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The film competition of STEAMFest is intended to celebrate the work of filmmakers in the Millburn School District. There are two categories for submission: Novice and Intermediate/Advanced (see “Film Content and Length” below for details). All students from grade 5-12 are invited to submit entries to both categories.


  • To submit, you must be a full-time K-12 student living in Millburn or Short Hills, NJ and have played a major role (e.g., director, writer, cinematographer, editor) in the creation of an original film. 

  • The film must have been completed between January 1st of the prior calendar year and the festival submission deadline. 

  • The film must be entirely student produced. Adults (including industry professionals, faculty, parents, guardians, or anyone over the age of 19) may only assist in an advisory capacity or as an actor/documentary subject. 

  • A single student may submit a maximum of two (2) films in which they played one or more of the following roles: producer, director, writer, cinematographer or editor.​


  • There is a $35 contest fee per applicant to be paid on our CONTEST FEE FORM.

  • There is one (1) contest fee per film submitted and filmmakers may submit up to two (2) films total for the competition.


  • Complete an FILM SUBMISSION FORM for each film. 

  • Films must be submitted by providing a link to an uploaded film (Note: if a student is unable to submit a link, please contact us at 

  • In addition to the online submission form, students must also complete and retain any and all forms that are relevant to your film (ex:. music releases, location releases , actor releases) 

  • Check out our FILMMAKER CHECK LIST PAGE to make sure you have done everything needed for your film to be considered in this year's festival.

  • In order to qualify for the Novice category, filmmakers must represent that they have had no prior filmmaking experience or film class/camp participation or formal film instruction.


Four categories: Novice Grades 5-8, Intermediate/Advanced Grades 5-8, Novice Grades 9-12 and Intermediate/Advanced Grades 9-12

  • Submissions may be no longer than ten (10) minutes in length.

  • All films should be suitable for family viewing and as such, the content must be equivalent to a G or PG movie rating. Films with gratuitous obscenity or violence, or whose subjects are in poor taste, or includes messages of hate, or disrespect for culture, religion, community group, race, gender or sexuality may be disqualified by the judges or the FilmFest Committee.

  • It is recommended that filmmakers use original or copyright-free music for soundtracks. 

  • Films must contain either original music or music for which the artist has been granted copyright use. Please submit the artist’s release to use the music with your submission form. 

  • Creativity and originality are encouraged. Films must be the student’s own original work. Re-edited versions of videos not shot by the student will be rejected. At least 90% of the footage should be original work; if any portion of the film incorporates an outside source (e.g., news footage), the submission must be accompanied by permission to use the footage. 

  • Films not in English must be clearly subtitled or dubbed into English.


  • A panel of at least four judges comprised of some combination of Millburn School District faculty or staff; film, theater, or media professionals; and/or residents of Millburn/Short Hills and neighboring communities will judge the films. The Millburn Education Foundation, in its sole discretion, will appoint the judges. 

  • Judges will evaluate submitted films on the basis of: 

    • Story (originality/creativity

    • Production values (quality and complexity of camera work, editing, pacing, lighting, sound, etc.) 

    • Overall impression


  • The INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED CATEGORY will be divided into two subcategories: There will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners from grades 5-8, and 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners from grades 9-12. 

  • The NOVICE CATEGORY will be divided into two subcategories: There will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners from grades 5-8, and 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners from grades 9-12.

  • The panel of judges will use its best efforts to select winning films from each of the two categories. The judges are not required to select any winning films and may select no winning films if they decide, in their sole discretion, that no films meet the Millburn STEAMFest’s criteria or objectives. If a film is disqualified, the Millburn STEAMFest may, but is not required to, select an alternate winner. 

  • Winning films will be showcased at the Millburn STEAMFest in April or at such other time as scheduled by the Millburn STEAMFest Committee.

  • In the event that unforeseen circumstances reasonably require cancellation of the STEAMFest for any reason, the Millburn STEAMFest Committee will advise the entrants and shall have no liability as a result thereof.​


  • Winning filmmakers will be contacted by email prior to the Awards Show.


  • In submitting your entry, you and your parent/guardian are assuming all copyright liability thereof. Written verification of copyrights for the submitted film(s) should be submitted to the Millburn STEAMFest by the submission deadline. 

  • By entering your work, you and your parents/guardians grant irrevocably  the Millburn Public School System, the Millburn Education Foundation, and the Millburn STEAMFest unlimited right to use the film, or any portion thereof, or any images contained in the film, for screenings and in promotional materials, and to publish in print, electronic, or digital form in perpetuity. You and your parents/guardians also give the Millburn Education Foundation and the Millburn STEAMFest the right to use your name, likeness, biography and/or voice for promotional purposes, public relations, public information, student recognition or awards, instruction, distribution, or sales where the proceeds benefit the Millburn Public School System, the Millburn Education Foundation, or the Millburn STEAMFest.

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