The 10th annual Raw Science Film Festival is open for entry!

The next festival is a live hybrid event in Los Angeles, CA (4Q2023).

Raw Science Film Festival (RSFF) is an annual event that brings together people across science, technology, entertainment and media from across the world to showcase best in class film and media from around the globe. The event was initially made possible through the support of the National Academy of Sciences and The Science and Entertainment Exchange.

The mission of RSFF is to humanize science and bring fact-based experts to the forefront of popular culture by celebrating the best science storytelling in the world. The goal is to create a world class film festival for science media on par with Cannes or Sundance, and to extend the festival globally.

Select films receive Oscar qualifying prizes.


Professional Series Dramatic
Professional Series Documentary
Professional Series Animation

Professional Dramatic < 40 minutes
Professional Dramatic > 40 minutes
Professional Documentary < 40 minutes
Professional Documentary > 40 minutes
Professional Animation < 40 minutes
Professional Animation > 40 minutes

Student Dramatic < 40 minutes
Student Dramatic > 40 minutes
Student Documentary < 40 minutes
Student Documentary > 40 minutes
Student Animation < 40 minutes
Student Animation > 40 minutes

Amateur Dramatic < 40 minutes
Amateur Dramatic > 40 minutes
Amateur Documentary < 40 minutes
Amateur Documentary > 40 minutes
Amateur Animation < 40 minutes
Amateur Animation > 40 minutes

Youth Dramatic < 40 minutes
Youth Dramatic > 40 minutes
Youth Documentary < 40 minutes
Youth Documentary > 40 minutes
Youth Animation < 40 minutes
Youth Animation > 40 minutes


Best Picture
Best Documentary
Best Series (Dramatic)
Best Series (Documentary)
Best Technical Innovation in Media
Best Visual Effects
Best Educational Media
Best New Media Format
Best Public Art
Best Infographic
Kip Thorne Gravity Award for Best Depiction of a Scientific Principle
Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination Prize in Speculative Media
Raw Breakthrough Award in Sci-Comm
Raw Journalism Award

The Raw Science Film Competition (“Contest”) is governed by these Official Rules, and the decisions of Raw Science and its appointed Judges (together referred to as “Raw Science”) in the interpretation and implementation of these Official Rules are final. This Contest is Sponsored by Raw Science, Inc. and Raw Science Foundation all referred to in these rules as “Raw Science.”

WHO CAN ENTER. You must be 18 or over as of January 1, 2023 to enter. For junior high and high school students entering the Youth Awards, the film must be submitted by a representative 18 and older. Raw Science employees, Board Members, Advisors, Agents and their family members are not eligible to judge their own entries.

STUDENT FILMS: To be eligible, the filmmaker must be a full-time student in a degree-granting program at an accredited** U.S. or international college or university. The film must have been made in a teacher-student relationship within the curricular structure of that institution. If the filmmaker has graduated or left such a program, the film may be submitted no later than one year from the filmmaker’s date of departure. International Students enrolled in schools that are members of CILECT may submit their works. All films not submitted in the English language should be subtitled in English or with English subtitles.

PROFESSIONAL FILMS: May be submitted by any filmmaker anywhere in the world. All films not submitted in the English language must be subtitled in English.

AMATEUR FILMS: May be submitted by any filmmaker anywhere in the world. All films not submitted in the English language must be subtitled in English.

YOUTH FILMS: May be submitted for any filmmaker anywhere in the world under the age of 18. All films not submitted in the English language must be subtitled in English.

INDUSTRY AWARDS: May be submitted for nomination by any filmmaker anywhere in the world. All films not submitted in the English language must be subtitled in English. Feature-length theatrical films must be released between March 1, 2022 and October 1, 2023. A signed Official Screen Credits (OSC) form and a PDF or Word document of the film’s complete screen credits must be received by the date of the film festival. Entries are also accepted if released via broadcast, cable television, or internet transmission.

NO PROFESSIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO STUDENT ENTRIES. The purpose of the Raw Science Student Film competition is to support and encourage filmmakers with no previous professional experience who are enrolled in degree-granting programs and accredited colleges and universities as full-time students who are making fiction and non-fiction works that deal with “Science” issues and ideas about innovation and invention that impact the planet, socially, politically, environmentally or otherwise. Raw Science wants to encourage student filmmakers and while professional advice may be requested and given during the making of student films, Raw Science does not allow for any hands-on involvement by film industry professionals in key positions, including but not limited to, directors, producers, camera persons, editors, writers or production sound mixers. Professional actors, however, may participate and be included in the film entries. Raw Science reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify from competition (or reclassify) any entry in which Raw Science determines that industry professionals have had undue influence.

