Frequently Asked Questions

1. I’m using music from (insert name of group or person here). Am I allowed to do that? If I'm making a documentary film and need to use some historical footage (which I haven't filmed), is that OK?

Yes. Please list all music and archival footage used in your film in the end credits. As long as the majority of footage is your own original work, your submission will be accepted.

2. My film is 12 minutes long. Can I still submit it?

Yes, but it won’t be eligible for the festival! The length requirement is no more than 10 minutes.

3. But... my film is only 10 minutes, and it’s the credits that make it 12 minutes long! Won’t it still be eligible?

No. The entire film, including all titles and credits, must be 10 minutes or less.

4. I had some help with the camera work (or editing, set design, etc) from someone over 18. Is my film still eligible?

It's not a problem if an adult taught you how to do something, gave you some advice, or lends a hand. However, the majority of the creative work must be done by you— having an adult do all the camera work, or write the entire movie, or do all of the editing will disqualify you. Adults may still appear as actors in your film, however.

5. My cousin is visiting from Florida. Can he be in the movie?

Yes. The actors in the film do not have to be teenagers or residents of Michigan. However, the people who produce, direct, and submit the film must be teens, ages 13-18, who live in the state of Michigan.

6. Why wasn't my film chosen for the festival?

The Teen Filmmaker Festival highly competitive, with more than 100 entries each year. There simply isn’t time to show every film that is submitted to the Festival, so a jury pre-screens all submissions and chooses the best ones to show at the festival.

7. Does everyone who worked on the movie have to be on the entry form?

No, just the person (or people) who made the film—the producer, director, and/or writer. It’s really up to you to decide who is ultimately responsible for the film, and who is going to submit it. At the very least we need a director's name on the form.

8. Can I mail you my film? Can I put it in the library’s drop box?

Please send all submissions to: Teen Services Department, Kalamazoo Public Library, 315 S. Rose Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49008. We recommend using the library drop box only as a last resort and only if your film is very clearly labeled.

9. Will I get my film back?

No. All films submitted to the Festival will not be returned. Make sure you have a copy before you send us your submission!

10. I don’t have any film equipment/I’ve never made a movie before. How do I enter?

For those who want to hone their skills, learn new ones, and/or gain free access to additional video and editing equipment and studio space, the PMN is prepared to make all of its workshops between now and the Teen Filmmaker Fest submission deadline free to all interested Teen filmmakers. (Note: the PMN loans equipment to those who have completed [or tested out of] the appropriate workshop. For those under 18, equipment loans must be co-signed by a parent or guardian). Go to www.publicmedianet.org for more information.