The NJ High School Film Festival provides an opportunity for high school students to show their talent in video creation. This annual festival, sponsored by Cresskill High School in New Jersey, showcases student-created videos in multiple categories and awards prizes to the winners!

We offer a wide variety of awards through our sponsoring companies including Rode Microphones, LowePro, Joby, Red Giant, Position Music, Zacuto, Brainstorm Digital, Crumplepop, Song Freedom, Color Grading Central, and Comedy Central.


Eligibility. Entries may be submitted by citizens or legal residents of the U.S. and are students who are in ninth, tenth, eleventh, or twelfth grades as of September 1, 2017. Special dispensation is considered for entries by students enrolled in middle school grades 6-8. Submissions must have been produced within the twelve months immediately preceding the date of the festival. The NJ High School Film Festival is subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations.

How to Enter. Video submissions must be sent through and must follow the entry guidelines provided.

Each submitted video, and respective form, is referred to herein as a “Submission”. By entering a Submission, you agree to abide by the Official Rules. Completing the entry form also requires you to designate your respective public, private, or parochial school to receive a prize (if one is won), and to have an authorized representative of your respective High School acknowledge its support of the Submission. All written submissions must be in English. There is no limit of Submission entries that may be made by a Submitter and individual videos can be entered in more than one category.
The entering of a Submission grants NJ High School Film Festival and the Cresskill School District an unlimited, worldwide, perpetual license and right to publish, use, modify, edit, adapt, copy, and publicly display the Submission in any way, in any and all media, without limitation, and without consideration or acknowledgement to the Submitter. NJ High School Film Festival reserves the right to modify or edit any Submission, in whole or in part, for content, clarity, or any other reason.

Submissions Open: February 1, 2018 - 12:00:01 A.M. EST
Submissions deadline: April 30, 2018 - 11:59:59 P.M. EST
Content Requirements. Any footage submitted as part of a Submission (“Footage”) must be originally produced after May 19, 2017. At least two-thirds of a Submission must contain original material. Previously produced material must have copyright and any other necessary clearances and licenses (e.g. video, music, photos, audio) for use as set forth in Official Rules. Submitters must specifically identify and give credit to all non-original material included in the Submission and provide necessary documentation and licensing information upon request.
Entry Requirements. By entering a Submission in the NJHSFF, you hereby warrant and represent that your Submission conforms to the entry requirements set forth in these Official Rules. Submissions may not include any: (a) copyrighted works without permission of the copyright owner, (b) false or defamatory statements about any person or any third party; (c) third party trademarks that suggest affiliation with any trademark owner without permission of such owner or that dilute the value of any trademark; (d) profanity, nudity, depictions of violence, threatening language, bullying, inappropriate, indecent, harmful, discriminatory, or obscene content as determined by NJHSFF, in their sole and absolute discretion; or (e) depiction of an act which is dangerous or suggests any person to undertake a dangerous activity. All Submissions must be in keeping with NJ High School Film Festival's image, as determined by the NJ High School Film Festival with their sole and absolute discretion. NJHSFF shall have the right, but not obligation, to review the Entries for compliance with these entry requirements. At the jury's and Festival Coordinator's discretion, Submissions including unsuitable content or that are in, or alleged to be in, violation of third party rights (including, but not limited to copyrights) will be disqualified. NJHSFF retains sole discretion as to what constitutes unsuitable content and will not be liable in any way for disqualified entries.

NJHSFF is not responsible for lost, stolen, illegible, unreadable, incomplete, misdirected or late Entry submissions. With respect to the NJHSFF website or any Submission, NJHSFF assumes no responsibility for computer system, phone line, hardware, software or program malfunctions or other errors, failures of any kinds, delayed computer transmissions or network connections that are human or technical in nature, as well as delays or errors in postal service. By submitting a Submission, you agree that your disclosure is gratuitous, unsolicited and without restriction, and will not place NJHSFF under any obligation, that NJHSFF and others are free to disclose the ideas contained therein on a non-confidential basis to anyone or otherwise use the ideas without any additional compensation to you. You acknowledge that, by acceptance of your submission, NJHSFF does not waive any rights to use similar or related ideas previously known to them, or developed by their employees, or obtained from sources other than you. Any waiver of any obligation hereunder by NJHSFF does not constitute a general waiver of any obligation of Submitters. By entering, you acknowledge that NJHSFF has no obligation to use or post any Submission you submit.

Selection of Finalists
All Submissions will be pre-screened for eligibility. Eligible entries will be reviewed and scored by a jury consisting of various individuals with relevant television, film, photography, production, writing, or broadcasting industry experience (the “jury”). The jury may not have direct involvement in the production of an Entry or have a personal relationship with a Submitter. Any jury member will abstain from rating any eligible entry in order to maintain compliance with the previously stated guideline. The jury will select up to three (3) "Finalists" in each Award Category, based on the criteria set forth below for each category.
Films that have a relatively high average score, as compared to Finalists as determined by the Jury, will be grouped into a second pool of eligible entries know as "Official Selections".
Category winners will be determined based on the criteria set forth for each Category. The jury will treat the recommended maximum TRT in each category as a guideline, not a hard rule, and will use professional discretion to select a pool of finalists that is representative of a range of student filmmaking.

