Celebrating Young Filmmakers since 1969
56th Michigan Student Film Festival -- June 1, 2024
Entry Deadline: April 30th
Check out our Film Freeway FAQs at this link.
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 54th year. This year, DAFT will be once again 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.
STUDENT-PRODUCED: While DAFT recognizes the important role of teachers/mentors in the production of entries--especially at the K-8 level, DAFT reserves the right to not award a Best of Show selection if it is determined that the project was not primarily student produced. The selection committee may reach out to the producers for more information, however the responsibility of full disclosure of adult involvement lies with the submitter (teacher or student).
The 56th Michigan Student Film Festival at the Detroit Institute of Arts
What: The 56th Michigan Student Film Festival
When: Saturday, June 1, 2024
Where: The Detroit Film Theatre @ The Detroit Institute of Arts & Streaming
Eligible: Students Grades K-12
Entry Deadline: April 30, 2024
Watch: 2023 Best-of-Show Award Winning Videos on our home page
- Partnership Production: Industry/Education teamwork (e.g. work-based learning, media pro mentorship, etc.)
100% Student-Originated Animation (e.g. single-frame claymation, hand-drawn, etc.)
Template-Generated Animation (e.g. software designs to assist production etc.)
- News/Sports Package (ENG--reporter stand-up etc.)
- News/Sports Studio Show
Public Service Announcement
Special prizes for each category
$500 cash prizes for best narrative film and documentary
Certificates for each entry's students
Detailed feedback from multiple judges for each entry
All entries and student, teacher and school info listed in our full-color program, free at the festival and on PDF online
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 February 15, 2024
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.
Venue - Annually at the Detroit Film Theatre (NOTE: Due to COVID safety the event is streaming-only for 2021)
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.