The worldwide coronavirus pandemic continues, so we're holding another season of the Quarantine Film Challenge.

The Quarantine Film Challenge is a filmmaking contest where Filmmakers from within San Diego County, across the United States of America, and throughout the globe are invited to participate. Filmmakers will have to write, edit, shoot and submit an under 5-minute film based on or inspired by their experience during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

All filmmakers are asked to comply with all current limitations and quarantine measures as mandated by local, regional, or national governments.

Filmmakers will have to do the following:
Write, shoot, and edit a narrative film, documentary film, or experimental film under 5-minutes.

The film can be based on a true experience during the pandemic OR inspired by the pandemic.

For films that are not explicitly about or inspired by the pandemic: The word Corona-virus, COVID-19, Quarantine, or Pandemic must be spoken on camera by one character in the film.

You must follow all guidelines of quarantine, social distancing, and personal hygiene and safety as required by your governing body (local, regional, or national). Films that clearly do not follow these guidelines will be disqualified.

An audience choice award will be given to the film that gets the most “likes” and “shares” on social media.

”Best of” Selections will be screened at SD Film Week 2021 or in a special screening presented by San Diego Film Week

A tentative list of Jury Awards include:

Best International Film
Best Local Film
Best Animation
Best Drama
Best Comedy
Best Kid’s Film
Best Horror
Best Sci Fi
Best Inspirational
Best Documentary
Spirit of San Diego
Best Art/Experimental film
Best Music Video
Best Female Directed Film
Best Film

Filmmakers will have to do the following:

Write, shoot, and edit a narrative film, documentary film, or experimental film under 5-minutes

The film can be based on a true experience during the pandemic OR inspired by the pandemic.

For films that are not explicitly about or inspired by the pandemic: The word Corona-virus, COVID-19, Quarantine, or Pandemic must be spoken on camera by one character in the film.

You must follow all guidelines of quarantine, social distancing, and personal hygiene and safety as required by your governing body (local, regional, or national). Films that clearly do not follow these guidelines will be disqualified.

(Optional) Include 2 creative elements in the produced film (see below).


We hope to create unique and interesting stories that are visually distinctive and highlight real stories of real people during this pandemic.


“Best of” selection of films will be screened in a special San Diego Film Week 2021 screening. Selected films will also be released online on an ongoing basis leading up to Film Week.

Use of Creative Elements:

Each team will choose two creative elements that will be used in their film. This is optional but highly encouraged. The final list of creative elements include:

Dutch angle
Slow Motion
Hero Shot
Jump Cuts
Zolley Shot
Freeze Frame
Dolly shot
Jump Scare

Who We Are:

Film Consortium San Diego is a social venture that stimulates film and television production in the region and increases networking, employment, education, funding, and distribution opportunities in film, television, and new media. The Film Consortium holds various networking, screening, and awards events including the San Diego Film Awards, San Diego Film Week and produces the annual Local Film Showcase at the GI Film Festival San Diego.

Contest Rules and Guidelines:

These rules apply to each participating production team. The Film Consortium SD may add to or amend these rules at any time prior to the beginning of the official timed period.

Film Submissions

Submit your film:

Please email any submission questions to

The participating filmmakers must submit their film by the competition deadline in order to qualify for the competition (this includes submitting the film to the Quarantine Film Challenge on FilmFreeway. Only films that meet the deadline will be officially part of the competition and be eligible for awards.

Animal Safety:
Animal safety, like cast and crew safety, is an important part of the Film Con Challenge. Films that result in the death or mutilation of an animal will be disqualified.

Any type of video or film camera may be used. There is no limit to the number of cameras.

