Open to all Michigan's K-12 filmmakers, the Michigan Student Film Festival is unique in the nation for providing a public venue for the work of students as well as giving recognition and significant awards to young media artists. DAFT is proud to present The Michigan Student Film Festival, now in its 52nd year.

All entries will receive judges' feedback from Round 1 judging conducted on two sites March 14, 2020 and placed in four categories (Merit, Honor, Excellence & Best-in-Show) with a special screening of Best of Show selections at the Detroit Institute of Art's historic Detroit Film Theatre on Saturday, April 25th. A free program at the screening (later available online as a pdf) will also include all entries and their placements.

Recognized by the American Film Institute as the longest-running K-12 student film festival in the nation, the Michigan Student Film Festival was founded by the non-profit DAFT (Digital Arts, Film and Television) as a showcase for Michigan students to demonstrate their skills and to network with one another and industry professionals.

$250 Gift Cards for category winners (see below)
$500 cash prizes for best narrative film and documentary
K-8 & 9-12 Ron Castorri Audience Choice Awards - $250 Gift Card
Canon DSLR Kit drawing for a school, drawn from Institutional Level Members

Animation - $250 ProCam Gift Card first prize
Documentary - $500 cash prize
Music Video/Montage - $250 ProCam Gift Card first prize
Narrative Film - $500 cash prize
News/Sports Magazine Program - $250 ProCam Gift Card first prize
Experimental- $250 ProCam Gift Card first prize
Public Service Announcement - $250 ProCam Gift Card first prize

The Festival is open to any Michigan student or group of K-12 students who have participated in producing a film or video (in school, at home, with a community group). Video projects completed while students were enrolled K-12 may be submitted (e.g. high school graduates from last June who completed a video after the previous year's festival deadline).

Mature subject matter, inappropriate language and excessive violent content may disqualify your entry from competition based solely upon DAFT's discretion.

Judges in Round 1 will review a maximum of 5 minutes of an entry. Submitters of longer entries may stipulate a beginning time for judges to begin viewing their entry. If an entry is selected Best of Show up to 5 minutes of the film will be shown at the DIA's Detroit Film Theatre ceremony on April 25, 2020. Staff may decide to show a slightly longer excerpt if scheduling permits.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: To be considered for Best of Show award-level, entries that have material whose rights are not owned by the producers should include clear permission from the owners of the music, images, video. DAFT offers many links to royalty-free music under the "Resources" tab at While educational-use of material can provide useful training for students, DAFT fully supports the ethical use of all creative material and encourages its students and teachers to adhere to these principles. Any questions, please contact us at