New Optics Film Festival - A Film Festival for the Next Generation

Only CURRENT HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT submissions will be accepted.
Films must have been completed after January 1st, 2023, and before January 1st, 2024 in order to qualify for this year's festival.

New Optics Film Fest is an annual event held by Notre Dame High School of Sherman Oaks. Join us in our seventh year with FilmFreeway, but 22nd year running our film festival for high school age students.

Winners, Finalists, and Semi-finalists will be selected by a committee of industry professionals in each category who view and score the entries.

The categories are:

- News Broadcast
- Documentary Short
- Narrative Short
- Music Video
- Public Service Announcement (PSA)
- Animation Short
- New Media

The winning videos will be screened during our festival, followed by an Award Ceremony. Our industry professional judges will help us determine the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each category.

For each winning film, the filmmaker who submitted the film will receive the award on behalf of the production team.


Our showcase is for individual HIGH SCHOOL FILMMAKERS CURRENTLY in grades 9-12.
An individual aged 18 who is still in high school may enter.
Students may submit as a group; however, one award per submission will be given out.

Filmmakers MAY ONLY SUBMIT ONE PROJECT IN TOTAL (not one per category) and all films must be complete. Works-in-progress will not be considered.

To be considered for competition, the film must have been completed after January 1st, 2023, and before January 1st, 2024.

Deadlines are as follows:
Regular Submission Dates: September 1st, 2023 - January 24th, 2024 --- FREE
Late Submission Dates: February 1st, 2024 - February 15th 2024 --- $20
*Discount code available if you contact us at


Submission: ALL films must be submitted through Be aware that if you do not already have an account, you will need to create one. Creating an account is FREE! Please do so before the deadline.
We will NOT be accepting submissions on Blu-ray or DVD.

Length of Submissions: We encourage the submission of shorter works so that we can showcase more filmmakers.

- Documentary, Narrative, and Animation: 10 minutes or less (including credits)
- News Broadcast: 10 minutes or less (including credits)
- Music Video: 5 minutes or less (including credits)
- PSA: 30 seconds minimum, 2 minutes maximum
- New Media: 10 seconds minimum - 5 minutes maximum of short video content created for platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, VR, ect.

*When submitting please remember your audience, as this category will not be judged by your peers, but by a group of adult industry professionals. Please remember to submit appropriate content that will represent both you and your school well.
Submissions that do not meet these requirements will not be judged.

Non-English entries must be submitted with English subtitles.

Notification Process: We will notify filmmakers of the status of their films by April 3rd, 2024.

Entry Fees: All entry fees are nonrefundable.

All winning projects will be screened at our Festival on Friday, April 12th, 2024.
Film workshops with Industry Professionals will be free to all participants and will take place on Saturday, April 13th, 2024.


By entering your film for consideration, you authorize that your film is cleared for festival exhibition and you accept full legal responsibility for the intellectual property therein. The film may not be copyrighted by anyone other than yourself or you must have full written permission to submit and screen this film. The film must have clear copyright of all audio and images presented in the film. Not having clearance could be grounds for non-acceptance to the festival.

Please ensure if you are submitting a film that contains copyrighted/trademarked material by anyone other than yourself, that you have obtained clearance for that material used. The burden of determining that any material is not protected by copyright, trademark, rights of privacy, publicity or any other proprietary rights rests with the entrant.

New Optics will not check that you have obtained clearance for these materials at any point during the application process, nor will we be held responsible for any inclusion of uncleared trademarked or copyrighted materials in your project.

It is the sole responsibility of the filmmaker/person/group submitting the project to secure permission from the trademark or copyright holders of the material in question (music, stock footage, images, logos, or any other elements that could violate an existing trademark or copyright).

Entrant agrees to the use of their submission, in part or whole, for publicity, promotions, and screenings on the Notre Dame High School websites and in other media. The Notre Dame High School and/or New Optics Film Festival watermark/logo may be added to or shown in conjunction with submitted films.

Submission of your film confirms your acceptance of these terms. If you have any questions, contact us prior to film submission.

The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless the New Optics Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.