TBIFF student film entries being accepted

News File Photo Thunder Bay International Film Festival 2020 Student Film Competition first place winners, in front from left to right, are Clayton Thomson, Nick Lusardi, Amara Vanwagoner, and Brayden Broad. Their film, “His Boots Are Empty” won both first place and People’s Choice awards at the film festival, held in January 2020 at Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center in Alpena.

ALPENA — Aspiring filmmakers in grades nine through 12 are invited to enter the Thunder Bay International Film Festival’s student film competition. The entry deadline is Jan. 4, 2022.

The film festival takes place annually the third week in January.

This year’s theme for the student competition is #scienceinthesanctuary.

The theme is open for interpretation, said Sarah Waters, education coordinator at Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

“Whatever it means to students,” she said.

Waters explained that opening the submissions during the early fall allows students the opportunity to film in a variety of seasons, rather than all in the winter.

“We like to get the word out now, so different seasons can be featured,” she noted.

Filming does not have to take place outdoors, but a lot of students do film near Lake Huron and the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

“I encourage students to get creative, have fun with it, and see where it takes them,” she said.

This will be the seventh year of the student film competition, which is open internationally to all students. Students do not have to be school-affiliated, Waters said.

“We’ve had entries from California, Ohio, and internationally,” Waters said.

Last year, 30 entries were submitted, she said, and eight to 10 films were selected to be shown during the film festival.

Waters said if your film is selected to be viewed, you get to use the film festival logo, or laurels, to submit it to other film festivals.

Entries are scored by a panel of judges from the film and multimedia design industry and educators.

If you’re seeking ideas about what to feature in your film, check out the previous winners at Bit.ly/2022sfc. You can also find all the submission guidelines there.

“All the first-place winners from the last six years are available on the website to give ideas,” Waters said.

The following prizes are awarded: First place gets $300, second gets $200, and third gets $100. If films were submitted by a group of students, they split the cash prize.

“You don’t need to be present to win,” Waters added. “We will celebrate them no matter what.”

The 2021 festival was entirely virtual, and organizers hope to be able to have the 2022 festival both in-person and online.

“There will be a virtual component,” Waters said. “It made it so accessible. It was really nice.”

She added that there is no fee to enter the student film competition.

For more information, filmmakers can contact Waters at sarah.a.waters@noaa.gov.

The 10th annual Thunder Bay International Film Festival is slated for Jan. 26-30, 2022.

The student films selected for showing at the festival will be part of the virtual schedule (viewable online for free during the festival) and the top three scoring student films will be announced during the film festival.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today