Young Filmmaker Competition

Competition Details

Your chance to show your environmental film on the big screen! 

Every year, we screen films from young people who are actively protecting our planet and getting involved in documentary filmmaking.

Enter the Young Filmmaker Competition to win cash prizes and a special screening of your film at Green Film Fest in September 2020. From recycling to taking transit to growing a garden, show us how you're making a difference. 

The contest is open to young filmmakers age 18 and under. It is free to enter and there are no restrictions on style or genre or how many entries you may submit. You can be living anywhere in the world to enter the competition.

Film Entry Deadline: April 5, 2020

How to Enter

  1. Pick an environmental topic - such as zero waste, sustainable transit or renewable energy.
  2. Create a short video of that shows how you are making a difference.
  3. Upload your video to YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter or Facebook.
  4. Fill out the online Entry Form before April 5 with the link to view your film.

Enter Your Film


Films can be entered by filmmakers in the following categories: Elementary School; Middle School; or High School

Films will be reviewed by our panel of judges and the winners are the highest scoring films in each category and will be screened at the Green Film Fest 2020 in September. The best overall film will receive $250 cash prize and our Young Filmmaker Award!

The Finalists will be announced in July 2020.


Feb 3: Film submissions open

April 5: Deadline to enter & upload your video

July 3: Finalists announced

Sept 10-20: Film screening in Green Film Fest 2020

Here are Some Ideas for Your Environmental Action:

0-50-100-Roots is a simple frame for the City of San Francisco's Climate Action goals—to send ZERO waste to the landfill; take 50 percent of our trips by public transit, bike, walk or rideshare; and use 100 percent renewable energy to keep us on track to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. ROOTS refers to the many activities we taking to reduce air pollution and capture carbon emissions.

The entire city family—government entities, residents, businesses and community organizations—is working together on this.

And we want to know what you’re doing to make your town or city greener!

Zero Waste: How are you helping to meet the goal of sending ZERO waste to landfill - Reducing? Reusing? Recycling? Composting?

50% Sustainable Transit: Show us how we can reach our goal of 50% sustainable travel - or tell us how you are already making it happen. Are you getting out of your cars and walking, biking, taking public transit, or ridesharing?

100% Renewable Energy: We all want cleaner, greener, electricity. How are you supporting our goal for 100% renewable energy—installing solar? Reducing your energy use?

Roots: Show us how you are helping to reduce air pollution, whether planting trees, tending your garden, or protecting our urban forest and green spaces.

Need More Inspiration?

  1. Here are some top tips on how to make a short movie and change the world!
  2. Check out the winning entries for 20182017 and 2016
  3. The Mix-Teen Digital Center at San Francisco Public Library is a youth-designed learning space just for teens 13-18. Check out their website to find free drop-in video production times where you can work on your entry, and other great programs, including music production and 3D printing!

Terms & Conditions

1. To qualify, the film's director must be age 18 or under on September 30, 2020.

2. SFGFF reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any project submitted.

3. SFGFF will accept films created in any media format.

4. By entering a film, the filmmaker agrees that all rights and clearances have been obtained, that any copyrighted sound, music, image or content included in the work have been legally cleared for use, and that SFGFF is not responsible for any copyright infringement resulting from public screenings.

5. By entering a film, you acknowledge SFGFF has the right to copy any submitted material and use images and trailers for SFGFF’s non-commercial use. Promotional use may include a clip of any accepted film being included in a radio or TV program, or in a festival trailer for Green Film Fest.

6. By submitting the film entry form, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to abide by the Terms & Conditions of SFGFF.

Thank you for entering!