Student & Emerging Filmmaker Competition


2017 MOWFF Student and Emerging Filmmaker Competition for Short Films on Civil Rights and Social Justice. This year, filmmakers are asked to grapple with the following topic: Speaking truth to power. Whether it is an historic figure, a local hero, a person from your family, or a community facing seemingly insurmountable odds, the courage to voice a dissenting opinion, and to stand for what is right is the essence of speaking truth to power.

The MOWFF Student and Emerging Filmmaker Competition will award 8 prizes, as follows:

4 Jury Awards for Best Narrative and Documentary Short, Student and Emerging Artist. Winners will receive:

  • $1,000 Cash Prize
  • $500 reimbursement for travel to D.C. to attend the 2017 MOWFF
  • A Skype session with a noted filmmaker
  • A $500 gift card towards production services and equipment

4 Special Mentions for Narrative and Documentary Short, Student and Emerging Artist. Winners will receive:

  • $500 Cash Prize
  • A $250 gift card towards production services and equipment

The 8 prize winners will be selected from a Shortlist of 12 finalists. All shortlisted films will receive:

  • Public screening(s) at a D.C. area theater
  • Listing in the 2017 MOWFF Program.
  • 2 VIP passes to the 2017 MOWFF
  • An invitation to the Filmmakers’ Brunch with members of the jury and professionals in the film industry



  • For STUDENTS: must be currently enrolled in school, or graduated within 6 months of the Festival
  • For EMERGING ARTISTS: (1) must have made their first film no earlier than 5 years ago and (2) must not have received distribution for any film they have directed
  • Only films on the topic of civil rights or social justice are eligible.
  • Films must have a composite optical sound
  • Entries must be completed – including Vimeo link and payment – by the deadline date
  • Films may not have been released theatrically or aired on television in the U.S. prior to the festival. If the film has been screened online, the filmmaker is required to include this information in the film’s submission materials

Fees & Deadlines

Early Submissions: Friday, February 17, 2017 - Fee: $10
Regular Submissions: Friday, March 17, 2017 - Fee: $12
Late Submissions: Friday, April 28, 2017 - Fee: $15
Extended WAB Deadline: Friday, May 19, 2017 - Fee: $18
IMPORTANT NOTE : All film submissions must be via Withoutabox secure screener upload or a Vimeo screener link uploaded to Withoutabox. We will NOT accept DVD submissions.

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