The Real Food Films Contest is back for its 3rd year and looking for YOUR films on sustainability, food waste, urban agriculture, drought, underreported issues and creative solutions around food and farming. From documentary to advocacy, animation to spoken word—all formats are welcome for your 4-minute or less submission.

Our incredible team of judges—including Filmmakers Philip Bloom and Brad Simpson, Chef Tom Colicchio, Upworthy's Eli Pariser, Davia Nelson of NPR's The Kitchen Sisters, the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation and many more—is looking for powerful, original films in diverse formats covering underreported issues, innovative sustainability strategies and compelling stories of food producers, workers and more. Check out past winners, get inspired and grab that camera!

The Real Food Films Contest is a tremendous opportunity for aspiring and seasoned filmmakers as well as advocacy groups with a story to tell: Winning films receive cash prizes - including over $15k in total and a $5,000 Grand Prize - distribution with media partners around the world, from film festivals to online platforms like Vimeo and Upworthy, and screenings at our very own Pop-Up Film Fests. To date, more than 200 Real Food Films Pop-Up Film Fests have been hosted around the world from Romania to New Zealand, Montreal to Missouri. And remember, we're interested in originality and creativity, not another film about beautiful bunches of kale—though we do love kale.

*Length includes Title (required) and end credits (optional).
Originality: All Entries must be made specifically for the Contest. Remixed or shortened versions of footage are welcome, but Entries must not have been publicly screened, posted on the Internet, or screened at a film festival in the same format submitted to the Contest. (See Terms & Conditions: http://realfoodfilms.org/terms/)

Deadlines & Format: Entries must be submitted by March 1, 2016 at 9pm PST/12 midnight EST in the required format.

- Tell a story about food, farming, and sustainability;
- Paint a picture of the challenges we face; or
- Share creative solutions for a better food system.

- communities taking on a big food challenge like tackling food waste or hunger
- advocates exposing an underreported issue, like the impact of chemical pesticides on health or the connection between food and climate change
- sharing the story of a food hero -- a farmer, farmworker, restaurateur, activist changing the food system telling the tale of a creative policy solution from a city, state or beyond
- creatively showing agricultural solutions from farms in the United States or around the world

In addition to our $5,000 Grand Prize and *new* $5,000 Lens on Hunger Award, we offer a $2,000 Runner Up Award, a $1,000 Student Award as well as additional $500 cash prizes for Best Cinematography, Best Underreported Issue, Best Food Producer Profile, Best Innovative Initiative, and Best Animation and People's Choice Award.

Films submitted but not chosen in the 2016 Top 10 Finalists may also be invited to join our Film Library.

Full terms are also available at: http://realfoodfilms.org/terms/


By entering the Real Food Films Contest (‘Contest’), Contest entrants (‘Entrants’) agree to be bound by the following terms and conditions. Failure to abide by these terms and conditions may render an Entrant ineligible for or lead to disqualification from the Contest.

Entrants must submit their entries via the Contest Rules and Guidelines (‘Guidelines’). Any entry form or supporting materials received via any other method will not be considered a valid submission. Please double-check your files before submitting your entry. If we cannot view your submission, we will be unable to judge your production.


All films entered into the Contest must be made specifically for the Contest. Any entry submitted must not have been publicly screened, posted on the Internet, or submitted to a film festival in the exact same format that is submitted to the Contest. Entries may be a shortened, re-edited or reformatted version of a film that was made prior to the Contest, provided that any such submission will not violate any contracts, obligations, or restrictions on submission or posting previously entered into by filmmaker or Team.

Each film may only be submitted once. Entrants may submit multiple entries, as long as each entry differs significantly from any others submitted by that Entrant. One Entrant may have multiple entries qualify as a Finalist; however, no Entrant shall have more than one Submission win one of the top cash prizes.


To be eligible for the Contest, Entrants must read and complete the Entry Form, and submit their production as described in points 1 and 2 above by the submission deadline: 9pm PST / 12 midnight EST on March 1, 2016. Entrants must also upload a minimum of three (3) still images from their production shoot to Instagram (tagged with #realfoodfilms + @realfoodmedia) by this time or email three images to Contest team at films<at>realfoodmedia.org if no Instagram account is accessible.

Contest entries may be by an individual or by a team of any size, including a group of film students, an entire class, etc. Entrants must be 18 years of age or older.

Each team entry shall have one Entrant Representative for purposes of contact and communication. The team Representative shall be in charge of submitting a signed entry form and signed affirmation for all members of the team (see entry form for details).

The Entrant, or Entrant Representative for team entries, will receive any prize money in the form of a single check, and Real Food Media has no responsibility for the division of any awards between team members, nor shall the Real Food Films Contest issue multiple checks to members of the same team for purposes of dividing prize money.

If the Entrant is an individual, or a team currently enrolled in a film school, Entrant or Entrant Representative if from a Team, the School may have some rights over the use of the Submission. You are responsible for checking your school’s policies regarding the ownership and use allowances of student work. Failure to disclose that Entrant is currently enrolled in a film school will lead to disqualification from the Contest.

