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Festival Rules

Entry Rules for the 2017 Michigan Student Film Festival

Eligibility

The Festival is open to any Michigan student or group of students who have participated in producing a film or video (in school, at home, with a community group).  Video projects completed while students were enrolled K-12 may be submitted (e.g. high school graduates from last June who completed a video after the previous year's festival deadline.  For more see our Top 10 Q & As.

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 info@daftonline.org.

Entry Divisions

Elementary/Junior Division

Elementary
Students Kindergarten
through 5th Grade.

Junior
Students 6th through 8th Grade.

Senior Division

High School
Students 9th through 12th Grade.

Special Education

Students certified as Special Ed, as outlined by Michigan and federal laws, may elect to enter their programs in the Special Education Division. All students competing in this division will compete only against other Special Education entries. They will not be identified as Special Education students in the program.

Deadline

All entries and fees must be received online by March 4th, 2017--no mailed-in DVDs this year.

Judge's Rubric - SAMPLE

Regulations

  • Each entry requires a separate entry form submission.  Payment can be made after you have added each entry to an online "cart."
  • There is no time limit for entries, but a maximum of Five Minutes per entry will be viewed by the preliminary judges (final judges may request a viewing of the full entry).
  • Indicate the full running time and the start time of the five minute judging excerpt on the entry form.
  • If submitting a Vimeo or YouTube Upload Entry, upload only the five minutes you wish judges to view.
  • DVDs are not accepted this year.  
  • Each Entry may be entered in only one category. The jury reserves the right to move an entry to a more appropriate category.

Fees

  • $12/Entry

Member Discount

Paid Members of DAFT receive discounted entry fees.

  • Student Members - 1 Free Entry/year
  • Individual Members - 1 Free Entry/year
  • Institutional Members - 5 Free Entries/year

Payment

Online payment is handled through PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account to pay. You can pay through PayPal using a credit card without creating a PayPal account.

Categories

  • Animation
  • Public Service Announcement
  • Documentary/Event
  • Music Video
  • Narrative Film (short or feature excerpt)
  • News/Sports/Magazine Program
  • Other (including experimental)

Entry Content

COPYRIGHT

It is recommended that you have complete ownership and copyright to content appearing in your entry - including music, imagery, footage and talent releases.

If your entry contains material you do not own, it is recommended that you have written permission from the copyright holder(s) for use in your entry.

Photos, art and other such visuals plus various forms of music—on the Internet and elsewhere—are copyrighted, even if they don’t include the copyright character, “©” and the owner’s name. Getting the owner’s permission to use such materials is important unless the material qualifies as Fair Use or is in the public domain.

Entries to the Michigan Student Film Festival are assumed to be under fair use in copyright law.  Fair Use refers to the ability to print or broadcast materials that are copyrighted and include the following factors:

  1. Purpose and character of use (i.e. non-commercial use like news reporting, teaching or reviewing);
  2. Nature of the work (e.g. factual work is more likely to fall under fair use than creative work, and published works are more likely to be used fairly than unpublished works);
  3. How much is used (i.e. looking at both quantity and quality of what is used; 

Use of apparently copyrighted materials without permission or a fair use argument as explained on the entry (e.g. photos from CNN.com or google.com or an artist’s soundtrack) will result in disqualification of the entry.

 

VIOLENT CONTENT

Excessive violent content may disqualify your entry from competition based solely upon DAFT's discretion.

DAFT: Copyright & Fair Use in Student Productions
with Attorney Lex Kuhne

Responsibility & Liability

  • DAFT reserves the right to use and/or broadcast all productions entered in the Festival for educational and promotional purposes.
  • Programs cannot be re-edited after they have been submitted.
  • Review your entries - DVD or Vimeo/YouTube Upload - for audio and video quality prior to submission. If a program cannot be viewed by the judges due to technical issues, the entry will not be judged.
  • DVD entries may be picked up the day of the Festival.
  • For DVD Entries - We cannot be responsible for lost or damaged DVDs. We will, however, do our best to ensure the safety of all entries.

Awards

  • All entries will be screened by an awards jury.
  • Student productions are judged primarily on creativity, idea development, and technical awareness.
  • All entries will receive a certificate of merit, honor, or excellence and written feedback from the jurors.
  • Special Best of Show awards will be given to outstanding entries.
  • Only Best of Show entries will be shown at the Festival, not necessarily in their entirety.
  • Best of Show awards may include: DAFT scholarships, other educational scholarships, Michigan Youth Arts Festival participation, and additional media items. Additional awards may be given.

