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 high student filmmakers and film enthusiasts from all around the world to participate.

1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each category will receive an award and certificate and will be promoted on and social media and screened at the festival. Official Selections and Local Selections will be promoted on and will be screened in our Virtual Screening Room.

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 actors) 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, or 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
  • Matthew Yazel

    I really loved attending the festival. I had a great time meeting new filmmakers my age.

    April 2023
  • Álex Mene

    A great festival with a fantastic team.

    March 2023
  • Lex Jimenez

    A wonderful festival with a lovely team :) Thank you so much for having me!

    March 2022
  • Projeto Cinearte EBSPMA

    Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity to share my teams' work in your festival. As a young student, and cinema passionate, it's a unique experience that I will always remember. Best wishes.

    From Madeira Island - Portugal
    Diogo Pereira

    March 2022
  • Sasha Lahtinen

    Thank you so much for this incredible opportunity! Unfortunately I was unable to attend from the West coast but I am incredibly grateful and honored for me and my teammates.

    March 2022