Celebrating Young Filmmakers since 1969
Check out our 2020 FAQs at this link.
(March 23, 2020) DAFT was notified by our amazing partners at the DIA that all its events are suspended through the month of April--including the April 25th Michigan Student Film Festival. We'll report more soon, once we know what's going on--along with the rest of the world.
We hope to do a celebration at least virtually later this spring and will certainly be sending out award-notifications in the next few weeks. Special thanks to over 60 judges who joined us online as we had to do a quick reshuffle from our usual on-site first round.
Thanks for all you do and be safe.
The Michigan Student Film Festival is unique in the nation for providing a public venue for the work of students in grades K-12, as well as giving recognition and significant awards to young media artists. DAFT is proud to present The Michigan Student Film Festival, now in its 52nd year. This year, DAFT will be using Film Freeway for entry submission. Here are some basic tips:
- Create a free Film Freeway Filmmaker account
- Upload your film (which can be entered in numerous festivals internationally)
- Enter your film in the Michigan Student Film Festival (hint: search "DAFT")
Important note on copyright. To be considered for Best of Show award-level, entries that have material whose rights are not owned by the producers should include clear permission from the owners of the music, images, video. DAFT offers many links to royalty-free music on our tab or at this link. While educational-use of material can provide useful training for students, DAFT fully supports the ethical use of all creative material and encourages its students and teachers to adhere to these principles. Any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 52nd Michigan Student Film Festival at the Detroit Institute of Arts
What: The 52nd Michigan Student Film Festival
When: To Be Determined due to COVID-19 concerns
Where: The Detroit Film Theatre @ The Detroit Institute of Arts
Eligible: Students Grades K-12
Entry Deadline: March 11, 2020 (Extended deadline as of 3/9/20)
Animation - $250 ProCam Gift Card first prize
Documentary - $500 cash prize
Music Video/Montage - $250 ProCam Gift Card first prize
Narrative Film - $500 cash prize
News/Sports Magazine Program - $250 ProCam Gift Card first prize
Experimental- $250 ProCam Gift Card first prize
Public Service Announcement - $250 ProCam Gift Card first prize
- Free PSA Contest: Women's Suffrage Centennial (more details)
- Free PSA Contest: 2020 Census (more details)
- A full scholarship to Specs Howard School of Media Arts
- A full scholarship to the Motion Picture Institute
- Partial scholarship to the University of Detroit Mercy, Lawrence Technological University and the Center for Creative Studies
- Gift Cards for category winners
- $500 cash prizes for best narrative film and documentary
- Canon DSLR Kit drawing for a school, drawn from Institutional Level Members
- Winners must have a representative present at the Festival to accept a prize
Find out about the rules,
specifications and prizes of the festival.
Please review our guidelines concerning
copyrighted and violent content.
Sponsor the Festival
Festival sponsorship not only provides individual, corporations and grant organizations an opportunity to support young media makers, each sponsor is acknowledged in a number of very special ways.
Encouragement & Support
The main goal of the Michigan Student Film Festival is to provide encouragement and support to young people who are already creating media by acknowledging their efforts, rewarding their finest accomplishments and offering opportunities for study and advancement.
Each entry is reviewed by educational and media professionals and their feedback is sent to student filmmakers to prompt growth and reflection on their filmmaking skills and approach.
Michigan-focused, National Reach
In recognition of its work, DAFT was awarded the 2006 Governor’s Award for Arts & Culture. DAFT’s mission is to promote media literacy through the creative use of film and video.
The American Film Institute says that DAFT’s Michigan Student Film & Video Festival is the oldest festival in the nation providing public recognition for the work of students in grades K-12. In fact, many young people who got their first public exposure through this Festival have gone on to professional careers. And a few of them have even gotten awards at that really huge film festival known as the Oscars.
Poster & Program Design Contest
Poster & Program Design Contest
Deadline Friday, February 1, 2020
A Showcase for Young Michigan Artists
DAFT once again opened up the design of its official festival poster and program cover to students awarding the winner a $200 gift-card and two runners-up $50 gift cards. Click here for more information and criteria.
The Detroit Film Theatre is located at:
5200 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202
- From I-94: Exit Woodward/John R, south four blocks to Farnsworth
- From I-75: Exit Warren, west four blocks to Woodward, north on Woodward one block to Farnsworth
- From M-10: Exit Warren/Forest, east three blocks, north three blocks
Parking is available on John R Street, directly across from the DFT entrance.