Entry Technical Specifications

Vimeo Upload

Follow the steps below to create a Vimeo account, compress your video
and upload it. Click on each step to display instructions.

1) Create Vimeo.com Account

You must create a free Vimeo.com account prior to uploading your entry. If you already have a Vimeo account, use that. Otherwise, create a free account here:

Join Vimeo

Create a free, "Basic" Vimeo account.
You DO NOT need a paid, upgraded Vimeo Account.

 

Vimeo-Basic-Account-Create-001

 

To complete your Vimeo Account creation, check your email for a confirmation message from Vimeo. It will contain a link to click confirming and activating your account.

 

Vimeo-Confirm-Account-002

2) Compress Your Video

Your 5 minute judging entry must be compressed before uploading to Vimeo. Compress and upload only the 5 minutes you want judged for competition.

Do not upload more than 5 minutes.

This page from Vimeo's Help Center explains how to properly compress videos using a variety of video editing software:

Vimeo Compression Guidelines

Note: If you are using Final Cut Pro X, you can use the Vimeo option from the Share Menu to compress and upload directly from Final Cut Pro X.

3) Upload Your Video

Once your video is compressed, click Upload from the top menu of Vimeo.

Vimeo-Upload-001

 

Select your video and wait for it to upload.

 

Vimeo-Upload-002

 

Be patient. Your video will upload and then need to be processed by Vimeo before it is viewable. While it is processing, go on to the next step.

4) Settings and Title (Vimeo)

While your video is processing, click on Settings.

 

Vimeo-Settings-001

 

You will be taken to the Basic settings tab. Give your video a specific title, 7 words max. This title must match the title you will enter on your entry form.

Vimeo-Settings-002a

 

Next, click the Privacy Tab.

 

Vimeo-Settings-003

 

On the Privacy Tab, under Who Can Watch This Video? click Anyone.

 

Vimeo-Settings-004

 

Scroll to the bottom of the page and under "What can people do with this video?" check both "Download this video" and "Add to their collections" and click Save Changes.

 

Vimeo-Settings-005

5) Video URL

From your browser's address bar, copy your video's URL. You will need to paste this URL into the festival entry form.

Vimeo-URL-002

YouTube Upload

Follow the steps below to create a YouTube account, compress your video and upload it. Click on each step to display instructions.

1) Create YouTube.com Account

You must create a free YouTube/Google account prior to uploading your entry. If you already have a YouTube/Google account, use that. Otherwise, create a free account here:

 

Join YouTube/Google

or go to YouTube.com and click the Sign In button in the upper right corner.

YouTube Entry Setup 001

 

If you already have an account, sign in on the next page.
If you don't have an account, create on using the Create an Account link seen below.

YouTube Setup 002

If you are creating an account, fill out the form on the next page. Then check your email for confirmation.

YouTube Step 3

 

Check your email for a message from Google. Inside the email, click the link to verify your account.

YouTube Step 004

You will be taken to a verification scree asking to update your profile.

You may skip this step if so desired.

YouTube step 005

Then, click the Back to YouTube button.

YouTube Step 006

2) Compress Your Video

Your 5 minute judging entry must be compressed before uploading to YouTube. Compress and upload only the 5 minutes you want judged for competition.

Do not upload more than 5 minutes.

Use the YouTube preset in your Editing application to create a file for upload.

This page from YouTube's Help Center explains technical specifications for file uploads:

YouTube Compression Settings

Note: If you are using Final Cut Pro X, you can use the YouTube option from the Share Menu to compress and upload directly from Final Cut Pro X.

3) Upload Your Video

Once your video is compressed, click the Upload button from the top right of your YouTube page.

 

YouTube Step 007

 

 

Select your video and wait for it to upload.

Be patient. Your video will upload and then need to be processed by YouTube before it is viewable. While it is processing, go on to the next step.

4) Settings and Title (YouTube)

While your video is uploading & processing, adjust its settings.

YouTube Upload Step 008

 

 

Give your video a specific title, 7 words max. This title must match the title you will enter on your entry form. Also, make sure it is set to Public. Finally, click Publish to finalize your settings.

5) Video URL

Once uploading & processing is complete, view your video. Make sure it plays correctly.

Under the video, click on Share, then Copy the URL listed below. Paste that link into the Festival Entry Form on the DAFT website.

YouTube Step 009

Festival Rules

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