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

Only High School Student submissions will be accepted. Films must have been completed after February 1st 2020 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 and Columbia College Hollywood. Join us in our third year and submit your work today!

A pool of films will be selected by a committee of industry professionals who view the entries. Winners will then be awarded by a judging panel of industry professionals in the following categories:

- 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 and 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 director will receive the award and the production team (or class/group) will receive certificates.

Our showcase is for individual high school filmmakers in grades 9-12.
An individual aged 18 who is still in high school may enter.
Students may submit as a group.

Filmmakers may submit only ONE film 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, 2019.

Deadline (NEW - Deadlines have been extended)
Regular Submission Dates: October 1st, 2019 - January 1st, 2020 --- FREE
Late Submission Dates: January 1st, 2020 - February 1st, 2020 --- $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.
Any New Media 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 March 24th, 2020.

Groups/Classes: You are welcome to submit films as a group/class. If your film wins an award, only one award will be given. The rest of the group will receive a certificate.

Entry Fees: All entry fees are nonrefundable.

If you are accepted into the festival, a DVD or Blu-ray screener must be submitted and you will be asked to provide a digital press kit which includes: headshot and brief bio of director, color and/or B&W stills (JPG or TIFF format) from the film, and film synopsis (50 words maximum).

All winning projects will be screened at our Festival on March 27th, 2020.
Film workshops with Industry Professionals will be free to all participants and will take place on March 28th, 2020.


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 and/or Columbia College Hollywood websites and in other media. The Notre Dame High School, Columbia College Hollywood, 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.