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 contest
  2. How we choose a winner
  3. Submit your video
  4. Screening
  5. Resources

About the contest

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

Up to 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.


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 (more than one director of the film or video)
    • 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
    • if you are submitting as part of a group, the submission is done by the oldest person in the group
  • you must be a Canadian resident – applications from Waterloo region will be given preference
  • submit a film or video between 45 seconds and three minutes in length (including credits) suitable for all ages 
    • anything longer will be disqualified
  • upload your film or 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 film or video without any adult assistance (adult actors are allowed)
  • allow your film or 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 film or video – no matter how good it is – will be disqualified
  • reference all media sources in your film or video description or credits
  • submit through the online application before the deadline

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


Screening

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


Resources

Are you new to filmmaking? Looking for more resources to expand your skills? We collected a list of resources that may be helpful if you’re just beginning to experiment or already have a few films to your name:

Content

Learn more about the film rating system, storyboarding and developing your story or scriptwriting:

Copyright

Copyright is the exclusive legal right given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material and to authorize others to do the same.

All images, music and sound effects used in your film or video must be original or used per the content’s copyright or use guidelines. If we suspect that your film or video inappropriately uses copy-written material, it 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 or video. That’s why it’s best to use platforms like Creative Commons.

Check out these resources:

Find assets to use in your film:

Equipment rental

Tips and tutorials

Watch these tutorials to help develop your skills as a filmmaker:

Other submission opportunities

Are you looking for other opportunities to screen your film? Check out these local festivals:

Learning resources

Grants