Emerging Filmmaker Competition

Submissions are now closed for 2016


Registration for the Montclair Film Festival’s 2016
Emerging Filmmaker Competition (formerly Kidz Shortz) is now open!

  • Submissions will be accepted through March 1, 2016 and the winners will be announced on March 17, 2016.
  • Award Ceremonies and After Party will be held during the 2016 Montclair Film Festival!


  • Our name! Kidz Shortz is now the Emerging Filmmaker Competition (EFC)!
  • FREE EFC 101 Workshop at the Montclair Public Library on Sunday November 22 at 2:00pm. Register Here!
  • Qualified schools and community organizations can request a FREE ONSITE EFC 101 Workshop by contacting Education@MontclairfilmFest.org.
  • FREE Music for Film and TV Workshop co-sponsored by the MFF and School of Rock Montclair on February 7, 2016 at the School of Rock Montclair, 125 Valley Road in Montclair.
  • New Categories! Short films can be submitted in the following: Narrative, Documentary, Animation, Comedy, and Experimental.
  • Special Humanitarian Awards for young filmmakers who engage with social issues in their work.
  • Filmmakers in the Visionaries (Grades 10-12) division may submit a film up to 5 minutes in length


Films must be postmarked by March 1, 2016 in order to be considered.

The Competition is open to students in grades 4-12 from all over the world.

  • Cinemaniacs- Grades 4-6
  • Storytellers- Grades 7-9
  • Visionaries- Grades 10-12

Awards will be given in the following categories:

  • Narrative– a story of connected events, real or imaginary. May contain elements of humor, narration, non-fiction, etc.
  • Documentary– a non-fiction film intended to instruct, inform the audience or maintain an historical record.
  • Animation– a film that uses stop-motion, flipbook, paper cutouts, puppets, Flash, etc. to tell a story
  • Comedy – Ha! (You get it.)
  • Experimental– a film that explores alternatives to traditional narratives

If you feel your film falls into more than one category, ex. Animated narrative, please choose ONLY the category you would like to compete in.

Illegal use of copyrighted materials is prohibited.

No film will be accepted if it has been submitted to our previous program, MFF KIDZ SHORTZ.

The MFF reserves the right to show and use stills from all submissions for promotional purposes. Awards are determined by the EFC committee. Not all categories may receive awards, and the MFF reserves the right to add awards for outstanding achievement.

By submitting a film to the Emerging Filmmaker Competition, the filmmaker agrees to and is aware of these policies and general rules.


Films can be shot on any format (smart phone, video, digital video, etc.)

If your film is chosen to be viewed during the Montclair Film Festival, it needs to be compatible with our screens. Please use the specs below when creating your short.

Filming Specs: (iMovie, Final Cut Pro are programs that meet these requirements)

  • 1998 x 1080 Pro Res 422(HQ) for Flat or 2048 x 858 Pro Res 422(HQ) for Scope
  • Frame rate of 23.98pSf – LT/Rt or Stereo

Film Length:

  • For Grades 4 – 9 (Cinemaniacs/Storytellers) – Films must be no longer than 4 minutes in length
  • For Grades 10 – 12 (Visionaries) – Films must be no longer than 5 minutes in length

To ensure a blind jury, please submit your short without any credits. If your film is chosen, you can save time and energy by having a copy with credits ready to go.

Films must be submitted on a playable DVD with sound. Please check before you submit!

Absolutely no names, credit listings or school credits can be visible on the submitted DVD – to ensure a blind jury. Any films received with credits other than registration number will be considered ineligible.

Make sure your registration number is written clearly on the DVD and on the outer envelope.

All submissions must include a paragraph summary of your submitted short.

If submitting as a small group or school group, you must submit in the category that more than half of your group belongs. (For example, if your group has 1 student in 9th grade and 3 students in 10th grade, you should submit your film in the Visionaries category–not Storytellers). 

When completing the Registration Form, the person listed as the main contact will be the one who receives correspondence from the Emerging Filmmaker Competition (EFC) and the Montclair Film Festival. He/She is responsible for communicating with the rest of the group.

Films should be mailed to:

Montclair Film Festival
c/o EFC
41 Watchung Plaza, #345
Montclair, NJ 07042


If you have any questions regarding the EFC, please email: michelle@montclairfilm.org.

Ready to register?! Click here!