6 Film Production Competitions for High Schoolers

Are you an aspiring filmmaker with a unique perspective of the world? Does the idea of sharing that viewpoint excite you? If so, you might be able to improve your college admissions prospects—and maybe even earn some extra tuition money—while doing something you love. 

 

Why Should You Enter a Film Production Competition?

 

Film competitions are a demonstrable way to share your passion and skills. It’s one thing to say that you love film and are in a film club, but another to create an actual project that shows your perspective and talents. Athletes and musicians have an easier time quantifying their ability; they can list that they were a varsity athlete, or that they made state orchestra. It’s a little trickier for filmmakers, as there aren’t clearly-denoted levels. It could be especially difficult for you to demonstrate your film interests if you live in a more remote area, where there aren’t many clubs.

 

A film competition is one way to show how your skills stack up against other students. It’s true that these competitions can be extremely selective. But even if you don’t win, you may still have produced something of quality, which could still serve you well on college applications—perhaps in an arts supplement. If you’re considering submitting an arts supplement, be sure to get the feedback of an honest professional or film mentor. Arts supplements will only help your application if they are exceptional, and will hurt you if they’re only so-so.

 

If you’re ready to gear up for a film production competition, here are 6 you might consider:

 

6 Film Production Competitions for High Schoolers

 

1. American Sleep Medicine Foundation High School Video Contest

 

Each year, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine holds a contest where students are invited to submit videos about the importance of sleep. The winner of the “Sleep Works For You” Video Contest receives $1000 to be split evenly between the student and the school. The second place winner earns $500, and the People’s Choice submission receives $250.

 

Grades: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Competition Type: National

 

2. Brain Awareness Video Contest

 

Are you adept at distilling complex scientific subjects into bite-sized pieces of information that anyone can understand? If so, consider entering the Brain Awareness Video Contest, in which students are tasked with explaining a neuroscience concept in layman’s terms. Working with someone from the prestigious Society for Neuroscience, each contestant will create an educational video regarding a topic of their choice.

 

Grades: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Competition Type: National

 

3. C-SPAN’s StudentCam

 

Politically active students might want to consider entering the C-SPAN StudentCam competition. A video documentary contest, this competition invites students to create videos about local and national news topics. Submissions should be 5-6 minutes in length and address a particular theme. Prizes total $100,000.

 

Grades: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Competition Type: National

 

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4. Meridian Stories

 

This company hosts 20 digital storytelling contests each year, with subjects ranging from language arts to history to math. Teams work to complete their challenge over a 3-4 week period, and compete against other schools in the Meridian network. Talk to your guidance counselor to find out if your school is a Meridian program subscriber.

 

Grades: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Competition Type: Local, National

 

5. Speak Truth to Power Video Contest

 

If you admire the work of acclaimed politician Robert F. Kennedy, you might be interested in this video contest, which encourages students to celebrate other human rights defenders. Each participant will create a video between 3-5 minutes in length that connects RFK to another human rights advocate. The grand-prize winner will have the honor of seeing their video played at the Tribeca Film Festival.

 

Grades: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Competition Type: Local, National

 

6. World of 7 Billion Student Video Contest

 

To compete in the World of 7 Billion Student Video Contest, participants must discuss global challenges and present possible solutions. Topics include advancing the roles of women and girls around the world, feeding 10 billion people, and preventing pollution. Each video must be one minute or less in length, and monetary prizes are awarded to the first, second, and third place winners.

 

Grades: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Competition Type: National

 

How Can Students Find the Best Competitions to Enter?

 

Most of the competitions listed above are national; if you’re not totally confident in your skills, you may first want to test out a smaller local event. Ask your guidance counselor for resources, check with a film mentor, or consider enlisting the help of our Mentorship Program. Students are paired with a successful college mentor who can speak from experience. We guide students to build their strongest high school profile possible, by giving academic and extracurricular insight. We can even strategize with students on major projects, such as how to tackle a film competition.

 

At CollegeVine, we believe all students deserve access to college mentorship services at affordable prices. Whether you need guidance on choosing your high school curriculum, finding the most impressive extracurriculars, or preparing for the SAT, our team can help. To learn more about the CollegeVine Mentorship program, call today or set up a free consultation online.

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April Maguire
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
A graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC, April Maguire taught freshman composition while earning her degree. Over the years, she has worked as a writer, editor, tutor, and content manager. Currently, she operates a freelance writing business and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their three rowdy cats.