We highly recommend submitting your entry before the deadline to allow for unforeseen issues that may arise.


The Entry System works seamlessly through Vimeo and most video files should be accepted. However, if you run into any difficulties uploading your footage, Vimeo’s compression guidelines are available at https://vimeo.com/help/compression, and the ‘uploading’ section of their FAQ is available at https://vimeo.com/help/faq/uploading. Preferred formats are outlined below:

Codec: Vimeo accepts most major video codecs; for best results use H.264. There are a few codecs that will not work on Vimeo: Go2Meeting, Canopus HQ, Apple Intermediate Codec.

Resolution: Standard definition (SD) video includes 640 x 480 px (4:3 aspect ratio) and 640 x 360 px (16:9 aspect ratio). The most common setting for high definition (HD) video is 1280 x 720 px (16:9 aspect ratio), and 1920 x 1080 px (16:9) is the most common resolution for 1080p HD video.

Audio: The AAC-LC codec, at 320 kbps and 48kHz, is recommended.

If and when you are announced as the winning movie, in order to screen your movie at a festival, you’ll need to send us an Apple Pro Res file, ideally with an aspect ratio of 16:9.


Submission automatically grants Real Food Media all rights to the film during the contest period. During the Contest period, neither Entrant nor any member or affiliate of Entrant or Entrant’s team shall post the Submission(s) on any website or submit to another contest, nor post or publicly display the Submission anywhere. After the Contest, rights will be transferred to Creative Commons license (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International) for all Submissions, including those chosen as Finalists. At all times, Real Food Media shall have the rights to post Entrant’s submission on the Real Food Media website at www.realfoodmedia.org and Real Food Films website at www.realfoodfilms.org. Additionally, Real Food Media and its partners and affiliates reserve the right to use Entrant content (including part of any production submitted by an Entrant) in any form they choose for promotion of the Contest, specifically permission to post Entrant’s Submission, or any portion thereof, such as film stills, on its website or affiliate’s or partner’s websites or additional websites related to sustainability causes. Under the terms of Creative Commons (Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International) license, individuals or organizations who wish to post the Submission on their sites in furtherance of their mission or cause may do so, as long as the use is noncommercial and attribution is stated. Submission of an entry constitutes consent by the Entrant for Real Food Media to use that Entrant’s name, photo, and biographical information for publicity purposes.

As stated above, Submissions may not be shared by posting on any website, by sharing a link to the Submission, or in any way whatsoever, by Entrant, Entrant Representative, or anyone other than Real Food Media, during the contest period. After the Contest period has ended, May 2, 2016, the restriction on Entrants posting Contest entries is lifted and all Entrants—unless otherwise notified—may share their Contest entries with the world. As noted above, all Entrants grant an Attribution- Non-Commercial- No Derivatives Creative Commons license to Real Food Media, its partners and affiliates.

All copyright, releases, and licenses for all content, music, and actors must be cleared by the Entrant. This includes anyone you interview on camera for the Submission. If chosen as a Finalist, proper documentation for all such rights and clearances may be required. Failure to provide this documentation could result in removal of the entry from consideration in the Contest. If you have questions, contact us by email or, if applicable, talk to your film school. Real Food Media takes no responsibility for any failure by an Entrant to obtain the necessary rights, authorizations, and clearances. Entrants, by submitting an entry to the Contest, represent and warrant that they have the right to submit the entry, and that their productions (and any material contained therein, including, but not limited to, stock footage, audio and music tracks, interviews, still photos) do not infringe the intellectual property rights or any other rights of any person or entity. Entrants will fully indemnify Real Food Media against any loss, costs, expenses, demands or liability, whether direct or indirect, arising out of any claim by a third party or team member for violation of intellectual property rights.


Staff will check for adherence to Contest Rules (including film length, film formats, etc. as described above and on the Contest website). Judges will seek entries that cover the assigned topics with an engaging, informative, inspiring, creative execution. Submissions must show a strong understanding of the topic/s and related key issues. The Contest judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence or discussion will be entered into regarding the judging process or any outcomes reached.

Real Food Media, its affiliates and partners, as well as their respective directors, officers and employees, shall assume no liability resulting from losses, delays, mistaken addresses on email received, typographical errors, technical, computer or telephone malfunctions, loss or theft of computer or telephone data, damage to software or computer equipment, fraudulent calls or any other mistake. Additionally, Real Food Media will not be responsible for incomplete, lost, late, post-due, misdirected, copied, transferred, illegible entries or for failure to receive entries due to transmission failures or technical failures of any kind, including, without limitation, malfunctioning of any network, hardware or software, whether originating with sender or Real Food Media.

All personal information, such as your name, address, telephone number, email address and age, is collected solely for the purposes of administering this Contest and shall not be used for any other purpose without your consent. By providing this information, you consent to it being used by Real Food Media for the stated purposes.

No purchase necessary for entry. Void where prohibited, including any bars to eligibility or ability to lawfully receive prize money.