Call for Entries


Have hopes for the future? Thoughts on how your generation will bring them to life? Love to make films - or ever just secretly wished to give it a shot? Well, this is your chance!

From now through August 15th, 2016, we'll be accepting submissions for the third annual White House Student Film Festival. Our theme is "The World I Want To Live In" and we're inviting U.S. students, grades K-12 (including seniors from class of 2017), to participate. Tell us what you hope the future will hold for us - sci-fi lasers? flying cars? yourself as President? - in the form of a short film. It can be fictional, animated, live-action documentary, or anything else you dream up. We're just excited to see what you make!

Bonus: if selected, you may have the chance to attend the film fest yourself at the White House.

For inspiration, take a look at the official selections from last years White House Student Film Festival, when the themes were The Power of Technology in Education & The Impact of Giving Back. Films can be short – in fact, they must be 3 minutes tops. The official selections will be featured on the White House website, and shared across the world on White House sites and official social media accounts.

Submission Guidelines:

  • All films must be shorter than 3 minutes.
  • All films must be made by students in grades K-12.
  • No film may use copyrighted material including music, TV shows, or movies.
  • All films must be uploaded to YouTube
  • All film submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on August 15th, 2016.

This Years Theme

Your generation will soon be shaping the world we live in – what do you want to do with it? In many ways young people like you are already having a dramatic impact on the society and culture, so what’s your vision for our country, for our world? What are your hopes and dreams for the future? Tell us the story of where we could go, and how we could get there – together. You can certainly choose to show a broad vision, or perhaps focus on an issue that matters to you, like:

  • Leadership
  • Civic Engagement
  • The Environment
  • The future of service
  • Combating inequality
  • Citizenship
  • Access to education
  • The pursuit of happiness
  • Social justice
  • Unmet community needs

A Special Assignment from the First Lady

Right now, more than 62 million girls worldwide are not in school. For First Lady Michelle Obama, the world we want to live in is one where every girl can get the education she deserves, no matter where she lives.

If you agree with the First Lady, she has a special assignment for you: Make your “The World I Want to Live In” submission about why girls around the world need and deserve an education.

You can learn more about this issue through Let Girls Learn, an initiative launched by President Obama and the First Lady in March of 2015.

We encourage you to be creative: Help us share the story of these girls and help your audience take action. That’s why we are providing you with video footage you can use that highlights the stories and challenges of girls around the world. You can download the footage from USAID and the Peace Corps here (pw: usaid) to use in your films.

Because these girls’ stories are so important to share, we’re also inviting Peace Corps volunteers – of any age – to submit their own films about girls education in the countries where they live and work.

From all of us, thank you for helping us spread the word about girls’ education around the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about the White House Student Film Festival:

Q: Are groups of filmmakers allowed?
A: Yes! Groups of filmmakers of any size are allowed to submit, but please submit the film only once on behalf of the entire group.

Q: Who can submit?
A: The person submitting the film must be at least 18, so that can be a high school student of that age, a parent, teacher, or guardian.

Q: Did you receive my entry?
A: You will not receive a confirmation email when we receive your entry, but if you clicked submit and entered the YouTube link correctly – we got it!

Q: When is the event?
A: The 2016 White House Student Film Festival will be in late summer 2016.

Q: When will I hear if my film will be a selection or an honorable mention?
A: Submissions close on August 15, 2016. We will notify official selections starting a few weeks later, in late-August.


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