In general, submissions will be screened based on four basic elements: VIDEO, AUDIO, STORY, and OVERALL PRODUCTION VALUE.

Category I - Music Video
Submissions into the Music Video category will require original music or the proper consent of the copyrights of the respective music used in a submission. All submissions will be based on audio, video, and story; however the music video category will emphasize the audio aspects of film.

Category II Non-Fiction
Submissions into the Non-Fiction category will emphasize story and writing. These short-form documentaries are meant to tell a story about the world we live in. Non-Fiction submissions may be in the form of a profile, biographical short, a news report, or other. Although all film warrants good audio and video, documentaries will need an interesting story to tell.

Category III - PSA
Submissions into the Public Service Announcement category will be put with the task to promote good behaviors in today’s society. To qualify into the PSA category, the submission must promote morally good behavior. PSA formats vary but each submission have an underlying moral lesson.

Category IV - Animation/Stop-Motion
Submissions into the Animation/Stop-Motion category are any and all computer animated, illustrated, or stop-motion videos. To be qualified as an animation or stop-motion video, the animation or stop-motion must be apparent and make up at least 50% of the submission.

Category V - Comedy
Submissions into the Comedy category should highlight writing and how well the submission tells a funny story. Successful comedy submissions understand the difference between a video that is funny and a video that contains comedy.

Category VI - Theme
Submissions into the Theme category must include the theme as either a central or peripheral idea within the video. Any format video, fiction or otherwise, is an acceptable entry in this specialized category.

Category VII - Middle School
Submissions into the Middle School category can include any genre or format.

First in Festival
The winner of this category will be selected from the screened videos in the seven student categories.

Awards. The respective Submitter associated with the first place Submission in each Category may receive an award, when available, from our sponsoring organization(s). THERE IS NO GUARANTEE OF ANY PRIZE, AT ANY TIME, FOR ANY WINNER, IN ANY CATEGORY. Prizes are awarded when available.

General Terms and Conditions. Any monetary prizes are non-transferable and will only be awarded in the name of a Submitter with a verified high school. No substitution of a prize is permitted. If any NJHSFF prize notice or NJHSFF prize is returned as undeliverable, or if potential winning of the respective high school’s prize information provided is unintelligible or incorrect, the prize is forfeited and will be returned to the NJHSFF. By participating in the NJHSFF, Submitter and respective school agrees to release, hold harmless and indemnify NJHSFF, Cresskill High School, and the Cresskill Board of Education and judging agencies and the employees, directors, officers, and agents of each from and against any and all liability whatsoever for any injuries, losses, harm, damage (including but not limited to property damage, personal injury and/or death), claims, actions, costs and expenses (including without limitation, all attorney’s fees and court costs) arising directly or indirectly from or in connection with his/her participation in the NJHSFF, use of the Submission, acceptance, possession or use/misuse of the prize or participation in any prize-related activity. The winning Submitters are solely responsible for any local, state, provincial or federal income taxes on prizes (if any). NJHSFF reserves the right to take such action as it deems necessary to enforce these Official Rules and ensure the fair operation of the Film Festival, including without limitation, barring and disqualifying participants who do not comply with these Official Rules. By entering, Submitters agree, and by accepting a prize the Submitters agree, that (1) all issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, participant’s rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of Cresskill High School in connection with the Film Festival, shall be (i) governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of State of New Jersey without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules.
Additional Terms and Disclaimers. The NJHSFF reserves the right in their sole discretion to disqualify any Submission it finds where the Submitter is found to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the NJHSFF or to be acting in violation of the Official Rules. NJHSFF reserves the right in their sole discretion to cancel or suspend the Film Festival in its entirety, if the NJHSFF cannot be operated as planned, or should virus, bug, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or other causes beyond NJHSFF's control corrupt the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper play of the NJHSFF. NJHSFF is not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate entry information whether caused by Internet users or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the NJHSFF by any technical or human errors, which may occur in the processing of the entries in the NJHSFF. The Cresskill High School Film Festival is not responsible for any typographical or other errors in the offer or administration of the NJHSFF, including, but not limited to, errors in the printing or posting of the offer or Official Rules, the selection and announcement of any winner, or the distribution of any prize. The Cresskill High School Film Festival and affiliates will not replace any lost or stolen prize items. NJHSFF DISCLAIMS ANY LIABILITY FOR DAMAGE TO ANY COMPUTER SYSTEM RESULTING FROM ACCESS TO OR THE DOWNLOAD OF INFORMATION OR MATERIALS CONNECTED WITH THE AWARDS. CFF DOES NOT MAKE ANY WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE CONDITION, FITNESS OR MERCHANTABILITY OF ANY OF THE PRIZES. EACH SUBMITTER AGREES TO EXECUTE ANY DOCUMENT CONTAINING THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES.

Overall Rating
  • Carli Platt

    I was thrilled to get a win for this fest! A couple things that are unique to this festival is that there is no festival... it's virtual. So there is no ceremony, and no trophy to display. They do an announcement on their website, and display copies of the winners there.

    However, it had both the lowest cost of the festivals I entered, and to be honest, the best prize. They don't guarantee a prize, but if their sponsors have prizes available, they do award them. And as I said, I'm thrilled to have won, and thrilled with my award. I would definitely enter again with my next project.

    May 2018