HOW TO ENTER. Entrants must complete the Entry Form available at Entry forms must list the director (but no more than two) most responsible for the creative production of the picture. If there are any credit discrepancies or controversies, Raw Science will insist that credits be settled before the film may be considered for an award.

CRITERIA FOR ENTRY: Film entries must be those completed after March 1, 2022 and October 1, 2023. (works-in-progress should not be entered as they may not be altered during the competition once initial judging has occurred and will be disqualified from submission into subsequent Raw Science Awards competitions.) Advertising films and promotional films, will not be eligible for entry. By entering the Contest Entrants represent and warrant to Raw Science that they have all of the rights and consents necessary to enter the Contest and to grant Raw Science the rights granted in these Official Rules; that the film Entry does not violate any contractual obligation that Entrant has and that the very best of Entrant’s knowledge or belief does not violate the rights of any third party, including without limitation the right of privacy, publicity, or the copyright, trademark or other intellectual property rights of any third party, and that it does not violate any law or regulation.

STYLE CATEGORIES: Entries may be in any of the following styles of filmmaking:

ANIMATION -Animated films may present an original narrative story, an existing story or fable, or an exploration of a mood or thought. Either comical or serious, they usually fall into one of two general fields — character animation or abstract animation. Various techniques include cel animation, computer animation, clay animation, pixilation, cut-out pins, camera multiple-pass imagery, kaleidoscope effects, and the film frame itself. Winning animation films are chosen by judging the product as a whole, as well as the artistic and technical skill of the animator in whatever motif or animation technique the student has chosen.

DOCUMENTARY – Documentary films are visual essays that seek to present historical subjects, current social or political issues, or specific human experiences in such a way as to have a dramatic impact upon the viewing audience. Documentaries may be filmed in the cinema vérité style where camera and microphone merely record the event without injecting the comments or subjective conclusions of the filmmaker, or may be a reenactment. In the latter case, the distinction between dramatic and documentary film lies in the fact that while dramatic film is fictional, documentary film deals with real, factual situations and circumstances.

NARRATIVE – Narrative films strive to portray life, a character or a narrative story much the same way a novel does, but within the context of an audiovisual medium. Past narrative films by students have ranged from those that are serious in tone to films that are comic, as well as the familiar and uniquely American “movie musical.” Winning entries in this and all other categories reflect the merit of the film when viewed as a whole, as well as the professional execution of its component parts, such as script, dialogue, direction, cinematography, lighting, acting, editing and scoring. Narrative category films may be adaptations of existing pieces of literature, or, as has often been the case, original stories written by the student filmmaker.

Preliminary eligibility and classification shall be determined in accordance with procedures and judging determined by Raw Science in its sole discretion. If the eligibility and final classification of any entry is questioned Raw Science shall be authorized to to designate the classification of the applicable entry. The decision of the Judges in this matter is final.
CRITERIA FOR JUDGING/ JUDGES . The entries shall be judged on the basis of resourcefulness, originality, entertainment, and production quality, without regard to cost of production or subject matter. Final judging by the Raw Science shall be completed by November 1, 2022. Finalists in each category shall be notified promptly. The decisions of the Judges are final.

NOTIFICATION. Winners will be notified by November 1, 2022. Failure to respond within 24 hours to notice of winning will result in disqualification.

GRANT OF RIGHTS. By entering the Contest, Entrants agree that Raw Science may possess their Entry, screen entries for individuals and groups, copy and edit as necessary solely for the purpose of such screenings, use stills, screen shots and clips from the Entries for purposes of judging the Contest, promotion of the Contest, archival purposes and Raw Science promotional purposes. Clips of under 15 seconds will not require screen credit to Entrants. Raw Science will make good faith effort to include credit to Entrants for any use of Entries that is longer than 15 seconds, but no inadvertent failure to do so will be considered a violation of Entrant’s intellectual property rights in the Entry. All Finalists and winners grant Raw Science the right to air their “Winning Entries” on Raw Science NETWORKS for 12 months. Finalists and Winners agree to negotiate in good faith the terms and conditions of any renewal terms for the exhibition and/or distribution of the Winning Entries.

