Youth Free Expression Film Contest

December 14, 2015
Maximum Award: 
$1,000 and a trip with a guest to New York City
Other, see comments
All members of the filmmaking crew must be age 19 or younger on the day the film is submitted

Censorship, you’ve read about it, seen it and perhaps experienced it. The National Coalition Against Censorship wants you to create a film with the theme "THAT'S NOT FUNNY! CAN COMEDY CROSS A LINE?"  Your presentation must be in the form of a YouTube video and must be under 4 minutes. It's for the 12th Annual Youth Free Expression Film Contest.

The National Coalition Against Censorship asks teens to create a short film (no longer than four minutes in length) addressing the notions of sanitized satire and offensive humor. Can any topic be made the subject of a joke, or should society police humor that some find distasteful or offensive? How does uncensored comedy survive when faced with claims of offense or even threats of violence? 

Your film for the Youth Free Expression Project can take one of many forms, including: documentary, animation, experimental, satire, fictional narrative, or music video.


  • Will be done by a panel of renowned writers, actors, and filmmakers
  • Winners will be selected based on content, artistic and technical merit, and creativity


  • You must be either living in the U.S. or its territories (but need not be citizens)
  • You must be age 19 or younger on the day the film is submitted


1. All films must be uploaded to YouTube and submitted online no later than Friday, December 13, 2013.

2. Films cannot exceed four minutes, including credits.

3. All films must be produced in 2013 and address the topic: "VIDEO GAMES IN THE CROSSHAIRS"  We keep hearing scary claims about video games: they’re too violent, they make kids antisocial, they’re bad for us. But when do gamers ever get to speak for themselves? Make a short film about why video games are important to you. Is it the stories, the graphics, the challenge, the teamwork? How does it feel when critics talk about video games, and gamers? What do you think about the violence portrayed in video games? Be creative, compelling, and provocative.

4. All members of the filmmaking crew must be age 19 or younger on the day the film is submitted. Actors or interviewees in the film can be any age. If working under the direction of a teacher, mentor, or parent, that person must describe his/her role in detail.

6. Films may be submitted by teams, however please note that for each winning film, travel and lodging will be provided for a maximum of two people and any prize money and scholarships will be split evenly among the team members.

5. All entries must be accompanied by a report (approximately 250 words) that explains the intent in making the film, the creative process, and technical accomplishments. All participants should be identified and their roles in the film stated.

6. Filmmakers must be living in the United States or its territories (such as Puerto Rico).

7. The film must be accompanied by the tagline "This film was created for the National Coalition Against Censorship" in the credits.

8. Winning filmmakers will be asked to submit a DVD copy of their film and to sign a release form granting the National Coalition Against Censorship the rights to use, display or distribute the film in carrying out the National Coalition Against Censorship's educational mission. The National Coalition Against Censorship does not limit the original creator's use of the work in any way.