The Philadelphia Youth Film Festival is a student-run event dedicated to helping teenage creatives find their voice in a rapidly expanding community of young filmmakers. This festival is a great opportunity to showcase work and receive professional feedback, as well as network with peers from the area and make connections to others in the film industry. Submissions will be judged based on story, direction, editing, performances, and production value. To encourage inclusivity, we value substance and story over a high budget.

In support of local filmmakers, we offer recognition for submissions from the Greater Philadelphia area, as well as films from all around the globe. Over the years, we’ve expanded our reach to thousands of young filmmakers from all major continents, and we are proud to represent the work and voices of a diverse range of cinematic talent. Our festival is free to enter and attend in order to allow an equal opportunity for all student filmmakers and film enthusiasts from all around the world to participate.

1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each category will receive a certificate, as well as being promoted on and on social media. This also applies to the special category awards which include an award for each of the following special categories: Environmental Justice, Social Justice, and COVID-19 related. There are winners for each of the three special categories within each larger category Each of the major awards will receive prizes to be announced soon.

The contest is exclusively open to high school students (ages 14-19) or an international equivalent.

**A valid high school ID of the most recent/current year you attended high school must be attached with your submission. Entries without a school ID will be marked incomplete until the ID is provided.**

Instructions for attaching your student ID to your entry can be found here:

The production for each film submission must have been completed when the student creators were of high school age, including the summer before freshman year and the summer after senior year.

As our film festival is student-run and hosted at a Quaker institution, our goal is to foster an environment that portrays uncensored truth and reflects our values. Controversial content in a submission will be judged based on its appropriateness and substance. Submissions that depict nudity or graphic/gratuitous violence will not be accepted.
Primary positions for writers, directors, crew, and post-production must be within the specified age range. Only secondary roles (such as talent) may be from outside the age bracket. Otherwise, the film will be ineligible for consideration.

Minimal adult help is allowed. This means adults may advise or demonstrate with the goal of teaching. Adults may drive, help secure equipment and locations, or cater for longer shoots.

All music copyright, talent, and location releases must be submitted with each entry. Accurate and complete credits are required on-screen. Music/media that is used in the film must adhere with U.S. copyright laws and must be credited appropriately. Entries with suspected copyright issues will be marked as incomplete or disqualified until the submitter provides evidence that they are in compliance with copyright rules.

Films should be at or under 12 minutes, with few exceptions allowed up to 15 minutes for documentaries. Screenplays should be no longer than 20 pages excluding the title page. Films must be in English or have English subtitles.

If you have any questions or concerns about our submission policies, please feel free to let us know via email:

Overall Rating
  • Sean Park

    From running this festival to participating as a filmmaker in it, I've spent some of my best parts of high school with PHYFF, and I am so proud to have seen it grow over the years. To any young filmmaker reading this, trust me when I say that it truly is an opportunity to showcase your brimming potential in cinema in a rapidly expanding community of filmmakers. I expect many big things from new directors Caleb and Grace, and you bet I'll be at Fest 2022. Rock on.

    September 2021
  • Alona Shylova

    Great festival with lovely organizers and judges. Was happy to be a part of it, thank you so much!

    March 2021
  • James Brammer

    The PHYFF is a fantastic youth film festival, and put on an excellent virtual event! I look forward to submitting my new film next year!

    March 2021
  • Always super cool to screen here. Great communication and worthwhile event for young filmmakers.

    October 2020
  • Anne Ploegman

    The festival was quick to respond, was a great experience, and amazing opportunity! Although I could not attend, I am very grateful for having my film screened! I definitely recommend submitting!

    March 2020