High school film, photography and media contest seeking applications

Staff Report

A new competition for Central Coast high school student filmmakers, photographers, media artists and podcasters is now accepting entries for several categories of the ‘Never Stop Creating’ competition. 

“The ‘Never Stop Creating’ Student Challenge is not only an opportunity to celebrate Central Coast students who found (safe) ways to continue creating throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate the heart of the central coast community, from professional judges volunteering their time and expertise, to the generous sponsors who donated $600 in student scholarships, this is what makes our community special.” said Sarah Risley, board member of the film society. 

Submissions open March 15 and close April 15. Those who make the finalist round will be notified by email on April 23rd and the virtual event will take place May 1 – 2. 

Student submissions are accepted starting March 15th through April 15th, in all categories, through the competitions FilmFreeway festival page: https://filmfreeway.com/CCFSStudentFilmCompetition

“Everything is free for the students and the audience. We want to make sure that their outstanding work is recognized and rewarded, and we want that opportunity to be given to everyone regardless of where on the Central Coast they are from,” added Daniel Lahr, executive director for the film society. 

The challenge covers all aspects of film, digital media arts, and podcasting, including: 

  • Film Challenge 
  • Digital Media Arts- Podcasting Challenge 
  • Digital Media Arts- Screenwriting/Storytelling Challenge
  • Digital Media Arts- Photography Challenge
  • Digital Media Arts- Highlight Reel Challenge (Editing, Acting, Short/Long Form Digital Content)

All students who submit their films or creative works will receive constructive feedback from the Central Coast Film Society board members and will be eligible for entry in the “Never Stop Creating” Student Showcase. Finalists entered into the online May 1st – May 2nd “Never Stop Creating” Student Showcase will have their work reviewed by a panel of judges from the industry and academia to earn Awards for Excellence and available $100 scholarships for each category. Attendees of the online “Never Stop Creating” Student Showcase will also have an opportunity to vote for their overall favorite works to determine the People’s Choice Award, worth an additional $100 scholarship.  

The judges are Randi Barros, of Cal Poly’s Interdisciplinary Studies in Liberal Arts; Skye McLennan, festival director for the SLO Film Festival; Ken Napzok, podcastor, author and YouTube producer and host; Sheryl Franciskovich, publisher and creative director for SLO LIFE Magazine; Chris Lambert, creator of You Own Backyard podcast and freelance journalist; Josh Ernstrom, digital media producer for PG&E; and Chris Burkard, international photographer and filmmaker. 

“Above all, we know that the students who participate will receive invaluable insights, constructive feedback, and encouragement from this esteemed panel of judges,” said Risley. 

Rules for the competition are that all the creative submissions must represent works created during the pandemic (March 2020-April 2021). They must be from high school students residing in the Central Coast, specifically Monterey County, San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, and Ventura County. Creative submissions must fall within G, PG or PG-13 ratings (films outside of those ranges will disqualified); and all submission must be available for public display (on-line or future in-person event).

For more information and to submit visit www.centralcoastfilmsociety.org/never-stop-creating-challenge.html