Contact

Categories & Guidelines

Categories1. Animation
2. Experimental
3. Documentary
4. Narrative / Open
5. News Segment
6. Commercial / Public Service Announcement
7. Critical Essay
8. Film Treatment

Animation

Films or videos entered in this category must use some form of animation as an integral part of the work. The entire entry need not be animated, but the animation should be a main feature of the work as it will be judged on the basis of the animated sequences. All types and genres of animation are acceptable, including-but not limited to; stop motion, cell, multi-plane, illustrations, live action, and computer generated.

Entries that will not be accepted are, video recordings of someone else animations, generally known as "machinima" that use exclusively the techniques of real-time video recording and editing of game based, 3-D animation and environments.

The film must be written, animated/shot, directed, edited and produced by the student(s) listed on the entry form. Entries will be judged on creativity, filming, editing, appropriateness of animation style and overall integrity.

Entries may not exceed 10 minutes excluding titles and credits.

Back to Top


Experimental

This category is for films and videos created as fine art, formal experimentation, or for personal expression. Experimental film often expands or critiques the medium, its forms, approaches, techniques and content. The student(s) listed on the entry form must be the creative force behind the work (writing, cinematography, editing, or directing). Entries will be judged on creativity, use of medium, editing, exploration of central idea/theme and artistic integrity.

Entries may not exceed 15 minutes excluding titles and credits.

Back to Top


Documentary

Films or videos entered in this category should effectively chronicle an event(s), person(s) or process in an objective and factual/non-fictional manner. The documentary should have a well developed theme and structure, appropriate lighting and camera work, editing suitable for the subject matter and a clear sound track. Any use of archival or non-original footage, materials, or sound must be properly noted in the entry's end credits and must have been legally obtained and utilized with the appropriate release/permission for said material. At least 50% of all footage utilized must be original material shot by the student(s) listed on the entry form. The documentary must be written, edited, directed and produced by the student(s) listed on the entry form. Entries will be judged on creativity, cinematography, editing, development of central theme and overall integrity.

Entries may not exceed 15 minutes excluding titles and credits.

Back to Top


Narrative / Open

Entries to this category may be either narrative/fictional films or open format pieces, i.e., entries that do not easily fit into any other listed category - for example, a film that mixes mediums such as live action and animation or documentary and experimental computer-generated imagery. The film must be written, shot, edited, directed and produced by the student(s) listed on the entry form. Entries to this category will be judged on the following three criteria equally weighted:

  1. Conceptual Originality - (clarity and innovation in expressing the central original concept and/or theme)
  2. Coherent Development - (intelligible and appropriate structuring, creative editing which serves the concept and/or theme, effective dramatic development of main concept and/or theme)
  3. Technical Ability - (skillful use of cinematography, editing and sound).

Entries may not exceed 15 minutes excluding titles and credits.

Back to Top


News Segment

Entries for this category should reflect the highest levels of broadcast journalism and be:

  1. Objective
  2. Properly Attributed
  3. Balanced
  4. Well Written
  5. Interesting
  6. Newsworthy

News stories should be shot and edited well with attention to sound quality and visual integrity. Entries should include complete scripts (anchor lead, reporter tracks and transcriptions of all sound bites). The news segment must be written, shot, edited and produced by the student(s) listed on the entry form. Entries will be judged on journalistic ability, videography, editing and appropriate use of visual elements to tell the story.

Entries may not exceed 5 minutes excluding titles and credits.

Back to Top


Commercial / Public Service Annoucement

Entries to this category should promote a specific product, organization or corporate image, or provide a useful public service announcement. The product, organization or corporation need not be known or real, but may be a fictional construct. PSAs should be concerned with a real public service issue or an issue for which no PSAs are currently produced. Commercials/PSAs should be creative and reflect innovative strategies of good copy, sound, and visual utilization. Entries should be effectively shot and well edited with quality sound mixing. The Commercial/PSA must be written, shot, edited, directed and produced by the student(s) listed on the entry form. Entries will be judged on creativity, filming, editing and effective use of visual and audio elements to promote the product, organization, corporate image, or public service issue.

Entries may not exceed 1 minute excluding titles and credits.

Back to Top


Critical Essay

Entries to this category must be in essay form and may cover any aspect of film or television criticism (history, style, comparative analysis, genres, theory, etc). The essay may be scholarly or personal in style, but it must be an original work of non-fiction prose, and it must be addressed to a general reader. All quotations, sources, works cited and the bibliography must be properly documented and listed using the MLA standard or another academically accepted citation format where applicable. All essay submissions must meet the following technical requirements:

  • The essay must be typed and double-spaced with standard margins.
  • The essay should be from 5 to 20 typed pages, but preferably not more than 7500 words of main text.
  • The author's name(s) should not appear on any page of the work other than the entry form.
  • All pages should be numbered, including all works cited and bibliography pages.
  • The essay must have a suitable title that appears on the first page of the essay and on the entry form.
  • If the essay was written for a course, you must identify the course number/title, the faculty member for the course, and the year/semester you took the class. This information should appear on the entry form.
  • Collaborative essays will be accepted, provided that there are no more than 3 authors and all are properly identified on the entry form.
  • Entrants must submit four (4) printed copies of the essay. No email submissions will be accepted. A completed entry form must be attached to each of the 4 copies of the entry.

Your signature(s) on the entry form constitutes an honor pledge that the essay is your original work.

Evaluation Criteria: Judges will look for lucid, critical arguments supported by compelling evidence, honesty of expression, a good command of the English language, a solid understanding of the cinematic themes and/or concepts being critiqued, originality of ideas, and freshness in the articulation of those ideas.

Back to Top


Film Treatment

Entries to this category must consist of an original written film treatment for your film project idea. This is a treatment of your original feature-length film concept and/or screenplay, not the screenplay itself. The treatment should provide a brief, but compelling summary of your idea for a film. This is your pitch, which you could give to a studio, producer, investor, etc. It is important to be as specific as possible. Clearly describe the film you would want to make using the following format:

  • Page 1
    • THE TITLE - The title of your proposed film project should appear at the top of the page with your name ("by...").
    • THE LOGLINE - A one-sentence description of your film. The logline should be concise, yet compelling, and most importantly, original. It should explain the essence of the plot.
    • THE PURPOSE - A one paragraph overview describing the intent, theme and message of your film.
  • Page 2/3
    • PLOT/STORY DESCRIPTION - A two page (absolute maximum) detailed summary of your film's plot (narrative) or structure (documentary or experimental). Provide a straightforward chronological summary of your film, from beginning to end. You should only describe exactly what will actually be seen on the screen.

Entrants must submit three (3) printed copies of the treatment. No email submissions will be accepted. A completed entry form must be attached to each of the 3 copies of the entry.

Back to Top