The Lens film festival is a digitally native film festival meant to inspire filmmakers and emerging activists to share stories about issues that affect their community. It’s not just a documentary festival, it’s a conversation about how big social issues manifest themselves in our own lives, and how storytellers can engage their communities to realize change. Leading up to the festival, The Lens will host digital workshops to give filmmakers of any background the knowledge and tools to tell a compelling story, whether it’s filmed with an iPhone or a professional camera.

Need inspiration? Take a look at the universally accepted Sustainable Development Goals ( and think about how your community relates to one or several of these goals.

Winners and select films will be published on The Lens (, showcased at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival in March of 2019, and have a chance to win over $500 in cash prizes.

Terms and Conditions
1. Filmmakers and their teams submitting works to The Lens Film Fest (hereafter known as “TLFF”) accept and agree to the Terms and Conditions
2. All works submitted is trusted to be the original work of the filmmaking individual and/or their team members
3. Materials using copy written content without express written permission of the original content creator will be not considered for submission.
4. Pieces must be submitted online via FilmFreeway™ and be accompanied with the nonrefundable submission fee found on the submission portal
5. Not be available online prior to the submission and selection process, unless published independently from any third party distributor
6. Submitted work must:
a. Be an original piece between 3 and 10 minutes in length
b. Be produced in the 2017 calendar year or after
c. Include production credits and contact information
d. Not be an ad or a promotion piece for personal branding
e. Have express written or audible consent of all subjects in film
f. Be submitted with English closed captioning
7. Submissions will be evaluated, and winning pieces will be decided by The Lens staff and their partners
8. Winning Material may be awarded either a cash prize, a premiere at the SLO International Film Festival, or be distributed through The Lens’ network
9. By submitting a piece you are granting The Lens and its partners use of the piece, segments, and its credits for distribution and marketing pieces.
10. The Lens Film Festival and its host companies and partners are not liable for any loss, liabilities, or damages that may incur by participating in TLFF.
11. Submitting parties indemnify and hold harmless TLFF 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 materials entered.