Regulations and How to Submit a Film

Important Dates
Deadline – Saturday, February 23, 2018 at 11:59 P.M.

Film Festival – Friday, March 9, 2018 at the Miller Library in Ellicott City

Submission Checklist

  • 2017 Electronic Submission Form (Upload your video to your HCPSS.me Drive. Copy/paste the URL for your film in HCPSS.me into the Electronic Submission Form)
  • How to submit a film Watch this short video for help with submitting your film
  • The forms can be found here: The 2018 Submission Packet
  • Creative Works Release for your Film
  • Creative Works Release for your Music (If applicable)
  • Actor Release Form for all Actors
  • Rules

Your movie must oblige by the HoCo FilmFest rules. There is a different set of rules for Public Service Announcements (PSAs) and non-PSA films.

Story Based Films

  1. Films must be produced from a high school student that lives in Howard County.
  2. Must be student directed, produced, and edited.
  3. The entered film should be 3 to 10 minutes in duration.
  4. Must be an original concept or idea.
  5. Must be appropriate for family viewing. The film must be limited in sexuality, language, and violence.
  6. Must follow traditional storytelling elements. This includes the use of plot, characters, setting, etc.

PSA Films

Please Note:  PSA Films must correlate with HC DrugFree’s regulations of Public Service Announcements. All PSA’s submitted must be related to the theme as set by HC DrugFree.

2017 HC DrugFree Theme:  “Stresses Out? KNOW Drug Free Alternatives”

HC DrugFree is pleased to partner with the 2017 HoCo Student FilmFest. Specifically, we are looking for film-savvy teens to create Public Service Announcements (PSAs) that focus on knowing alcohol/drug free alternatives to dealing with stress.

Stressed Out?  KNOW Drug Free Alternatives. 

Films should focus on the stresses that teenagers face, and how they can handle stress without  drugs and alcohol.

30-90 seconds long

Appropriate for family viewing

Original concept or idea

  1. Must be from a high school student that lives in Howard County.
  2. Must be student directed, produced, and edited.
  3. The entered PSA should be thirty to ninety seconds in duration.
  4. Must be an original concept or idea.
  5. Must be appropriate for family viewing. The PSA must be limited in sexuality, language, and violence.

Advocacy Filmmaking

Please note: This NEW category must spread awareness of a social issues and advocate for a solution.

All of the above rules apply, except that these films should be 2 to 5 minutes in duration.

Copyright Infringement and Fair Use

The Howard County Student Film Festival in past years has received excellent films. HOWEVER, they were IMMEDIATELY disqualified due to copyright infringement. Please read this section very carefully in order to prevent your film from being disqualified.

Regarding Video

Students “may use portions of lawfully acquired copyright works in their academic multimedia,”

This is defined as 10 percent or three minutes, which ever comes first, of the “motion media.”

Regarding Music

“Up to 10 percent of a copyright musical composition may be reproduced, performed, and displayed as part of a multimedia program produced by and educator or students.”

This is seen as 10 percent or thirty seconds of the piece of music, which ever comes first, of the copyrighted musical composition. You CAN use the SAME 30-second clip multiple times in your film.

Actor Release Form
All actors need to have an actor release form. One release form is provided to you in the packet. If you need to download more, click here. **NOTE** If your actors under the age 18, please have a parent or guardian sign the release form. Please note, that YOU will keep the actor release forms. You do not need to turn these in to the Film Festival.

Submission Process

Your video should be uploaded to your HCPSS.me account, and submitted by the deadline date. In addition to the HoCo Student Film Fest Submission Form, you must also complete the following. This includes:

  • Actor Release Forms (1 for each actor in your film – again you will keep these and do not need to send them in to the festival)
  • Creative Works Release for your film (this is completed in the online submission form)
  • The forms can be found here: The 2017 Submission Packet
  • For any further questions, contact binki_mckenna@hcpss.org

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