The Yale Student Film Festival (YSFF) is an emerging student-run short film festival providing the opportunity for university-level and high school filmmakers, both foreign and domestic, to exhibit their work. It will be held on Yale University’s campus April 2023.

YSFF takes place annually at Yale University in New Haven, CT, and is now in its seventh year. In addition to the competitive student blocks, the three-day event will include a spotlight screening, panel discussions, guest speakers, and masterclasses, all led by Yale alumni in the entertainment industry.

Founded in 2015, the festival began as a collaboration between the Yale Film Alliance, Yale Film Study Center, Yale Film Studies Program, Films at the Whitney, and the Yale College Dean’s Office to highlight the small but growing community of filmmakers on Yale’s campus who create work outside of a traditional film school environment.

Continuing this theme, this year’s festival will celebrate emerging student work from those taking the first steps towards a professional career, and aims to provide a platform to encourage conversation and camaraderie across schools and experiences.

The festival features six separate student competitions: the narrative film competition; the documentary film competition; the experimental film competition; the animation film competition; the new social media category; and new Connecticut high school student only competition.

With broadly set categories, we hope to put together a program that encompasses of variety of genres, media, experiences, and cinematic journeys. We are especially on the lookout for films that challenge the ways in which we think about the world and each other and that engage with relevant issues effecting us today. From discussions of race and gender, to politics, to the evolving concept of the family, we are searching for work that can not only offer a cinematic escape but also deeper insight into contemporary society. That being said, all films are encouraged to submit work!

YSFF Website: https://collegearts.yale.edu/organizations/yale-film-alliance/yale-student-film-festival/about

Awards & Prizes

Films entered in the competition category are eligible to compete for some of the following awards:

• Best Narrative Film
• Best Documentary Film
• Best Experimental Film
• Best High School film
• Best Animated Short
• Best Cinematography
• Best Editing
• Best Director
• Best Comedy
• Best Drama

Prize packs for 2023 TBD.

ENTRY REGULATIONS (Please read before submitting!)

ALL entries must be from student currently enrolled in a university degree program, unless submitting to the CT high school category or social media category. Work submitted by MFA candidates in directing, producing, etc. or professionals will not be accepted. All directors must be under the age of 25. Films in the CT high school competition must have directors under the age of 19 that are currently enrolled in a Connecticut high school.

Fee waivers are available to any undergraduate or high school student. Check with your university for a fee waiver. If you did not receive one, email theyalestudentfilmfestival@gmail.com

All submitted films must have been completed AFTER January 2020. All films in a language other than English must be subtitled.

**STUDENT VERIFICATION WILL BE REQUIRED AND APPLICANTS ARE REQUIRED TO ATTACH A COPY OF THEIR STUDENT ID OR PROOF OF ENROLLMENT TO YOUR FILM’S PAGE.** All other entries will be disqualified for entry into the festival.

Any student is eligible to submit a film, regardless of filmmaking experience or film classes taken.

Please see the various categories for more information on submitting to each of the sections. Each category has a different runtime. A film can only be submitted to one category. It is important that you determine your film’s category when you submit it, as that determines eligibility for awards (for any further questions about the categories, please email theyalestudentfilmfestival@gmail.com).

Yale Student Film Festival reserves the right to not screen films that it finds overly offensive, obscene, or vulgar.

Films that have previously screened in other festivals or on Yale’s campus are still eligible.

There is no limit to the number of entries.

COPYRIGHT

It is expected that filmmakers hold all of the respective rights required for their film before submitting. This includes all music, sound effects, product placement, actor/model release forms, etc. For music, there are a number of fair use soundtrack sites with music available online for free (we recommend reaching out to student musicians as well). Filmmakers without these rights will not be able to screen their films. YSFF will contact you if we believe there is a copyright problem with your submission. Any questions on copyright can be directed to theyalestudentfilmfest@gmail.com

FORMAT REGULATIONS

All foreign language entries must have English subtitles. Projects must be submitted through online screener (online screener is the preferred method; we recommend using Vimeo or YouTube and password-locking your film).

COMPETITION
All entrants receive feedback cards from judges, and will be eligible to compete for category prizes.

PRESS MATERIALS
We want to help you show off your film! If selected, please use the FilmFreeway press kit to submit productions stills, bios, trailers, etc. about your film.

PHOTO/VIDEO/PUBLICITY RELEASE
By submitting to Yale Student Film Festival, you agree that upon acceptance, YSFF may use your film as part of promotion materials for the festival, in addition to your likeness in photos and video during the days of the event.

FURTHER QUESTIONS
We encourage you to ask any more questions you might have by reaching out to us at theyalestudentfilmfestival@gmail.com

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • A great festival to be a part of!

    August 2022
  • Yiran Wang

    Wonderful Film Festival! Thank you so much! I'm really honored to join~

    May 2022
  • Maxim Bogdanov

    A wonderful film festival! I was surprised by a large number of truly wonderful and unexpected films in their dramaturgy. See you soon!

    May 2022
  • Ember Crowley

    The communication, availability, professionalism and kindness of this festival was top notch! I can’t wait to submit another film to this amazing! Thank you for all of the love and support

    April 2022
  • Rafianshah Narendra

    A very communicative and friendly festival, provides good opportunities for filmmakers.

    April 2022