Young Filmmakers’ Contest

Contest Categories

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Short Film

Short Film of 3 minutes or less (including credits) integrating the contest theme, “Truth.”  Interpret the theme however you wish.  This category is a Festival favorite because it is great for beginners and experienced filmmakers of all ages!  See the Gallery page for examples of past entries.

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Documentary of 8 minutes or less on any topic (no need to use theme).  Consider topics that allow you to integrate interesting, original footage.  See the Resources page for tips on camera work, sound and other film making skills.  See the Gallery page for examples of past entries.



Got a film that doesn’t meet the guidelines for the Short Film or Documentary category?  Send it in!  We want to show lots of student work!  No set time limit but shorter is better.  Judging and awards structure will be determined based on the number and variety of films entered.

2017 Short Film Program

Rules for all categories

  1. The Young Filmmakers Contest is open to K-12 students from Maine. Entries are welcome from individuals, groups, and classrooms.
  2. All film submissions should be original with LANGUAGE AND THEMES APPROPRIATE FOR SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN. (For example, avoid using profanity or graphic depictions of violence.)
  3. Films SHOULD NOT USE COPYRIGHTED MUSIC without permission of the copyright holder. Use original or royalty free music instead.  See the Resources page for more information.
  4. Films should include credits listing the title, music credits, and other contributors.  If preferred, students may use first name only in film credits.
  5. Students may submit up to two films in each category.
  6. Adult mentorship is encouraged but film content should be conceived and produced as independently as possible by student filmmakers.
  7. Contact information and signature of a guardian or teacher is required for all films.

How to Enter

Please be aware that submitted films may be posted on the PYFF website.  Please use Vimeo to submit your film.  You may submit via Youtube only if your video file is too large to use the free tier of Vimeo.  Please do not use other platforms.

  1. Upload your film to Vimeo.   For instructions how to do so, click here.
  2. Arrange Vimeo privacy settings (instructions here) without a password and so your film can be downloaded and embedded on our website.
  3. Complete the online Entry Form linked here and submit.
  4. There is no fee to enter the Young Filmmakers’ Contest.
  5. Submission deadline is March 20th, 2018

2017 Documentary Program

Short Film Trailer

What happens next?

  1. March 20th: PYFF judges begin selecting films to be screened in each category.  They will value  originality, story telling, production value, and adherence to contest rules.
  2.  March 27th:  A screening schedule of the judges’ selections WILL BE POSTED ON THIS PAGE.
  3. April 7th: Programs of selected films will be screened at our Red Carpet Award Ceremony at University of Southern Maine’s Hannaford Hall Auditorium.  Check the schedule for screening times.  Awards will be presented for the various categories and age brackets.  All are welcome to this free event!  Donations appreciated. No tickets necessary.
  4. April 7th: Programs of selected films will also be posted on this page.  Tell your friends and family to vote for the VIEWER’S CHOICE AWARD by coming to the Festival or by viewing the films here and voting online!  Votes for each category must be submitted by the time indicated on the screening schedule.