Check back frequently for updates and information about the 2017 Freedom and Unity TV Youth Film Contest and Awards Screening!

Selected films from the 2016 Freedom and Unity TV Youth Film Competition will be featured at Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival, Vermont Int’l Film Festival and on Vermont PBS! 

View our latest blog posts for more information!!

Freedom & Unity TV is a film competition that invites young Vermonters to create films that explore the life and culture of the Green Mountain State, both past and present! Through our competition, young people explore the issues that they find meaningful, make connections between the past and the present, and share their personal stories. They connect with other young filmmakers and build filmmaking and communication skills while learning more about themselves and the state they call home.  

The filmmakers from Freedom & Unity: The Vermont Movie designed the Freedom & Unity TV Youth Film Competition as a way to bring the voices of young Vermont filmmakers into the Vermont Movie project.

Over our first two years, we have drawn nearly 200 entries from high schools, tech centers, colleges, private schools, and home schools across the Green Mountain State. In addition, we have trained teachers to use video in the classroom and mentored students in a variety of settings!

We welcome ideas from people interested in helping young people learn more about the art of filmmaking. If you are interested in supporting our efforts, please contact us at info@freedomandunitytv.org!

Congratulations to all of the filmmakers who submitted films to our 2016 contest!

Listed below are the winners from the 2016 Film Contest!

(Go to Contest Winners to see all films that have been submitted between 2015 and 2016.)

Folklife Center Ethnographic Film Award: Breaking Binary by Eva Rochereau, Becca Cottrell, and Fiona Nelson; Champlain Valley Union H.S. and home school

Jamie Kanzler Experimental Film Award: Peace or Prozac by Leah Kaliski, Thetford Academy

Contemporary Issues – HIGH SCHOOL

1st Place: Young and Queer Vermont by Alex Escaja, South Burlington High School

2nd Place: Lost Then Found: The Lost Boys of Sudan Encounter a Whole New World by Jayme Billings, Browns River Middle School

3rd Place: Distributing Days for Girls Feminine Hygiene kits in Rwanda, Africa by Aenea Mead, Harwood Union High School

Honorable Mentions

Contemporary Issues – YOUNG ADULTS 

1st Place: The Richer Whiter State: Seeing Race in Vermont Schools by Laurel & Alyssa Chen

2nd Place: Shame On Me by Andrew Woodman, Green Mountain College

3rd Place: Kelly Burke by Sophie Bodnar, CATV8

Vermont History – HIGH SCHOOL

1st Place: The Saint Albans Raid by Laurent Gagne, Bellows Free Academy

2nd Place (two winners): Vermont Skiing HistoryTurning Points by Sam Strohbehn, Hanover High School and Exploring the History of the Undersell Schoolhouse by Faryal Afsar, Mount Mansfield H.S.

3rd Place: Ticonderoga by Ethan Bray, Northwestern Technical Center

Honorable Mentions

Vermont History – YOUNG ADULTS

1st Place: The Ghastliness by Chico Eastridge

2nd Place: Vermont 1918 by Shaynelle Francis

Personal Films – HIGH SCHOOL

1st Place: Peace or Prozac by Leah Kaliski, Thetford Academy

2nd Place: God Left Me With A Voice by Abi Murphy, Northwest Technical Center

3rd Place (two winners): European Skull Mounts by Sam Scott, Middlebury Union High School/D.O. and A Letter I’ll Never Send to the Father Who Should Have Been There by Emily Williams, Hartford Area Career and Technology Center

Honorable Mentions

Special Merit Award in Filmmaking

  • Vermont The Land We Live by Albert Baird and Ian Biasini, Green Mountain Technology and Career Center

Personal Films – YOUNG ADULTS

1st Place: Stolen by Rhea Hayes & Alex Schlater, Champlain College

2nd Place: Champlain College Climbs Smuggler’s Notch by Nathan Gobes, Champlain College

3rd Place: Sincerely, Vermont by James Abrams, Rochester Institute of Technology

Honorable Mentions

Art and Culture – HIGH SCHOOL

1st Place: A Vermont Fairytale by Cady Ray & Eva Nichols, Poultry High School

2nd Place (two winners): Backwoods: A Visual Poem by Ben Shumlin, The Putney School and Vermont is Adventure by Jayvian Poitras, Central Vermont Career Center

3rd Place: Getting Down To Business by Cameron Fennel & Nick Velau, Central Vermont Career Center

Honorable Mention

Art and Culture – YOUNG ADULTS

1st Place: Hunting & Fishing in Vermont by Martha Howe, Green Mountain College

2nd Place: Baseball in Vermont by Paul Snyder, Northwest Access TV

3rd Place: Good Sports with Jasper Goodman Featuring Norwich University Men’s Ice Hockey Program by Jay Austin, WDEV Radio Vermont

Honorable Mentions

  • Why Ski? by India Harvey, St. Lawrence University
  • Extreme Walking by Reilly Dillon, Saint Michael’s College 



Watch our 2015/2016 Contest Trailer created by Rob Koier!

Partners                                                                                        Generous donors

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 1.08.31 PM

Alongside: Lion and Hare Family Fund, Janine Kanzler, and Bennet Vance!



Website/Blog production and graphic designs for 2016 competition by Perreault Designs. Artwork and photographs provided by Louise Michaels and Michael Kay-Louis.


    1. We are considering expanding age ranges for next year, but for this year’s contest, the age range will be 14-30. If you send us an email, we can add you to our email list so you will hear about any changes right away. Thanks for your interest!


    1. Hello,

      Date/Time: May 7, 2016, 9 am to 5 pm

      Location: Vermont College of Fine Arts

      Noble Hall • 306 College Avenue • Montpelier, VT 05602

      Pizza and soft drinks will be provided!

      Please email us at info@freedomandunitytv.org to let us know how many of your group will attend!

      For further information please refer to our Film Festival page or our Blog!

      Thank you!
      The Freedom & Unity TV: Youth Film Competition Team


    1. Hello,

      Next years Festival’s details are to be determined. If you would like to be informed when a decision is made, please email info@freedomandunitytv.org with your contact information and we will keep you posted. Aside from that we will be utilizing our blog to keep people in the loop with updates so you are welcome to check there as well!

      Thank you,
      The Freedom & Unity TV Team


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