The Sustainability Living-Learning Community (LLC) is a residential community within University Housing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Our community takes a holistic approach to educating the future leaders of the green movement by incorporating academic and experiential elements to provide students with avenues to explore their interests. The Sustainability LLC hosts a wide variety of events each semester to encourage students to see sustainability in new ways through a host of different lenses, offering unique experiences to learn and grow.

With this, our 4th Annual Sustainability Shorts Film Festival, we hope to educate, enlighten, and entertain our campus and community through the medium of film. We are seeking short films in a variety of different categories to highlight at this event, which will be produced at a central campus location at the University of Illinois and open to the public.

The films chosen for the festival should be directly relevant to the broad topic of environmental sustainability. Suggested topics include:
-Sustainable food sources/food justice
-Urban Gardening
-Sustainable Agriculture
-Water Conservation
-Waste/Recycling/Creative Reuse
-Renewable energy sources
-The intersections between sustainability and social justice (land rights, etc.)
-Environmental Conservation
-Sustainable transportation
-The sustainable home/business

This is just a start! We are open to consider other topics that directly relate to our theme.

Due to time constraints, highest consideration will be given to films that are under 10 minutes in length. We may, at our discretion, consider longer titles (under 20 minutes) if they are of exceptional quality and high interest to our student selection committee. No film over 20 minutes in length will be evaluated.

No monetary awards will be given.

Honors will be granted to select films via Judges' Choice and Audience Choice (categories TBA, depending on submissions received). Pdf laurels will be given via email and promoted on Sustainability LLC social media to films that receive awards.

Please do not submit your film if it does not relate to the topic of the festival (environmental sustainability) in any way. If you're not sure if your film qualifies, please see the festival description and/or email with questions. Please note, due to the number of submissions, we reserve the right to only actively evaluate films that are within the stated time requirements and that have a written description that clearly indicates how the film is relevant to the topic of environmental sustainability. Have a surprise ending that makes it relate to the topic? Great! Let us know that in the description so that we don't miss you due to perceived irrelevance.

All shorts must be no more than 20 minutes in length with special consideration given to quality films under 10 minutes in length. All submissions must be original works created by the person submitting to our festival (filmmaker, producer, etc.) who must own all rights. By submitting a film, you assert that you own all rights to the film and its content (including all music) and you grant a license to the Sustainability Living-Learning Community to screen the film publicly as part of the festival (if chosen) and again at a private event for incoming students in August 2020. We will not pay screening fees for this event.

Films must be in English or have English subtitles.

Overall Rating
  • Carolina feity

    So happy to be part of this great experience!!! Thanks so much Sustainability Shorts Film Festival!!

    May 2024
  • Bethany Borg

    Although I couldn't attend in person- communication was great and they were all really lovely. Was really excited to have my film showcased at this awesome event!

    March 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your delightful film with us.

  • Carr Sappier

    We had the pleasure to attend the festival from Canada, and the staff were very welcoming; we even sat down to have dinner with two student volunteers which was nice. The selection of films was great, the representation of peoples from all over the world was insightful. It would have been a bonus to have not been the only filmmakers representing a film; however it includes lots of travel time. Good work guys!

    March 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for your kind words, Carr. I only wish that we could have more thoroughly met your expectations for the festival. We would love to have more filmmakers in attendance as well, which is why we provide housing and meals for attending filmmakers. Unfortunately, it is prohibitively expensive for many of our filmmakers (who come from all over the world) to make the journey, even when we provide such support. We are so very thankful that you were able to join us, and I know that our students enjoyed having the opportunity to meet you and learn about your process.


    Thank Sustainability Shorts Film Festival for performing our creative film, and so it is very honor for us to accept the award. This is a great platform to show somebody’s films.

    March 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for the kind words. Thanks also for sharing your fantastic film with our audiences.

  • good communication, value and networking

    March 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you! We are so glad that you participated in our festival! Thank you for sharing your creativity and talents with our students.