Music Rights
Participating groups are encouraged to work with a composer and/or musicians to write and record music for the films. It is permissible for a participating group to use pre-recorded music; however, the participating group must have the rights to any music used in its film and must provide releases for all music used. As with music, pre-recorded sound effects are allowed, but you must have the right to use them. Note: Song parodies (i.e., use of identifiable pre-existing compositions with new or altered lyrics or music) may not be included in the film without a signed release from the composition's rights holder. This rule applies without regard to whether the song parody arguably constitutes "fair use" under the US or international copyright law.

Total Running Time
The finished film must be a maximum of 5 minutes in duration—not including end credits. In other words, the official running time ends prior to the end credits. The end credits do not count towards the maximum time of 5 minutes. The film story may not be longer than 5 minutes.

End Credits
Credits at the end of each film are limited to a maximum of 60 seconds. The 60 seconds is considered additional to the length of the film, as stated above. (That is, a film maybe 5 minutes long, with an additional 60 seconds of credits, for a total running time of 6 minutes.)

Required Media Formats
Your film must be submitted with the following media:
Online via FilmFreeway: Link:

Submission Notes

We recommend you make sound levels relatively even throughout your film. (If your film has uneven sound or sound that peaks, it may be modified to protect the playback equipment.)

Projection specs vary from theater to theater and are beyond the control of the Film Con Challenge. If your film is very dark, it may be difficult to see in a theater.

All films received on the evening of the deadline (on-time and late) will be eligible, presuming they meet the eligibility requirements.

To be eligible for the competition, Entries must be the original adaptation work of the entrant; must not infringe third-party's rights; must be suitable for publication (i.e., may not be obscene or indecent); must not contain obscene or pornographic material; may not contain defamatory statements about any person, company, organization or entity; may not invade privacy or other rights of any person, company or entity; may not in any other way violate applicable laws and regulations, and may not contain any copyrighted elements (other than as owned by the Entrant and/or FCC). Entries containing prohibited or inappropriate content as determined by the FCC, in its sole discretion, to be inappropriate will be disqualified. FCC reserves the right to make the final determination as to which Entries are eligible. FCC also reserves the right to refuse to screen a film or to make an announcement at the screening regarding the content of the film.

No Pre-Screening Distribution
The Entrant should not distribute their entry/video in any way prior to it receiving its official FCC premiere screening. This includes uploading the video to any website or screening the film for groups of anyone other than the team. The Entrant is encouraged to make a trailer of their film and distribute that instead. This trailer should be no longer than 60 seconds.

Official Film Entry
To be certified as an Official Film Entry, each participating group's film/video production must follow all rules herein. The Film Con Challenge Organizers reserve the right to screen only certified Official Film Entries.

Entries Not Returned
No Entries (media or documents) will be returned.

FCC and Project Parties may, in their sole discretion, disqualify Entries deemed to be inappropriate or otherwise non-compliant.

Production Costs
All costs associated with the production of the Entry are solely the responsibility of the Entrant.

Judging of Entries
Eligible Entries will be judged based on the judging criteria stated below.

Project Terms of Submission
By submitting an Entry into the FCC, each Entrant warrant and represents that the Entrant owns all rights to the Entry he/she is entering in this Project, including, without limitation, the video or digital recording, and the performance contained in each Entry, with the exception of any assets provided by the FCC for use by Entrants in connection with this Project. Each Entrant further warrants and represents that the Entrant has obtained permission from each person who appears in the Entry to grant the rights to the Project Parties described in these Official Rules, and will submit copies of such permissions to the Project Parties. By submitting an Entry, Entrant agrees to the Official Rules, and further agrees to indemnify and hold the FCC, Project Parties and their respective affiliates, officers, directors, agents, co-branders or other partners, and any of their employees (collectively, the Project Indemnitees), harmless from any and all claims, damages, expenses, costs (including reasonable attorneys' fees) and liabilities (including settlements), brought or asserted by any third party against any of the Project Indemnitees due to or arising out of the Entrant's Entry materials in this Project, or the Entrant's conduct during and in connection with this project, including but not limited to trademark, copyright, or other intellectual property rights, right of publicity, right of privacy or defamation. Entrant agrees to release, indemnify and hold harmless FCC and the Project Parties from any and all claims that any advertising, presentation, web content, or any other material subsequently produced, presented, and/or prepared by or on behalf of FCC or the Project Parties infringes on the rights of Entrant's work as contained in any Entry.

