with the winners in each of the categories eligible for the Best In Show prize of $250.

Videos must be no longer than 5 minutes, except for the Corporate/Industrial category, where videos can be no longer than 10 minutes.  At least 50% of each video must have been shot using a drone or other unmanned aerial vehicle.  Creators can submit their videos in one of the following categories:

  • New York State Drones: Videos created completely in New York State
  • Narrative: A fiction or non-fiction story told using a drone
  • Landscape & Architecture: Amazing, beautiful scenes shot using drones
  • Showreel:  A compilation of clips from various drone-shot videos
  • Sports: Athletic activity and competition shot using drones
  • Healthcare:  Videos highlight how drones are being used to improve the delivery of health services
  • Corporate/Industrial/Business:  Videos that feature drones and the work they are doing
  • Student: Videos created by an enrolled high school or college student, on any subject.  Students may submit to any other category.


Entry fees are $20 for videos submitted to most categories. The student fee is $5. Entries in the Corporate/Industrial/Business category are $50.  Complete rules are available on the event website.

The competition is being managed by Michael Massurin, executive director of the Syracuse International Film Festival, on behalf of the Fair.  Massurin has assembled a long list of judges with professional expertise in film or technology, including:

  • Lisa Ford: Filmmaker, Professor at Tompkins Cortland Community College
  • Gary Ford: Filmmaker, Professor at Tompkins Cortland Community College
  • Becky Lane:  Award-winning filmmaker, Drone enthusiast, 360filmmaker, Founder of VisionLab360.
  • Tim Skinner:  Department Coordinator/Assistant Professor for Communications and Media Arts at SUNY Broome Community College.
  • Ed Evans:  Journalist, Documentary Filmmaker, Author, Senior Instructor of Media at SUNY Broome Community College
  • Geoffrey Guerrero:  Founder and Executive Director of the Katra Film Series in NYC
  • Rob Englert:  Founder of Sphere Optics
  • Will Landry: President, NetworKings
  • Timothy A. Bennett:  Owner/President FunFlicks
  • Jason Detrani:  Professor and the Chairman of Communications and Media Arts at SUNY Broome Community College


The winning videos will be screened during the Fair at an evening ceremony in the Empire Theater of the Art & Home Center, where the Best In Show award will be announced.