Q: Can I have other people help me make my film?
A: Yes, but all filmmakers including those writing, filming and editing the film must be 20 years old or younger as of the age cut off date of the festival. Actors can be any age.
Q: What do you mean by "silent film"?
A: Silent film was the very earliest kind of filmmaking. It was invented around 1894 and was state-of-the-art entertainment until in 1929 sound film appeared, in which the actors could actually speak on film. Without spoken dialogue technology, silent filmmakers had to tell their stories with exaggerated action, printed title cards which provided commentary, and clever plots which could be pulled off pictorally. Live music, played by a skilled organist, accompanied silent films in the theatres, and added to the experience of seeing these stories on the big screen.
Q: Where can I see some examples?
A: Please see our winners page on this website. Your school library or local public library may have compilations on DVD. Look for silent films at your neighborhood video rental store or online service.
Q: Does my film have to be black and white?
A: No, though the traditional look of silent film is black and white because color film stock did not exist. Many video cameras today allow the color feature to be turned off. If yours cannot, or you prefer the color look, enter a color film.
Q: Can my film have sound effects or spoken dialogue?
A: No, because then it wouldn't be silent, would it?
Q: What will make my film stand out?
A: The jurors are looking for films which are original, fun to watch, and tell a short story in an effective way-- without spoken dialogue. Here is a link to the Jury Criteria.
Q: Can I submit more than one film?
Q: Can my film be longer or shorter than three minutes?
A: No. Your film should begin and end with one of the music tracks on our website. Each of the provided music tracks are almost exactly three minutes in length, so your film should be, too.
Q: Can I use my own music?
A: No. Please do not edit the provided soundtracks, combine them, or use music other than the film festival compositions, as these will be performed live by an organist.
Q: Can my friends and I submit a film as a group?
A: Yes, but all filmmakers must be under 20 years old as of the age cut off date of the festival. Please list each filmmaker on the Submission Form and in your credits.
Q: If my friends and I submit a film as a group, do we all get a prize?
A: Cash prizes are awarded per film, not per individual. This means a film made by several filmmakers would share in a single prize. It is up to the filmmakers how to divide the prize money.
Q: How do I submit my film?
A: Submit your film according to the submission form guidelines. Each region has different guidelines, so read the form carefully. See Submission Guidelines.
Q: When do I learn if my film has been chosen as a finalist?
A: The screening finalists will be announced via email or mail at least 2 weeks prior to the festival screening dates. Finalists are also announced on our Facebook, so make sure and like our Facebook page.
Q: How will films be judged?
A: Films will be judged based on meeting all submission critera; family oriented and suitable for all audiences, no copywrited material, your own original work, three minutes in length, and including three title cards. Here is a link to the Jury Criteria.