The Clear The Air Film Fest showcases student-produced short films that address topics on air quality and lung health in the community. The films will be reviewed by our panel of judges and the highest scoring films will receive a cash prize. The winning films will be announced at the screening at New People Cinema in San Francisco on Saturday, April 7, 2018.

Professional and amateur filmmakers who are not students may submit films to the General Public competition. The first place winner of the General Public competition will receive $500 and a screening and the 2nd place winner will also have their film screened. Winners MUST be present at the screening and should be prepared to speak to the student filmmakers about their process.

2018 Submissions are now open!


Friday, Sept. 1, 2017 – Film submissions open
Monday, March 5, 2018 – Deadline for submissions
The week of March 12, 2018 – Finalists announced
Saturday, April 7, 2018 – Film Festival screening, winners announced


A panel of esteemed judges will review and score each film submitted.  The films with the highest scores will be selected as finalists and eligible for the following awards:

Short Film First Prize: $1,000
PSA First Prize: $300

YOUTH PRIZES (8th Grade or under):
Short Film First Prize: $1,000
PSA First Prize: $300

The Overall Festival Winner chosen by the judges will be screened at the San Francisco Green Film Festival.

First Place: Screening of Film and $500
Second Place: Screening of Film

Student & General Public Film Topics

Films should be no more than 5 minutes in length and address one of the following topics:

Air Quality & Environment 
How does pollution impact the quality of the air we breathe?  What can we do to minimize our impact on the environment and reduce the health risks posed by pollution and climate change?

Tobacco Use
How can smoke-free policies help improve the health of your entire community? How can limiting smoking and tobacco use improve the lives of your friends, classmates, and neighbors?

Asthma and General Lung Health
How can environmental triggers exacerbate asthma or other forms of lung disease? What can we do to help promote lung health in our communities?

Breathe California Golden Gate and CVS Health present…

CVS Health

#Be The First PSA/Video Contest

Breathe California Golden Gate and is looking for students in middle and high schools to make an original anti-tobacco/nicotine Public Service Announcement (PSA) around the theme of “Be The First”, or more specifically, “What would it be like if your generation was the first to be tobacco-free?”

Other suggested topics may include:

  • E-cigarettes/ vaping, hookah, cigarillos and any emerging form of tobacco
  • Influence of smoking in movies
  • Tobacco industry targeting of youth
  • Flavored tobacco, including menthol
  • Making healthy decisions about tobacco
  • Secondhand smoke from any tobacco product

PSAs should be exactly 30 or 60 seconds in length.

Judging Criteria

A panel of judges from the film, environmental, and lung health community will review and evaluate the films.  The finalists will be announced during the week of March 12, 2018, and the winners will be announced at the screening on Saturday, April 7th.  Films will be judged on the following criteria:

Creativity & Originality: How unique is the story or premise presented? How well did the film incorporate imagery, sound, acting, direction or other elements to demonstrate the message? Is the film fun, entertaining, or thought-provoking?

Messaging: Is the message clear and directly related to one of the recommended topics?  Is the message persuasive? Messaging is weighted more heavily than the other categories.

Content: Did the film include educational material? How well did the film make use of information provided by health and advocacy organizations (like Breathe California)?  Were health or environment experts interviewed?

Technical Quality How well did you incorporate lighting, sound quality & imagery?  Does the film employ good editing and flow flawlessly from scene to scene?

Official Rules

COMPETITION PERIOD:  Competition begins on September 1, 2017 and ends on March 5, 2018 at 5:00 pm PDT.  All submission forms, permission slips, and films must be received by the end of the Competition Period.


        1. The competition is open ONLY to current residents of California. All finalists must attend the screening on Saturday, April 7, 2018 in San Francisco to win. Winners of the General Public category must be present at the screening.
        2. Student films must be produced in the 2017-2018 school year. General Public films must not have been previously submitted to this festival and the filmmakers must own all rights to the film.
        3. For all student films, adult (non-student) involvement in the project is limited to on-screen talent and/or behind the scenes in a faculty advisor capacity only.  This includes all pre-production and post-production work (scripting, shooting, editing).
        4. Films may only use authorized content including music, images, film clips, and other intellectual property.  Entrant confirms and warrants required legal authority to submit the entry into the Festival and to use all music, images, and content in the entry.  You must submit this copyright permission at the same time you submit your film entry.
        5. Youth actors (18 and under) cannot portray any underage alcohol, drug or tobacco use in their film. Royalty-free stock photo, illustration and/or film footage may be used if the purpose of the material is to portray drug or tobacco use in a negative light. Actual use of a tobacco product or vape is not allowed and will disqualify the video from the contest.
        6. Films must be appropriate for viewing by the general public (No profanity or vulgarity).
        7. By entering this contest, entrants agree to abide by these contest rules and guidelines and the decisions of our judges.


  1. The Online Entry Form must be completed when submitting film.
  2. All students under the age of 18, must submit a Parent Permission Form for each team member.
  3. Films should be uploaded to YouTube and the link should be submitted along with the entry form.
  4. Films may also be submitted on a disc or thumb drive in one of the following formats: MPEG4, MOV, AVI, MPEGPS, WMV, FLV. Discs and drives must be mailed to: Breathe California, ATTN: Clear The Air Film Fest, 1 Sutter Street, Suite 225, San Francisco, CA 94104. Mailed materials must be received by Friday, March 2, 2018. Unfortunately mailed materials cannot be returned.
  5. Only complete entries will be considered.

Breathe California and its sponsors will have the unlimited right to distribute and use any submitted material for its promotions, advertising, use in print, web content, television and educational purposes. Breathe California will not sell or distribute films or any submitted material.