Share your story through film or video! Every year we partner with the Kitchener Public Library and the Grand River Film Festival, for a youth video competition. Young people between the ages of 12 and 25 are invited to share their short films and videos to win a $300 prize in each age category.

Submit your video

On this page:

  1. About the competition
  2. How we choose a winner
  3. Submit your video
  4. Screening

About the competition

Are you a storyteller? Do you enjoy sharing your stories and ideas through video or film? Have you been experimenting with shooting short videos that tell a story using a social media platform? Are you interested in film production? Are you studying media arts and looking for opportunities to showcase your work and support your professional CV? Do you want your film or video screened in a movie theatre?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, we want to see your film or video. Challenge your creativity and storytelling skills and shoot a film that will win you a cash prize and a spot in the Grand River Film Festival lineup!

Our film contest does not have a theme so consider submitting a short video or film that is:

  • action/adventure
  • animation
  • comedy
  • dance video
  • detective
  • documentary
  • drama
  • educational or instructional video
  • experimental
  • fantasy
  • fiction
  • film noir
  • music video
  • narrative
  • promotional video
  • science fiction
  • travel video

Prizes

Two people will win a $300 prize in each of our three age categories:

  • 12 to 14
  • 15 to 17
  • 18 to 25

We may also choose up to 10 honourable mention winners who will each get a prize.

Information session

We’re hosting an information session in January 2023 to share information about the submission process, talk to film/video industry professionals and to answer your questions.

Please subscribe to this page to get an email when we add more information.


How we choose a winner

Winners are selected based on their:

  • technical merits: we assess technical merits based on how well your film or video meets the submission criteria
  • artistic merits: we assess artistic merit based on originality, quality and design; how well have you used these components to tell your story?

Jury

The jury for the contest is composed of industry professionals (filmmakers, social media influencers, writers, production professionals, actors etc.), past contest winners, film enthusiasts, and artists. Subscribe to this page to get an email when we add jury profiles.


Submit your video

Submissions are open now for the 2023 youth video competition.

Submit your video

The deadline to submit your film or video is 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, March 23, 2023.

Submission criteria

Make sure you meet these criteria before submitting:

  • submit only one film or video
    • you can submit as an individual or as a group
    • if you are submitting as part of a group, you can also submit as an individual as long as the group entry is submitted under the name of another person in that group
  • group entry means there is more than one director of the film or video
  • you have to be a Canadian resident – applications from Waterloo region will be given preference
  • submit a video between 45 seconds and three minutes in length suitable for all ages (including credits)
    • anything longer will be disqualified
  • upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo at the highest quality possible (please make sure your video can be accessed for at least two months after the submission deadline)
  • you must have created, filmed and edited your video without any adult assistance (adult actors are allowed)
  • allow your video to be screened at a public event or virtually on our YouTube channel
    • please check off permission on the online application
  • follow the copyright rules described in the copyright section below or your video – no matter how good it is – will be disqualified
  • reference all media sources in your video description or credits
  • submit through the online application before the deadline

Copyright

All images, music and sound effects used in your video must be original or used per the content’s copyright or use guidelines. If we suspect that your video inappropriately uses copy-written material, your video may be disqualified. This is especially important if you are choosing to tell your story through TikTok or Instagram platforms.

A musical composition, sound effect or image available online may not mean it is in the public domain. You may still need permission from the artist to use it in your film. That’s why it’s best to use platforms like Creative Commons.

Creative Commons provides millions of songs, images and music if you follow their guidelines.

Please reference all media sources in your video description or credits.


Screening

Subscribe to this page to get an email when we add screening information.