Judging Criteria

Films Accepted

We accept documentary, short films (under 60 minutes), and student films for festival presentation. Entrants whose films are selected for screening will be notified by email or phone.

A Strong Message on the Issue

We are looking for films that encourage dialog, is powerful enough to encourage communities to make change, can initiate policy change, and simply address key social issues that are impeding the advancement of society today. We encourage the creative
storytelling and independent spirit of the filmmaker to come through the film in order to touch the audience on a personal level.


The film must be one that uncovers an issue and then educates the audience about the issues through relevant information, whether presented as fiction or non-fiction.

The Story

The structure of the film must be solid so that the story comes through clearly. It must have a beginning, middle, and an end. Your film should tell the story and cover the issue in a methodical and sophisticated way.

Creative Technique

The sound and picture quality should be high with the entire production showing sound and complete editing that makes the end product one that is educational and compelling.

Inspire and Empower

The great thing about an independent film that focuses no social issues is the ability to inspire and empower in a unique way. We think highly of films that present solutions to the problem and are powerful enough to drive entire communities toward making change on an issue.