Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I’m not a filmmaker/don’t have access to fancy camera or editing equipment? Should I enter?

A: YES! Past winners have filmed their films using basic equipment or iPhone cameras. Messaging is weighted the most heavily in the judging, so focus on telling a compelling and creative story and don’t worry if you’ve never made a film before.


Q: Can my parents/teachers/adult siblings help me with my film?

A: All scripting, filming, directing and editing must be done by the student participant(s). If you are conducting interviews, the interviews should be conducted by the students (with adult supervision). Parents, teachers etc. should serve in an advisory/supervisory capacity only or as on-screen talent in the film.


Q: Do I really need to be present at the screening to win?

A: Yes.


Q: Can I enter again if I entered last year?

A: Absolutely! For the student categories, we only accept films that were created in the 2017-2018 school year and for the general public category we only accept films that have not previously been submitted to the festival.


Q: What is the General Public Category? Who is eligible?

A: The General Public category is open to all non-students who are currently residents of California and are able to attend the screening in San Francisco on Saturday, April 7, 2018. We encourage both professional and amateur filmmakers to enter. The winner and runner up of the category will both have their film screened at the festival and they will be invited to share thoughts on their process with the student filmmakers. The winners of the General Public category are meant to serve as inspiration for the student filmmakers and will hopefully help connect the young filmmakers with the larger arts and activism community. If you don’t want to spend time connecting with young artists, this may not be the competition for you.


Q: Do student films compete against the films in the General Public Category for prizes?

A: No. The General Public category is a completely separate competition. In general high schoolers will compete against other high schoolers, college students against other college students etc. The audience favorite award and overall festival winner award will be chosen from among ALL the student films, but the general public films will not be included in that decision.