Film Competition Guidelines


Film EditingYour production may use any video format to capture or create moving images. Film may not be used. Cameras can range from traditional VHS camcorders to mini-DV format to professional formats.


You may use any method you wish from in-camera to high-end digital video workstations. A final burn onto a DVD+R format is required.

Total Run Time (TRT)

Your production may not run shorter than 3:00 or longer than 4:59 (four minutes and fifty-nine seconds) including opening titles and closing credits.

General Sensibility

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Use a movie rating of PG-13 as your guideline when considering elements of humor, violence, dialog, references to sexual activity, etc. You can get as racy as you want, but your chances of winning will suffer if the judges feel your submission is inappropriate or unsuitable for screening and broadcast as part of the festival.


We want to include as many of the entries as possible in the screening of the Lander University Film Festival. In order for your production to qualify, you must have written clearances and/or releases for all actors, extras, passersby, etc. If you choose to use music, you must certify in writing that it falls under Lander's ASCAP, BMI and SESAC license (check the ASCAP, BMI and SESAC websites) or that it is original music for which you have signed permissions to use. This also applies to footage of locations, storefronts, etc. Any person or place for which you do not have a signed release will have to be "pixeled" out of the final production.

Judging Criteria

Each entry will be judged upon:

  • Originality: The writing, acting, directing and editing will be judged on the originality and creativity they exhibit.
  • Storytelling: Entries will be judged on their use of structure to communicate the story to an uninitiated audience. Is the message intent of the film clear on the first viewing.
  • Use of the Medium: Digital Video, particularly in the short subject form, offers the producer/director the opportunity to economically shoot individual scenes from multiple angles and choose the best parts of those to edit together.
  • Production Values: While the proper use of lighting, sound, music, visual and sound effects can always enhance an audience's viewing experience, greater weight will be given to creativity, originality and storytelling.
  • Use of Prop/Line: These elements should be used creatively to help tell your story.

Note: Entrants will have two weeks for production.