We figured there's no one better to tell the story of study abroad than our phenomenal students, so in 2014 we launched our Study Abroad Film Festival (the first in the industry of its kind!), which asks students to capture the spirit of study abroad—both what it meant to them, and how it redefined their world.

Grand Winner Prize: $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Chicago to screen film
Finalist Prizes: $500 and an all-expense-paid trip to Chicago to screen film

Participation in the IES Abroad Study Abroad Film Festival (hereinafter referred to as “Film Festival”) is free. Submitting a film to the Film Festival constitutes acceptance of these Terms and Conditions and all IES Abroad Film Festival rules, requirements and deadlines. A participant’s entry may be deemed void, in IES Abroad’s sole discretion, if it does not comply with these Terms and Conditions and all Film Festival rules, requirements or deadlines.

The Film Festival is open to current IES Abroad and IES Internships students, and recent alumni of IES Abroad and IES Internships. IES Abroad and IES Internships alumni must have attended an IES Abroad or IES Internships program starting on or after January 1, 2020 in order to qualify for entry. Entrants may submit up to three (3) films and must complete a separate entry form for each film. To be eligible, all film submissions must be directed or produced by the Participant, not exceed the time limits for each category, be completed after January 1, 2020 and include English sub-titles if the film is not in the English language. Participants who submitted films for a prior IES Abroad Film Festival are eligible to participate again, but cannot submit the same film. The categories and corresponding time limits are: (1) Film-Class Produced (no time limit); and (2) Independently Produced: 10 Minutes.

The submission period for the Film Festival commences on July 1, 2022 and ends on July 1, 2023. All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. CDT on July 1, 2023. Student and Alumni participants must submit films through the online submission form, must meet all Film Festival requirements and must complete the Waiver and Release Form at the time of entry. All Directors listed on the online submission form are required to each sign their own Waiver and Release Form. In the event that there are multiple Directors for a film that is selected as a Film Finalist and/or is the Grand Prize Winner, the cash prize for that film will be divided equally among the Directors and/or Producers. Additional participants involved in making a film must be named in the online submission form, including without limitation the original scriptwriters and cast members. IES Abroad’s Chicago staff will select Semi-Finalists and will submit the Semi-Finalists to the jury. Semi-Finalists will be notified of their selection on or before July 22nd, 2023. The jury will rank each film based on the following criteria: (1) telling a compelling story that captures the spirit of study abroad; (2) production quality; (3) entertainment value; and (4) originality.

The 2022 Film Festival will be held in person in October 2023, subject to any state or federal governmental restrictions, which are in effect at the time of the Film Festival. Film Finalists (those with the highest scores, regardless of category) will be selected based on the jury rankings and will be notified by email of their nomination on or before August 15, 2022. The Finalists’ films will be shared on www.IESabroad.org and will be made public for online voting starting in Mid-September 2023 at 12:00 p.m. CDT. Voting will close at 11:59 p.m. CDT in early October, 2023. The film with the most votes at the close of voting will be the Film Festival Grand Prize Winner. If a selected Finalist or winner cannot be contacted within seven (7) calendar days of an initial notification or within three (3) calendar days of any further communication by IES Abroad, an alternate Finalist or winner may be selected.
IES Abroad will announce the winner during the Film Festival award ceremony in Chicago, Illinois in Mid-October. In the event that the Film Festival award ceremony is unable to proceed as a live event, IES Abroad will announce the winner on its website on the date of the scheduled Film Festival award ceremony.

Each Film Finalist will receive a $500 USD cash prize per film and the Grand Prize Winner will be awarded an additional $1,000 USD cash prize per film. Provided the event is in person, each Film Finalist will also receive two nights lodging to attend IES Abroad’s Film Festival Event in Chicago, Illinois. Cash prizes will be mailed to the Finalists and winners within thirty (30) days after the Winner is announced or in person at the Film Festival, provided an event is held and the Winners are present. The winning student(s) or alumni will be responsible for all applicable taxes, fees or other charges in relation to receipt of the prize(s) and travel stipend, if applicable. IES Abroad shall have no responsibility for the taxes, fees or other costs or charges of participants arising out of or related to the Film Festival.

Each Film Finalist will also receive assistance with film promotion outreach to local and relevant news outlets. IES Abroad reserves the right to modify these Terms and Conditions in its sole discretion at any time. These Terms and Conditions were last updated May 20, 2022.