RELEASES: By participating, each Entrant agrees: (a) to abide by these Official Rules and decisions of Raw Science and judges, which shall be final and binding in all respects relating to this Contest; (b) to release, discharge and hold harmless Raw Science, and their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies, and the respective officers, directors, shareholders, employees, agents and representatives of the forgoing (collectively, “Raw Science ”) from any and all injuries, liability, losses and damages of any kind to persons, including death, or property (including to the film entries, resulting, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from Entrant’s participation in the Contest or any Contest-related activity or the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any awarded prize; and (c) to the use of his/her Entry, name, photograph/video, image and/or likeness for programming, advertising, publicity and promotional purposes in any and all media, now or hereafter known, worldwide and on the Internet, and in perpetuity by Raw Science and its designees, without compensation (unless prohibited by law) or additional consents from Entrant or any third party and without prior notice, approval or inspection, and to execute specific consent to such use if asked to do so. By participating, Entrant also agrees not to release any publicity or other materials on their own or through someone else regarding their participation in the Contest without the prior consent of the Raw Science, which it may withhold in its sole discretion.

SCREENING: The picture must be exhibited using 35mm or 70mm film, or in a 24- or 48-frame progressive scan Digital Cinema format with a minimum projector resolution of 2048 by 1080 pixels, source image format conforming to ST 428-1:2006 D-Cinema Distribution Master – Image Characteristics; image compression (if used) conforming to ISO/IEC 15444-1 (JPEG 2000); and image and sound files packaged as Digital Cinema Packages (DCPs) in either “Interop” or “SMPTE DCP” formats. SMPTE DCP refers to SMPTE ST429-2 and related specifications. (Bluray format does not meet Digital Cinema requirements.) The audio in a Digital Cinema Package (DCP) is typically 5.1 or 7.1 channels of discrete audio. The minimum for a non-mono configuration of the audio shall be three channels as Left, Center, Right (a Left/Right configuration is not acceptable in a theatrical environment). The audio data shall be formatted in conformance with ST 428-2:2006 D-Cinema Distribution Master – Audio Characteristics and ST 428-3:2006 D-Cinema Distribution Master – Audio Channel Mapping and Channel Labeling.

THE THINGS OUR LAWYERS WANT TO TELL YOU / GENERAL CONDITIONS: Raw Science is not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, damaged, inaccurate, stolen, delayed, misdirected, undelivered, or garbled Entries; or for lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties, or other errors or difficulties of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, computer, network, typographical, printing, postal, third party courier, or otherwise relating to or in connection with the Contest, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the Contest, the processing or judging of Entries, the announcement of the prizes, or in any Contest-related materials. Raw Science are also not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by Entrants, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest. Raw Science are not responsible for injury or damage to any person’s computer related to or resulting from participating in this Contest or downloading materials from or use of the website. Persons who tamper with or abuse any aspect of the Contest, who act in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner or who are in violation of these Official Rules, as solely determined by Raw Science, will be disqualified and all associated Entries will be void. Should any portion of the Contest be, in Raw Science’s sole opinion, compromised including without limitation by electronic/digital virus, worms, bugs, non-authorized human intervention or other causes which, in the sole opinion of the Raw Science, corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness or submission of Entries, Raw Science reserves the right at its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the Contest (or portion thereof) for these reasons or any other reason, and, if terminated, select the potential winner(s) at issue from all eligible, non-suspect Entries received prior to action taken using the judging procedure outlined above. Caution: any attempt to deliberately damage raw science’s website or undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest may be in violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, Raw Science reserves the right to seek damages and other remedies (including attorneys’ fees) from any such individual to the fullest extent of the law, including criminal prosecution.

Disputes. By entering you agree that issues concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules shall be governed by the laws of the State of California. All disputes arising out of or connected with this Contest will be resolved individually, and without resort to class action. Should there be a conflict between the laws of the State of California and any other laws, the conflict will be resolved in favor of the laws of the State of California. All judgments or awards shall be limited to actual incurred out-of-pocket expenses (excluding attorneys’ fees) associated with participation in this Contest and shall not include any indirect, punitive, incidental and/or consequential damages.

Sponsor. For an email copy of these Official Rules please write us at and request a copy of the Raw Science Film Contest.

For more information contact Raw Science at

Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
New England Association of Schools and colleges
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Northwest Accreditation Commission on Colleges and Universities
Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
<international schools as appropriate>

Overall Rating
  • So many emails from Keri, but none announcing the winners.
    However, the email encouraged to buy a trophy!
    I must have missed the gap!?

    November 2023
  • Kristen Gilliland

    Keri and crew were amazing! Their communication was superb too. I was incredibly honored to receive the Jury Award for Best Amateur Documentary < 40 minutes for Speaking Through Me. Thank you RSFF!

    November 2023
  • Dan Clifton

    Tremendous festival with a real focus on quality, curated with passion and care.

    November 2023
  • Jared Bronen

    Incredible festival, thank you so much for having me!

    November 2023
  • Excellent communication, professionalism, and a wonderful festival set up. Thank you so much to the Raw Science Festival for including us in your event.

    November 2023