Emerging and Student Filmmaker Competition

Debuting in 2016, the competition gives emerging and student filmmakers the opportunity to use cinematic storytelling to answer important themes like “what’s your civil right?” and “speaking truth to power.” The yearly short film competition receives over 150 submissions from across the world. An esteemed panel of civil rights, industry leaders and established filmmakers, select the winners, and the films are screened during the festival.

Now in its fourth year, the emerging and student filmmakers competition is growing exponentially thanks to a diverse portfolio of funders. We are seeking to continue this expansion by introducing our first-ever Impact Lab. We will invite our winners to experience a two-day Impact Lab series of master-classes, training’s, and conversations with industry leaders during the 2019 Festival.

Our judges review both narrative and documentary short films that focus on civil rights movements, the civil rights era and, social justice issues. For 2018 filmmakers were asked to focus on the following topic: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.  

The Emerging and Student Filmmaker competition is powered by UBER

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Past Winners

Emerging Documentaries
An Act of Worship | Directors: Nausheen  Dadabhoy, Sofian Kahn | GRAND PRIZE WINNER, 2018
A Space For Growth (and Cuts) | Directors: Conduet (Maritza Navarro and Devon Thompson) |SPECIAL MENTION, 2018
The Petition in Boots | Director: gleichenhaus, 2018

They Took Them Alive, directed by Emily Pederson | GRAND PRIZE WINNER, 2017
Honk: A Festival of Activist Street Bands, directed by Patrick Johnson, 2017
Seven Dates With Death, directed by Mike Holland | SPECIAL MENTION, 2017

Emerging Narratives
Interference | Directors: Robin Rose Singer, Ruya Koman , 2018
Our Nation | Director: David Mallin | SPECIAL MENTION, 2018
Pagg | Director: Nardeep Khurmi | GRAND PRIZE, 2018

LA OPOSICION, directed by Zoey Martinson | GRAND PRIZE WINNER, 2017
Heterodox HDS, directed by Michaux Muanda, 2017
Honor Council, directed by Scott Simonsen | SPECIAL MENTION, 2017

Student Documentaries
Born to Stay | Directors: Daniela Cruzat, Farrah Lopez  | GRAND PRIZE, 2018
Two Steps Back | DirectorR. Kayeen Thomas   | SPECIAL MENTION, 2018
When Mother Goes to Work| Director: Azar Kafaei, 2018

A Life Before This, directed by Steffie van Rhee | SPECIAL MENTION, 2017
Unheard, directed by Erin Kokdil, 2017
FEARLESS, directed by Jasmine Cannon, Branden Hampton, and Yingxu Hao | GRAND PRIZE WINNER, 2017

Student Narratives
Crick in the Holler | Director: Ursula Kay Ellis  | SPECIAL MENTION, 2018
Life After| Director: Ria Tobaccowala, 2018
Riverment| Director: Shayla Racquel -- GRAND PRIZE, 2018

LAWMAN, directed by Matthew Gentile set in 1875, Oklahoma Territory | SPECIAL MENTION, 2017
Vitiligo, directed by Cliff Notez | GRAND PRIZE WINNER, 2017
Time is the Longest Distance, directed by Bryan Powers, 2017