Media that matters Film Festival

Media That Matters: More than a festival.

Arts Engine’s Media That Matters is the premier showcase for short films with big messages.

Why submit?

Submit your film now for the chance to be one of the final twelve jury-selected films and become part of our outreach and distribution efforts to create social change through film.

Following a New York City Premiere, Awards Ceremony and industry networking events in June 2009, your film will take part in the Media That Matters international, multi-platform campaign with DVD distribution, broadcasts, streaming and hundreds of screenings across the globe!

We create accompanying discussion guides and screening materials to promote conversation and encourage educators, activists and organizations alike to Take Action around your film.

All finalists will be awarded $1000 to assist in future filmmaking efforts.

What are we looking for?

  • Short films: the shorter the better—no longer than 12 minutes max, but 8 and under would be great! If your piece exceeds these time limits, consider submitting a shorter version or a stand-alone excerpt.
  • Social issues – Any and all issues will be considered. This year we are seeking out films on Media Literacy, Human Rights, Elections & Democracy, Sustainability & the Environment, LGBTQ & Sexual Identity, Youth Activism and Racial Justice. The final films are those that encourage the audience to be engaged in the issue!
  • All genres – Documentary, animation, public service announcement, narrative, music videos, drama, comedy. Creativity is encouraged – but your film must focus on a social issue.
  • Open to all ages – Youth-produced projects encouraged!

What to consider before submitting:

  • The film you are submitting must be available for NON EXCLUSIVE home video, educational, online, broadcast and theatrical distribution. If you have signed a contract with any other entity for this film that includes EXCLUSIVE rights to this film, please review prior to submitting to our festival. Media That Matters seeks the widest possible audiences for your film. To do this effectively, we use a non-exclusive contract, so unlike many media entities, we do not ask for exclusive rights. This flexibility helps our outreach team go further with your film, creating even more opportunity for distribution and exposure of your work.
  • All footage – including music and other referenced video pieces – must have all rights cleared and secured. Please refer to the Center for Social Media’s set of Best Practices for more information on how to use licensed materials. Creative Commons is also a great resource for license-free or flexi-licensed music and media alternatives.
  • Submissions must be sent to us on DVD (1 x copy) and programmed to play as a DVD Region 0 (region free) or Region 1 (US, Canada, US Territories). Please note that the following formats will not be considered this year: PAL, VHS, CD-R (QuickTime MOV or MPG files) or mini-DV. We will not accept emailed submissions or links to watch online. We must have a physical copy of the film.
  • Submission limit: Individual Filmmakers: 2; Community/Youth Media Center: 5
  • Submission fee: $25 for each film submission; $10 for students over 18 (with valid student ID); Free for youth 18 & under (with valid ID)

Deadline: ALL materials must be postmarked by: January 9th, 2009.

How to submit:

Submit via Without A Box:



Download a PDF version of the entry form here and send all accompanying materials to:

Media That Matters Film Festival
104 West 14th Street
4th Floor
New York, NY 10011


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