13th Annual Teen Filmmaker Festival


Date, Location

Best Film Festival for Teens in Michigan!

Enter your films in the 13th Annual Teen Filmmaker Festival, the best film festival for teens in Michigan! Expert judges will award prizes for the best films in eight categories, plus a grand prize. Audience members will vote for the People’s Choice.

Teen Film Festival entries are now closed.

Are you the next Judd Apatow, Sofia Coppola, Spike Lee, Sam Rami, or Zack Snyder? Start shooting and find out - Action!

Award Categories

  • Grand Prize for Best Film
  • Best Animation
  • Best Experimental Film
  • Best Music Video
  • Best Short Film
  • Best Technical Merit
  • Best Cinematic Merit
  • Judges’ Choice
  • Plus People’s Choice

The Big Event!

On Saturday, February 20th at 2:30 pm, we’ll roll out the (metaphorical) red carpet for the 13th Annual Teen Filmmaker Festival! Film finalists will be screened at this special event open to movie fans of all ages.

Enjoy plenty of movie snacks and be sure to cast your vote for the People’s Choice award!

Submissions and Screening

Submit films and entry forms to the Teen Services Desk at Central Library by 5 pm, Saturday, January 30, 2016. You must attach a completed entry form to each film you enter in the Teen Filmmaker Festival. Only one film per form. Entries must be postmarked by Saturday, January 30.

A jury will screen every film entered and select the finalists for screening at the Festival. Filmmakers will be notified via email by Monday, February 8, 2016, if their film is selected. Not every film submitted to the Festival will be selected for screening at the public event. Titles of selected films will also be posted on the Facebook page.




Official Rules

Films must be produced by teens, ages 12-19, who reside in the state of Michigan. More than one teen my work on a film. Adults may be talent in a film, but should perform no other duty in the actual creation of the film. Films may not be more than 10 minutes long. No bloopers, please. Teens may submit more than one film. Films submitted to the festival will not be returned. 

A panel of judges will select the winners in each category except the People's Choice Award, which will be chosen at the Teen Filmmaker Festival by the audience members.

Format Requirements

Films should be submitted as full-quality Quicktime/MOV files on USB flash drive. DVDs may be submitted instead, but USB drives are preferred. All other formats (including VHS, Windows Media files, low-quality QuickTime files, etc.) will be automatically disqualified. If submitting on DVD, entries must be formatted for NTSC Region 1 (North America) and labeled with the film’s title, running time, and director(s) name(s). Please double-check that your DVD plays your entire film on standard consumer DVD players.

Legal Disclaimers

When you enter a film in the 13th Annual Teen Filmmaker Festival,
• you give all sponsoring parties permission to use film titles, images, names, and any other film info to promote future Teen Filmmaker Festivals
• you understand that a jury will review all submissions and select those to be screened at the Teen Filmmaker Festival
• you accept that the jury may not select films for the festival that contain excessive violent or obscene content 

Tips, Tricks, and Frequently Asked Questions

Wondering how to make a film that looks as good as the pros? Does your cousin from Florida want to be in your film and you’re not sure if that’s allowed? Can’t decide between a horror film or a comedy? Take a look at our list of resources for first-time filmmakers, and don’t miss our list of Frequently Asked Questions for more answers!


The Public Media Network (PMN) will cover the Teen Filmmaker Festival. PMN will broadcast entries chosen for the festival, awards presentations, and interviews with winners. Check this page for broadcast dates and times. DVDs of festival coverage and interviews will be presented to award winners and available to purchase.

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