Promotional period from March 20th until April 3rd: no entry fee! After April 3rd, the fee will be $5 for late entries.

The Shenandoah Youth Festival celebrates the power of creativity and imagination in the next generation by showcasing films by and for young people and students and seeks to encourage growing artists to pursue their passions by reminding them that art is a valid part of our society.

The Shenandoah Youth Festival is organized by the Shenandoah Film Collaborative, a 501 (3) c non-profit organization. This is an all-volunteer organization, and any funds that are donated or raised are given back into programming or to our charity of focus, which is explained further down.

We decided to use the word “Collaborative” in our organization name because it embodies what we aim to achieve: For us to become successful, we need multiple parties to work together for producing an excellent product.

Our organization serves anywhere in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, USA, as well as other national charities when appropriate.

A. Mission

We have three areas of focus:
1) Offer opportunities to experience the wonders of film that cannot be found in Hollywood. 
2) Raise funds and awareness for the Shenandoah County Public School System where the money would be used for theater/drama-related programming, as well as other arts-based charities within the United States.
3) Develop programming that is beneficial for the development of filmmakers and community members.

We use our extensive movie catalog and connections with filmmakers to:
- Increase economic development for businesses
- Raise funds for non-profits or civic organizations
- Enhance educational curriculum for entities that have expressed an academic interest in filmmaking.

B. Charities

Funds raised through the submission fees will go to the following charities:

-- MusicLink Foundation -
-- Traveling Players Ensemble Inc. -
-- Youth FX -
-- Youth Documentary Academy -

Selected films will be eligible for various awards, including four (4) physical awards that will be shipped to the winners.

Awards include:
-- Grand Prize Award
-- Best Under 18 Film
-- Best College-Aged Film
-- Best Virginia Film
-- Best International Film
-- Audience Choice Award

Our town of Strasburg, VA was founded on the basis of pottery, so the award winners will receive a unique pot crafted through techniques used when our town was founded in 1761.

No cash prizes will be awarded. Laurels will be available to winners upon request.

Submitting to our call for entries means that you fully understand and agree to our rules and terms.

A. Rules

-- Submissions can only be made online at
-- Each film submitted will have to pay a $1 entry fee if submitted before April 3, 2021. Late Submissions will last until April 24, 2021, and will be $5 for each film.
-- There are no refunds.
-- By submitting your film, you have up until the close of our submission date, April 24, 2021, to withdraw your film. After that date, if your film is selected, you will be required to give us a high-resolution digital copy of it (video specifications will be clarified at this time.)
-- The Shenandoah Film Collaborative will inform all entrants whether their submissions have been accepted or not through FilmFreeway.
-- If you get signed by a distribution company that requires us to pay a screening film for your film, please email us at stating your situation. Depending on how close it is to our film festival, we are happy to release you from consideration; however, we will not pay a screening fee under any considerations. We are not an organization that is focused on profit and are trying to make a positive difference in this world.
-- The Festival/Event Committee and Shenandoah Film Collaborative Board of Directors reserve the right to rule on cases not covered by these regulations.

B. Eligibility

-- There is no minimum or maximum runtime requirement for submissions.
-- Filmmakers must have been between the ages of 14 and 25 years old during the making of the film. Films made as far back as 2018 will be considered.
-- All films that are not in English must be subtitled or dubbed into English.

C. Selection Criteria

-- The Selection Committee is actively looking for stories that are culturally authentic and relevant. Diverse community representation is encouraged.
-- Film content should be creative, highly original, and demonstrate ingenuity. Being a festival targeted towards young creatives, filmmakers will not be penalized for any disparities of technical mastery.
-- Films must NOT include content that advocates and supports harmful racial, cultural, religious, or gender bias.
-- Being a family-oriented event, films that are more appropriate for all ages will receive higher consideration. However, we will not disqualify any film that might have more mature content (e.g. profanity, nudity, violence, etc.)
-- All films must be completed to be considered for the festival. Incomplete films will be accepted initially, however, final cuts must be provided to The Shenandoah Film Collaborative prior to the end of the selection process.

D. Acceptance

-- Acceptance is determined by reviewers in a three-round review process.
-- Reviewers are selected through the sole discretion of the Shenandoah Film Collaborative.
-- If selected, the filmmaker agrees to have the film be a part of the programming screened at The Shenandoah Youth Festival from June 19th to July 3rd, 2021. The screening will occur virtually through Eventive.
-- If selected, the filmmaker must provide us with the film file in MP4 or MOV format plus all information requested by The Shenandoah Film Collaborative by the deadline provided.
-- All films selected will be eligible for festival awards depending on their criteria. Some awards will have a physical prize and will be shipped to winners.

E. Schedule

-- Early submissions ($1) will be accepted from February 15, 2021, until April 3, 2021.
-- Late and final submissions ($5) will be accepted from April 3, 2021, until April 24, 2021.
-- Filmmakers will be notified by May 7, 2021, if their film has been accepted.
-- Film information requested by The Shenandoah Film Collaborative is due by May 14, 2021.
-- The film trafficking deadline is May 17, 2021. Final cuts of incomplete films are due at this trafficking deadline. Otherwise, the incomplete film will be shown instead.
-- Films may be disqualified if required information is not provided by the above deadlines.
-- The Shenandoah Youth Festival will occur from June 19 until July 3, 2021.

F. Correspondence

-- All correspondence should be made through email at
-- All correspondence to The Shenandoah Film Collaborative management, including entry forms and support materials, must be in the English language.

G. Warranties/Representations, Right of Use and Indemnity

By making a submission:

1) The filmmaker warrants and represents that the film is the filmmaker’s original work and that the filmmaker has obtained any and all rights and permissions needed for the Shenandoah Film Collaborative to show the film in public and to use the film, or portions thereof, in promotional materials in any medium.

2) The filmmaker grants the Shenandoah Youth Festival and/or the Shenandoah Film Collaborative the right to use the filmmaker’s name, image and likeness, and biographical information, in promotional materials in any medium.

3) The filmmaker agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless The Shenandoah Youth Festival and the Shenandoah Film Collaborative and each of their employees and volunteers, from and against any and all claims, suits, actions, demands, liabilities, losses, costs, damages or arising from or connected with the filmmaker’s submission.

Overall Rating
  • Great experience looking forward to next year

    July 2021
  • Thank you for including my film, "From Twilight til Dawn." I wish I could have been there to see the other films as well!

    December 2018
  • Andre Campbell

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful... can't wait for next year!

    November 2018
  • Christoph Brehme

    Very nice festival!!! The contact was very kind, hope that I can show other films there soon....

    November 2018
  • Jason Seelmann

    Great communication and very supportive staff. Definitely keeping them on my radar for my next film.

    November 2018