Flywheel is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit focused on visual storytelling about the environment and climate change.

Your judges are some of the most influential storytellers of our time, including two-time Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple, Academy Award winner Louie Psihoyos, and award winning filmmakers from around the world such as Tony Onyango from Kenya, Mimi Chakarova, Colin Finlay, Cliff Kapono and more.

The Awards program will culminate in the Flywheel Festival, a celebratory event taking place alongside the ocean in Carpinteria, California in the early summer of 2024. This festival will feature nightly projections, screenings, exhibitions, action plans, music, expos, demonstrations, workshops, and lectures. The Festival team is being advised and supported from an amazingly talented and experienced group including Rich Goodstone, co-founder of Superfly, which brought to life the iconic Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival and the Outside Lands Festival.

In the days leading up to the Festival, the Flywheel Forum takes center stage, drawing in eminent storytellers, including Flywheel Award winners, alongside media experts, conservationists, financiers, investors, cultural influencers, and other societal leaders. Flywheel’s Dr. Lynn Luckow will architect and facilitate the multi-day gathering as we unite to craft a strategic blueprint aimed at generating and amplifying a fresh set of climate narratives. These prizes and opportunities will be available to winners in person as well as streaming digitally.

Renowned writer and historian Rebecca Solnit astutely points out that crises often stem from a crisis of storytelling. This holds true not just for climate chaos but for a multitude of issues. Our progress is often hindered by narratives that limit our perception, belief, and action, some of which are ingrained thought patterns, while others are crafted by industry and political propaganda. Sometimes, circumstances evolve, but the stories we cling to remain static, guiding us down obsolete paths like outdated maps. To embark on a swift and decisive departure from the fossil fuel era, we must first transform the narratives that drive our ideas.

You are the ones to make this transition and lead the change.

It is crucial to emphasize that the Flywheel maintains an unwavering commitment to independence and impartiality, steering clear of any vested interests. In all its endeavors, we strive to epitomize the highest standards of storytelling and employs the most innovative approaches to communicate and showcase solutions for our formidable environmental challenges.

The founding team of Flywheel has been developing and participating in awards programs all over the world for the past thirty years. We are quite different in our approach.

Prizes include:
- $25,000 in cash prize pool
- world-renowned judges including multiple Academy Award winners
- films screened at the festival and globally (with your permission)
- a high-profile two-day networking events with you, judges, thought leaders and nonprofit funders, and media professionals = community + opportunity
- festival passes for you and your family/friends.

Instead of approaching the Awards as a competition that only a handful of filmmakers can win, Flywheel believes there are countless filmmakers worthy of support. As such, we are not limiting the number of winners. The Jury will determine the winning filmmakers based on merit within certain groups, categories and lengths of your films.

And yes, in addition to the above we will include various awards such as best cinematography, best director, best Indigenous film, best musical score, best editing, special jury award, audience award, and the like.

The prizes include a $25,000 in cash prizes, projections, screenings, workshops, and participation in the Flywheel Forum.

The outcomes of this Forum are not confined to its participants but are disseminated to Festival attendees, global media outlets, organizations, and storytellers worldwide. Moreover, this plan becomes the cornerstone for the following year's storytelling award categories.

Significant transformations, from good to great, rarely occur in one swift stroke. Building a remarkable social sector enterprise does not hinge on a single defining action, a grand program, a game-changing innovation, a stroke of luck, or a miraculous moment. Instead, it mirrors the relentless effort of turning a colossal flywheel, one rotation after another, gradually amassing momentum until a breakthrough point is reached and surpassed.

The Flywheel Forum is the space where we converge to collaborate, fostering opportunities for those continuous turns of the flywheel, until we attain multiple pivotal breakthroughs in addressing climate change.

1. Submission copies must be submitted online via Film Freeway (no DVDs, Blu-rays, DCPs, thumb drives, or other physical media will be considered)

2. All entries selected for our 2024 festival grant the Flywheel Forum & Festival (FFF) the right to use film stills and portions of accepted films for promotional purposes.

3. If accepted, final screening copies must arrive no later than April 15, 2024, or the entry will not be included in the festival. Filmmakers are responsible for shipping costs to the festival. All copies of the films become FFF's property unless otherwise directed.

4. Non-English entries must be submitted with English subtitles.

5. All films must submit a closed caption file in .scc, .srt, or .vtt format if accepted.

5. Entry fees are nonrefundable.

6. Only films completed after January 1, 2022 will be considered for Official Selection unless otherwise approved.

7. Flywheel Forum & Festival does not show works in progress unless otherwise approved. Works in progress will be considered, but programmers cannot guarantee that any screeners updated after submission will be reviewed. Be prepared to have your original screener be reviewed. Completed projects are preferred.

8. As Flywheel Forum & Festival is a fundraiser for an environmental non-profit, we can only offer a limited number of fee waivers, and we cannot guarantee them from year to year. Apply here: APPLICATION DEADLINE: November 15, 2023.

9. By submitting your project, you acknowledge that:
-Your film is not subject to any litigation, nor is it threatened by any litigation.
-You are duly authorized to have this film be screened at the festival.
-You have secured the rights to any and all music and/or footage used in the film.
-You fully indemnify and hold FFF completely harmless from any and all claims whatsoever that may arise as a result of usage of submitted materials.