The Liberation Film Festival (LFF) was launched in November of 2010 by the Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Foundation and premiered its first screenings in January of 2011. The LFF is dedicated to bringing new human interest documentary works and short features to fresh, diverse audiences. It runs concurrently with the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration events in San Francisco and takes advantage of nearly 20,000 celebrants attending every year.

The New Lights Film Project (New Lights) started in 2017 as a competitive film program of LFF spotlighting the works of promising high school film-makers. In 2018 participants from the 9th thru 12th grades in the Northern California region - particularly the San Francisco Bay Area - can submit their original short films, judged by noted filmmakers, scriptwriters and award-winning media critics for a chance to be officially screened at the Liberation Film Festival in San Francisco in January.

2018 marks the 50th year since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, and New Lights is focused on three-minute video expressions on the meaning of Dr. King's words in today's society. The MLK2018 theme is "The Urgency of Now," and it is taken from Dr. King's speech on August 28, 1963.

We encourage varied forms of expression, including reading on camera with an basic iPhone | Android phone. The focus this year is on your own original thoughts that you bring to the conversation.

Successfully selected films will be made available throughout the MLK2018 weekend (January 13-15) in San Francisco, as well as during the MLK commemorative week of reflection from March 3 - April 7.

January 5, 2018

Filmmakers aged 14 - 18 years of age only.
Films must be 3 minutes and focus on issues of social justice and equality.
We can accept any genre, including fiction, nonfiction, animation, and/or experimental. Use your creativity!

We want to see your original, creative works. So, a film will not be eligible for consideration and should not be submitted if:
1) The Film was previously submitted to LFF for Festival consideration; or
2) Was available on the Internet prior to January 5, 2018 (exceptions may be made under certain circumstances).

Films can be in their original language with English subtitles, if the original language is other than English.

LFF will notify by January 10, 2018 all filmmakers who have been selected to participate in the Festival. Notifications will be made on a rolling basis. LFF will contact entrants using the contact information provided in the "Submissions" section during your film upload. Applicants are responsible for providing correct and functional contact information. LFF is not responsible for any failed attempts to contact entrants using the contact information provided.

The scheduling of screenings is determined by the LFF. The date(s), time(s) and location(s) of the screening of the films will be determined by LFF.

All selection decisions are at the sole and absolute discretion of LFF and are final and not reviewable. LFF is not required to provide any feedback, comments or reasons, or any other information, regarding the selection or non-selection of any submitted Film or the process by which Films are or have been selected.

LFF is not responsible or liable 1) for its selection decisions; 2) for the contents of any internal comments or feedback regarding the Film that are or may be obtained from the Applicant or anyone else; 3) for any communications by any representative of LFF relating to the film or the festival selection process; for the manner in which the film shall be, is or was considered and reviewed; or 4) for any failure on the part of the festival to provide the applicant or anyone else with information concerning LFF’s consideration and/or review of the film.