Deadline for Entries All Divisions: Friday, February 17, 2017
Winning Films Announced: Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Filmmakers of winning films will be invited to the 12th annual Reel Spirit Young Filmmaker Showcase to see their films on the big screen.

Young Filmmakers Showcase  for Divisions I, II, and III will be held April 8, 2017 at Cinemark Palace on the Plaza in Kansas City, MO.

High School/Div IV will be held on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 in the same location.

All films must be submitted through FilmFreeway

Sponsor/Mentor must complete the online Contact and Copyright Form



Division I (Grades 2 & 3)
Division II (Grades 4, 5 & 6)
Division III (Grades 7 & 8)
Division IV (Grades 9-12)



Visit Grades 2-8 Categories or Grades 9-12 Categories page for types of films and maximum time guidelines to prepare for your film entry.



Entries are judged by professionals from film and media fields. First, Second, and Third place Certificates  are given in the various categories and divisions according to the judges’ decisions. Decisions of the independent judges are final.

One trophy for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place is awarded to the winning film for grades 2-8. Additional trophies may be purchased. Medals are awarded to first place films in grades 9-12 . Filmmakers whose films place first, second, or third receive a certificate of excellence and a theater screening of his/her film in front of a live audience.

Certificates will be emailed to filmmakers unable to attend the Showcase.  Trophy, mailed at the request of the Sponsor/Mentor, requires an additional shipping fee.

evaluation criteria & scoring


  • Technical ability: audio, camera work, lighting, and editing completely student created
  • Expression of creativity
  • Ability to communicate message or story line
  • Specific criteria related to the different categories
  • All music, pictures, and video clips must conform to the Reel Spirit Copyright rules.
  • Credits include only the actor/s first name
  • Teacher names should not be included in credits
  • Film, credits, and DVD should not include submitting school name
  • Maximum length of film includes titles, sources and credits
  • Subject matter must be appropriate  – no violence or inappropriate language
  • Entries with extraneous materials, such as “bloopers” will not be accepted description

scoring guides for grades 2-8


scoring guides for high school (grades 9-12)


film submission, fees & forms


Fee: $7 non-refundable fee is required for each film submitted through FilmFreeway

Submit film:

Reel Spirit Young Filmmakers proudly accepts entries via, the world’s best online submissions platform.

FilmFreeway offers free HD online screeners, Vimeo and YouTube integration, and more.

“How to Set Up a FilmFreeway Account”
“How to Submit a Film to Reel Spirit on FilmFreeway”

Sponsor or Mentor must complete the Copyright and Contact Form:



If your film or video wins, you agree to and understand the following:

  • FORMAT: You agree to provide Reel Spirit Young Filmmakers  with a DVD or permission given to downloade full version of film via FilmFreeway.  It must be received no later than Friday, March 17, 2017 to allow time for building the program reels.
  • SHIPPING: You are responsible for the arrangements and cost of shipping the DVD copy to Reel Spirit Young Filmmakers.
  • LOSS & DAMAGE: Every precaution will be taken to safeguard films; however, if loss or damage occurs, Reel Spirit Young Filmmakers cannot accept or assume responsibility.
  • SIGNED RELEASE FORM:  Sponsor or Mentor of a winning film is responsible for acquiring a signed parental release form for all students age 18 and younger involved in the film and emailing to Reel Spirit.

Questions?  Contact email:

submission deadline

Division IV (grades 9-12) Entries must be received by Friday, February 17, 2017
Division I, II, III (grades 2-8) entries must be received by  Friday, February 17, 2017

Failure to submit by the deadline will result in disqualification of entry.

Submission of a film automatically gives consent to Reel Spirit Young Filmmakers and Kansas City FilmFest to use film entry and likeness for promotional purposes.