Rules & Regulations

Filmmakers’ Eligibility

(please note there is new criteria for the 2018 contest)

The Freedom & Unity Youth Film Contest is open to anyone aged 10 to 26 who is currently enrolled in a degree-granting educational program in Vermont. All others are encouraged to apply to the White River Indie Festival Regional Show Case (more information at

Submission Criteria

Films must be entered in one of three age groups:

  • 10-14
  • 15-18
  • 19-26

Films must include a Vermont focus and address one of the three contest categories:

Films must not exceed 12 minutes in length

See “Tips from the Judges” for information about judging criteria (located at bottom of
“Resources and Tips” page)


New this year: Early deadline for a unique work-in-progress feedback opportunity!

Freedom & Unity recognizes constructive feedback to be a vital part of any creative process. This year, we are offering an early deadline (March 15, 2018) to filmmakers who wish to receive work-in-progress feedback from selected mentors. After receiving feedback (March 22, 2018) you will have one month to make changes to your film before the final submission deadline (April 21, 2018). 

Important dates:

  • 11:59 PM on March 15, 2018 – Work-in-progress early deadline 
    • Receive feedback – March 22, 2018
  • 11:59 PM on April 21, 2018 – Final submission deadline 

To be considered for the contest, a film MUST be sent to Freedom & Unity by the deadline.

Please note: submitting early for work-in-progress feedback is encouraged and not required.





Arts and Culture

Vermont is home to a thriving artistic community, from writers and musicians to painters and digital artists. Abenaki and European cultures have long influenced life in Vermont, but new cultures, from Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East are adding their own traditions to the mix. Tell us about how an artistic achiever or a cultural tradition is making life in Vermont richer for all of us.


Personal Stories

VT is home to over 600,000 people, and all of them have a story to tell! Find a person, pick up a camera, and push “record.” Focus on yourself, or on a friend, family, or community member who is doing something amazing, like writing music, exploring new technology, or using his or her skills for the benefit of others. Or find someone who has faced a difficult struggle, show what it means to have courage and persistence in the face of hard times. Tell a story that focuses on one person, but can teach us all something about living.


Vermont History & Contemporary Issues

The human history of Vermont includes farmers and foresters, inventors and artists, businesspeople and community leaders. Pick a piece of Vermont’s history and tell us a story about it. Focus on your own family, people who lived in your community, someone you read about, or maybe the Abenaki, who came to Vermont thousands of years ago. How did these people come to Vermont? What did they do to survive? How did they change life in the place we all call home? Take a look back, and share what you learned with today’s Vermonters. Or perhaps you’re more intrigued by present day Vermont? As a young person, you have a unique perspective. People want to hear your opinion, because you are the Vermonters not only of today, but of the future. So let us know what matters to you. What contemporary issues should we be paying more attention to? Addiction and recovery? Climate change? Jobs in Vermont? Dating violence? Discrimination? The high cost of college? Tell us a story about an issue. Or better yet—show us how Vermonters are working toward creative solution to our biggest problems.