You must upload your video file in .mp4 or .mov formats on Youtube or by clicking here.


The Film should be a 6-8 minutes non-fiction documentary. Elements can include, but are not limited to, interviews with journalists, politicians, teachers, students, activists, advocates, experts and community leaders; stills, graphics, news footage; original footage shot by students is encouraged.


The Film should be an unbiased exploration of a national or local 2016 election issue.

Equal Time

The documentary should be as objective as possible, and explore the different points of view on the issue. It is recommended that students interview one person representing each side, as well as one other who can provide more objective expert insight, or a personal perspective into the issue. This usually means 2-3 interviews in a film.


Support and additional materials/services may be purchased by contacting the Civic Life Project

Who are the judges? 

Journalists, filmmakers, educators and elected officials will be selected to guarantee the best quality judging experience. The partial list of judges is available here.

Evaluation criteria

Does your Film meet the following criteria?

• Tells an important story about a current issue – 20%
• Is informed by solid background research – 15%
• Presents different point of views about the issue – 15%
• Uses highest technical standards for picture and sound – 15%
• Includes a strong and compelling opening sequence – 5%
• Includes well edited and compelling interviews – 20%
• Uses well written and effective narration – 5%
• Contains credits naming all participants and all sources used in the research and production phase – 5%