Selection of Winners
Entries will be judged by a process in which qualified panels of judges will evaluate the eligible entries based on the following judging criteria:
Artistic Merit (e.g., Story, Creativity, Entertainment Value) (45%)
Technical Merit (30%)
Adherence to the Assignment (25%)

Film Con Challenge Project Winner
The top entry will be declared the winner. In the event of a tie, additional third-party judges will be called upon to judge the tied films and give a new score based on the above criteria. Entrants agree that the FCC has the sole right to decide all matters and disputes arising from this FCC and that all decisions of FCC are final and binding.

General Conditions
By participating, Entrants agree to these Official Rules which are final and binding in all respects. The FCC is governed by the laws of the state of California, and all claims must be resolved in California courts or the Federal courts located in California.

Limitations of Liability and Release
No liability or responsibility is assumed by FCSD or Project Parties resulting from any user's participation in or attempt to participate in the Film Con Challenge (FCC) or ability or inability to upload or download any information in connection with participating in the Project. No responsibility or liability is assumed by the FCSD or Project Parties for technical problems or technical malfunction arising in connection with any of the following occurrences which may affect the operation of the Project: hardware or software errors; faulty computer, telephone, cable, satellite, network, electronic, wireless or Internet connectivity or other online communication problems; errors or limitations of any Internet service providers, servers, hosts or providers; garbled, jumbled or faulty data transmissions; failure of any email transmissions to be sent or received; lost, late, delayed or intercepted email transmissions; inaccessibility of the Website in whole or in part for any reason; traffic congestion on the Internet or the Website; unauthorized human or non-human intervention of the operation of the Project, including without limitation, unauthorized tampering, hacking, theft, virus, bugs, worms; or destruction of any aspect of the Project, or loss, miscount, misdirection, inaccessibility or unavailability of an email account used in connection with the Project. FCSD and Project Parties are not responsible for any typographical errors in the announcement of prizes or these Official Rules, or any inaccurate or incorrect data contained on the Web Site or social media sites maintained by the Film Consortium San Diego. Use of Web Site and the FCSD's social media sites is at the user's own risk. FCSD and the Project Parties are not responsible for any personal injury or property damage or losses of any kind which may be sustained to user's or any other person's computer equipment resulting from participation in the Project, use of the Web Site or the download of any information from the Web Site. By participating in the Project, Entrant agrees to release, indemnify and hold FCSD and Project Parties harmless from any and all claims, damages, or liabilities arising from or relating to such Entrant's participation in the Project.

Project Organizer
Film Consortium San Diego
Mailing Address:
2801 B Street, #30
San Diego, CA, 92102

Overall Rating
  • Paco Freire

    fantastic film festival, thank you.

    January 2021
  • Matt Sellars

    Had a great time in this inaugural year. Communication was great, they did an amazing job integrating with San Diego Film Week and the San Diego Int'l Film Festival. Enjoyed the experience and would enter again.

    November 2020
  • Joe Kraemer

    I was really pleased with this festival. They really promoted their selected filmmakers across social media and got films exposure. The videos went up on YouTube and Facebook. Winners were chosen by audience engagement. That process was a little unclear, but otherwise a positive experience and a cool idea that was executed well.

    October 2020
  • Sean Stanley

    The Quarantine Film Challenge was a great festival, it was really well curated, the communication was awesome, and it was wonderful to be included in the Best of Quarantine at the San Diego International Film Festival. Thanks so much for having us!

    October 2020
  • Smail Jarrou

    Amazing experience, thank you for everything, looking forward the next edition, hopefully Covid would be over by then

    October 2020