top of page

Student & Emerging Filmmaker Competitions

Debuting in 2016, the Student and Emerging Filmmaker Competitions gives filmmakers the opportunity to use cinematic storytelling to answer important themes like “what’s your civil right?” and “speaking truth to power.” The annual short film competition receives over 150 submissions from across the world. An esteemed jury of civil rights, industry leaders, and established filmmakers select the winners, and the shortlisted films are screened during the festival. Now in its eighth year, the competition has continued to attract industry supporters, including a diverse portfolio of funders. Prizes for this competition are funded in part by the generosity of Deborah Zipser and Craig Emanuel. 

2023 Winners

OSAS Still 4 - Leyi Dai.jpg

Student Narrative Winner

Of Silence & Song

Directed by: Leyi Dai

I Am More Dangerous STILL.png

Student Documentary Winner

I Am More Dangerous Dead

Directed by: Majiye Uchibeke

Sueños de mi Hija.jpg

Emerging Narrative Winner

Sueños De Mi Hija

Directed by: Cecilia Romo

Troubled Waters STILL.png

Emerging Documentary Winner

Troubled Waters

Directed by: Sydnie Heslop

2023 Runner Ups

Go Dani Go.jpg

Student Narrative Runner Up


Directed by: Chelsea Ramirez

Grandpa Cherry Blossom Still - Maddox Chen.jpg

Student Documentary Runner Up

Grandpa Cherry Blossom

Directed by: Maddox Chen

Here Short Film_ Still 1.jpg

Emerging Narrative Runner Up


Directed by: James Anthony

Black Strings STILL.jpg

Emerging Documentary Runner Up


Directed by: Marquise Mays

2023 Winners

Thank you to all of this year's applicants, finalists, and esteemed judges! We can't wait to see what you will create in the future. March On!

2023 Finalists


Project & Serve

Directed by: Espie Randolph

Category: Student Narrative

July 4 2020.png

July 4th, 2020

Directed By: Joe Juanyao Zheng

Category: Emerging Narrative


On Language

Directed by: Cameron Joy Gray

Category: Student Documentary

1_DecidingVote_GeorgeMichaels_BettmannArchive_1 - Jeremy Workman.jpg

Deciding Vote

Director: Jeremy Workman

Category: Emerging Documentary

2023 Jurors

Student Narrative Shorts

Yael Bridge

Yael Bridge is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker. Her feature documentary, The Big Scary “S” Word, traces the history and resurgence of socialism in the US and premiered at Hot Docs 2020 and on Hulu in 2022. Prior to that she produced Left on Purpose, winner of the Audience Award at DOC NYC, and Saving Capitalism, which was nominated for an Emmy.

bottom of page