Student & Emerging Filmmaker Competition: Official Rules for Submission

Please read the official rules and regulations, as explained on this page prior to submitting your application. If your submission satifies all requirements, please submit your application below!


Submission Deadlines & Fees

  • Earlybird Submissions: Friday, February 23, 2018 | Fee: $10
  • Regular Submissions: Friday, March 23, 2018 |Fee: $12
  • Late Submissions: Friday, April 27, 2018 | Fee: $15
  • WAB Extended Deadline: Friday, May 18, 2018 | Fee: $18

Short Narratives are 40 minutes or shorter in length, focusing on a topic involving social justice or civil rights.  For 2018 filmmakers are asked to grapple with the following topic: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.

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.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Works must be available for exhibition on DVD or BluRay

  • 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

  • STUDENTS: must be currently enrolled in school, or have graduated within 6 months of the Festival

  • EMERGING ARTISTS: must have made their first film no earlier than 5 years before 2018 and must not have received distribution for any film they have directed

Submission Procedure

  • All submissions must be made via Withoutabox

  • Keep a copy of your completed application for reference

  • Applicants can check the status of the submission by emailing:

  • Applicants will be notified of the festival’s decision by mid-June

Entry Fee

  • We accept U.S. checks, money orders or credit cards (Visa or MasterCard)

  • Checks and money orders may be mailed to the address in the header above and must include the Film Title AND the WAB Tracking number.  MOWFF will not be held responsible for mis-directed payments

  • Entry fees will not be returned

  • The Festival reserves the right to impose a $34 surcharge for returned checks

  • Filmmaker agrees that he/she will be sole responsible for the delivery of his/her film/print materials to and from the Festival venue

IF SELECTED 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

  • Jury Award Prizes (subject to change):
  • $1,000 Cash Prize
  • $500 reimbursement for travel to D.C. to attend this year’s MOWFF
  • A Skype session with a noted filmmaker
  • $500 gift card towards production services and equipment

4 Special Mentions for Narrative and Documentary Short, Student and Emerging Artist

  • Special Mention Prizes  (subject to change):
  • $500 Cash Prize
  • $250 gift card towards production services and equipment
  • The prize winners will be selected from a Shortlist of 12 finalists.  

Shortlisted filmmakers will receive:

  • A VIP pass to this year’s MOWFF
  • An invitation to the Filmmakers’ Brunch
  • All Shortlisted films will have a public screening at a Cinema in Washington, D.C. and will be listed on this year’s MOWFF website.