The Native Indigenous Student Academy for Cinematic Arts is a program of Red Nation Celebration Institute amplifying emerging Native Indigenous student filmmakers. Each year, college, university and high school film students from all over the world compete for awards and cash grants, with films being judged in the following categories: Animation, Documentary, Live Action Narrative and Alternative/Experimental.

The Native Indigenous Student Academy of Cinematic Arts is an international student academy of excellence in film competition, first established in 1995 with the name Native Youth Matter - If I Can See It I Can Be It. Since 1995, Native and Indigenous students have always been included in the submission process for RNCI program ‘Red Nation International Film Festival’ however in 2021, RNCI Board of Directors recognized the need that these students needed their own stand alone film festival and awards ceremony.

In 2022, RNCI reimagined the contributions that Native and Indigenous Students have brought to the table through their lens hence Native Indigenous Student Academy for Cinematic Arts was born.

Native Indigenous Student Academy Awards Website

Red Nation Award will be awarded in each of the categories (Narrative, Documentary, Animation, or Alternative/Experimental) ... Cash prizes TBA!


The director(s) of a submitted film must be a student from North American Indian, First Nation Peoples of Canada, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and International Indigenous Peoples from Mexico, South America, New Zealand, age range 10-25 years, enrolled (full-time or part-time) in a degree-granting program at an eligible school when the film was made or from a Native Reservation or Native based school. All students with eligible films may submit their films directly to the competition without having to go through their school.

All films must be no longer than 40 minutes including opening and closing credits.

Do not submit works in progress.

Films (including any still images) must not display any festival laurels, or awards won

All films submitted must be in English, subtitled in English, or dubbed in English.

Entry forms and films must be submitted digitally via

Films must be viewable on FilmFreeway. Enable your privacy settings to allow your film to be embedded on FilmFreeway.

You must supply your faculty adviser name and email. They will be contacted to verify your film and student status.

Failure to satisfy all the entry requirements will result in disqualification.

The basis for the specific age range listed is the focus on the development of emerging youth and young talent and in training them for future career opportunities. RNCI has a vibrant and active non-discrimination policy in place that prevents us from turning anyone away from consideration. If participants outside of the listed age range apply for our programs, they will be given full consideration and judged the same way as all other applicants. There is no age limit for mentors and volunteers engaged in all RNCI programs and we honor and value intergenerational interactions at all times.