Young Filmmakers’ Contest

PYFF invites K-12 students from Maine to submit short films and documentaries to our 2019 Young Filmmakers’ Contest!

Please help spread the word about our festival by telling any friend, teacher, youth program etc. that you think may be interested.    At the right is a flyer you can click, print, and post wherever you think creative kids may see it.  Thanks!

Short Film Category

Short film of 3 minutes or less (firm time limit includes credits) integrating the contest theme, “Anything.”  (That’s right, anything.  Interpret this however you wish.)  Films can be submitted by individuals, groups, or classrooms.  Beginners and experienced filmmakers are encouraged to check out our Resources page to learn some basics of camera work, sound, stop motion animation and more!  See the Gallery page for examples of past entries.

Documentary Category

Documentary of 8 minutes or less (length is flexible but shoot for under 8) on any topic. We recommend local topics that enable you to tell a visual story with your own footage.   (Common mistakes include choosing an overly broad topic and relying too much on narrated facts and stock footage.) See the Resources page for more tips on camera work, interviewing, sound, and other filmmaking skills.  For examples of short documentaries, see our Gallery page, C-Span StudentCam Winners, and the Vimeo documentary page.

Short Film Theme Trailer

Documentary Tips


  1. Contest is open to K-12 students from Maine.
  2. Short films must adhere to firm 3 minute limit.  Documentary time limit is more flexible but under 8 minutes is best.
  3. Content must be original and suitable for viewing by school age children.  No profanity or graphic depictions of violence, please.
  4. Do not use copyrighted music without permission of the copyright holder. Use original or royalty free music instead.  See the Resources page for more information.
  5. Films should include credits listing the title, music credits, and other contributors.  If preferred, students may choose to use first names only in film credits.
  6. Film entries are limited to two per student in each category.
  7. Adult supervision is permitted but film content should be conceived and produced as independently as possible by student filmmakers.
  8. Contact information and signature of a guardian or teacher is required for all films.


  1. Upload your film to a cloud drive such as iCloud,  Drop Box, etc.  If using Google Photos or Google Drive, do not just copy the file URL as that keeps the file private.  Use the share icon and click “Get Link” or “Get Sharable Link.”  This will ensure judges can view your film.
  2. Enter the link and other required information on the form linked here and submit.
  3. A parent or guardian must electronically attest to the conditions on the form, including to permissions for minors who appear in the film.
  4. Submission deadline is April 12th.
  5. There is no fee to enter the contest. This year there will be a $5 suggested donation for admission to the film screenings.
  6. CHECK THIS PAGE on April 17th for a list of selected films and screening times.
  7. Film screenings  and award ceremony will take place at the USM Abromson Community Education Center, 88 Bedford St. Portland.