2040 Now is an NYU initiative to envision a sustainable future in 2040 when the university plans to be climate neutral. In imagining and mapping out a sustainable future, NYU aims to catalyze climate action and combat feelings of climate helplessness through direct engagement with students, faculty, alumni, staff, administrators, and the community at large.

As part of 2040 Now, NYU, in partnership with the Green Film School Alliance (GFSA), and with additional support from Paramount Pictures and New York WILD Film Festival, is hosting an inaugural film competition to encourage filmmakers to use film and ingenuity to create stories that combat climate despair by inspiring us to take action.

NYU and the Green Film School Alliance seek filmmakers to develop a short film no longer than 5-minutes – describing the impacts of climate change on our lives – inspired by one of the following prompts:

• THE FUNNY THING ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE – How you can use humor, satire, irony, and positivity to combat climate despair

• RISING WATERS – How climate change and environmental injustices have generated challenges we face in our daily lives and communities

• LOVE IN THE ANTHROPOCENE – How climate change impacts our relationships with each other and nature

• WILD SPIRIT – Hometown heroes on the frontlines of climate change

• WE MADE IT – Imagine what living in a climate neutral world looks like

The deadline for film submissions is Monday, March 27, 2023 at 11:59pm ET.

Interested applicants must fill out an expression of interest (EOI) form, found on our website, indicating your intent to submit a film.

☐ Complete EOI Form on our website
☐ Send PEACHy checklist to 2040now@nyu.edu
☐ Select prompt and create film
☐ Submit Film on FilmFreeway

For more information on the guidelines for the film competition, visit our 2040 Now Film Competition website: https://bit.ly/2040NowFilm

If you have any questions, please contact us at 2040now@nyu.edu.

The film competition will award five winners, who will be eligible for one of the following prizes. The first-place finisher will get to choose their prize first, followed by the second-place finisher, and so on.

• Three cash prizes ($5,000; $2,000; $1,000)
• An All-Access Sundance Collab Membership valid for one year
• A pair of VIP Tour Tickets from Paramount Pictures

Entries will be judged on:
• Adherence to the prompts;
• The creativity, execution, and originality of the film concept (uniqueness of the topic, strong characters and story, impact, etc.).

Submitted films will be played throughout the week of 2040 Now, April 17 – 21, 2023, on NYU’s New York City campus. The winners will be publicly announced at a screening and award ceremony on Friday, April 21, 2023. The ceremony will take place in-person with an opportunity to join virtually. Time and location TBD.

The film competition is only open to legal residents of the United States, aged 18 years or older as of the date of entry, that are associated with the Green Film School Alliance or New York WILD Film Festival.


• The film must include closed captioning.
• Live action narrative films, documentaries, and animation are welcome.
• The film must be the original work of the applicant.
• The film may have been previously submitted for a prior competition.
• The film may be a shortened version of a film previously created.
• The film may have been produced at any prior time.
• We are more interested in the stories you tell than the technology you use. Cellphone productions are acceptable.

PEACHy, modeled after the Green Production Guide’s industry-standard Production Environmental Actions Checklist (PEACH), aims to help filmmakers reduce the environmental impact of content production. All applicants should strive to adhere to PEACHy and must include their PEACHy checklist as part of their submission by emailing it to 2040now@nyu.edu. Please put “[First Name Last Name] PEACHy Checklist 2040 Now Film Competition” as the subject line.

See official rules on our film competition website: https://bit.ly/2040NowFilm

Overall Rating
  • Robert Menefee

    Thank you for selecting my film “Climate Emergency” and showing it at NYU. This is a great honor and is very encouraging.

    September 2023
  • An incredible film festival, great communication and a fantastic cause! We feel so honored that our vision of climate change was selected for this amazing competition!

    April 2023