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Teen Film Challenge Logo
Q: What is the Teen Film Challenge?

The Teen Film Challenge is a 72-hour filmmaking competition exclusively for teenagers (age 12-19). It’s a competition that empowers everyone from the next generation of filmmakers to a team simply wanting a fun contest with friends. The competition is open to students in the 12 Midwest states and areas within 500 miles of Cincinnati.

Q: Who Can Enter the TFC?

Core team members (director, producer, cinematographer, editor) are REQUIRED to be youth (12-19). Other team members may be of any age outside of the core team members. We highly recommend a team approach to cover the 4 core roles, but the competition also allows a single teenager to act as all 4 core roles.

Q: When does the Teen Film Challenge happen?

The TFC typically occurs the first weekend in August followed by an award ceremony the following week. Find out more about this year's dates here

Q: Do I have to live in Cincinnati to compete?

No. The competition is open to students ages 12-19 who live in the 12 Midwest states or areas within 500 miles of Cincinnati. You will need at least ONE representative at the Thursday kickoff event and your film MUST be uploaded by Sunday at 8:00pm EST. A virtual link will be provided for students outside of Cincinnati.

Q: What happens during the 72 hours?

All creativity, production and post-production must take place during the 72 hours of the competition. This includes, but is not limited to: Writing the script, Shooting the movie, Editing, Sound Design, Exporting & Turning in the final film

Q: What can I do before the competition starts?

The only work you and your team is permitted to do prior to the competition starting is:

  • Submit team leader form (mandatory for participation)

  • Find and Recruit Crew (cinematographer, editor, director, etc)

  • Find and Recruit Cast

  • Find Equipment (camera,

  • Scouting/Securing Locations

Find the release forms here

Q: When can we shoot footage?
  • All footage must be shot within the Teen Film Challenge official time

  • No stock footage or footage shot or created at another time may be used.

  • Animation and special effects are permitted, but must be created during Teen Film Challenge official time. Still photographs are permitted, provided that the team has the rights to them. The photos do not need to be created during the Teen Film Challenge official time.

Click here for the official timeline.

Q: What happens at the Kickoff Event?

Each participating group MUST have a representative (the whole team is strongly encouraged to come but not required) at the Film Drawing Event.

Before the event, each group must submit a complete Team Leader’s Agreement, signed by its team leader. A team cannot participate without submitting this agreement.

Each group will choose the genre of its film and the film title in a random drawing as well as be given the required prop. Teams can reject their drawn genre for a Wild Card genre. If opting for the Wild Card, teams may not go back to their original genre.

To qualify as a Teen Film Challenge film, each group’s film must be in the genre it selects. Teams MUST turn in the title drawn and required prop within the official time limit.


Q: When and where is the Kickoff Event?

The kickoff is held the Thursday of the event weekend from 7:00-8:00 pm EST at our studio on the campus of Bethany Baptist Church in Liberty Township, Ohio. A virtual link will be provided for groups outside of the Cincinnati area. Find out more here.  


Q: What kind of equipment can I use?

Any type of video or film equipment may be used.


Q: How do I turn my film and documents in?

We are using the website Submittable for all films and documents to be submitted. A TFC secret upload link will be handed out at the Kickoff Event.


Q: What kind of music can I use?

Teams are encouraged to work with a composer and/or musicians to write and record music for the films. Teams can use pre-recorded music but must have the rights to any music used in its film and must provide releases for all music.


Q: How long can my movie be?

The finished film must be a minimum of 3 minutes in duration, and a maximum of 6 minutes in duration—not including credits.


Q: What happens after the movie is submitted?

Panels of independent judges will determine the winners for 10 different categories that will be announced during our award ceremony. The Award Ceremony is hosted the Sunday after the TFC submission deadline. For more information on the awards & award ceremony, click here.

The winners in each respective category will receive a trophy for their achievement. The film winning the “Premiere Audience Favorite” will be selected from an audience vote the night of the screening. The judges will also submit their vote for the “Best Teen Film Challenge Film”. 

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