The Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP) and the Houston Cinema Arts Society (HCAS) are thrilled to support the next generation of filmmakers and encourage high school students to explore their creative potential through storytelling. This competition aims to showcase the creative talent and vision of high school students who have a passion for filmmaking.

NEXT GEN will be judged by esteemed industry professionals hailing from various parts of the nation. These professionals bring their expertise and experience to evaluate the entries and provide valuable insights to the emerging filmmakers.

SWAMP was founded in 1977 and is historically dedicated to their mission to assist and develop new artists and amplify the voices of underrepresented communities. Former SWAMP alumni include filmmakers Richard Linklater, Wes Anderson, Michelle Mower, and Greg Carter.

Selected films from the competition will have the honor of being screened at the highly anticipated Houston Cinema Arts Festival. This prestigious event is scheduled to take place in November in the vibrant city of Houston, Texas. The festival serves as a platform to celebrate the art of cinema, bringing together film enthusiasts, industry leaders, and the local community to appreciate and engage with diverse cinematic works.

Being part of the Houston Cinema Arts Festival provides an incredible opportunity for young filmmakers to have their films showcased to a wide audience, including fellow filmmakers, industry insiders, press, and cinema lovers. It offers a platform to gain recognition, network with professionals, and receive feedback on their craft.

Best Narrative Short: $500
Best Documentary Short: $500
Best Music Video: $500

Honorable Mentions:
Best Performance in a Narrative Short
Best Screenplay
Best Director
Best Sound
Best Editing

1. All filmmakers must be ages 13-18 years old.
2. Films must be 10 minutes or less.
3. The applicant holds the sole responsibility of copyright clearance of any copyrighted material in the film. Films including unauthorized copyrighted material are ineligible.
4. Filmmakers can submit as individuals or as a team.
5. Filmmakers must reside in the Southwest United States region to include Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, New Mexico, and Arizona.
6. All applicants must complete the official festival submission form located on FilmFreeway.