Youth Free Expression Film Contest (NCAC)

The National Coalition Against Censorship is an alliance of nonprofit organizations dedicated to promoting free expression and fighting censorship in all its forms.

NCAC's Youth Free Expression Program confronts the kinds of censorship young people encounter on a daily basis through education and programs that empower young people to safely navigate and participate in contemporary culture.

Our annual Youth Free Expression Film Contest invites teenagers to create a short film on a timely free speech debate of particular relevance to young people. Past contests have explored censorship questions around video games, comedy, sex ed, and social media.

This year, in celebration of our right to political expression, NCAC’s Youth Free Expression Film Contest invites filmmakers (age 19 and under) to submit a four-minute film on PROTEST.

Illustrate the importance of political dissent to a healthy democracy and how your protest can effect social change. What forms of protest are most persuasive? What methods and strategies are most effective? Can protests ever be harmful to society? How can art forms like film inspire resistance?

Include an artist’s statement discussing the limits of protest and explaining your intended message. Also describe your creative process and technical accomplishments. All participants should be identified and their roles in the film stated.

Be thoughtful, be creative and be original.

Awards & Prizes
The top three filmmakers will receive cash prizes of $1,000, $500 and $250. The first place winner will also receive a scholarship to the New York Film Academy.

Judges will be drawn from a panel of renowned figures in film, political activism and the performing arts – previous judges have included playwright Tony Kushner (Angels in America) and film director Greg Mottola (Superbad).

Rules & Terms
Contest Rules

1. In support of the #NationalSchoolWalkout, the deadline for this contest has been extended. All films must now be uploaded to the YFEP FilmFreeway page no later than Tuesday, May 15, 2018.

2. Films cannot exceed four minutes, including credits.

3. All films must address the topic: "Fight the Power: Why (Your) Protest Matters!”

4. All members of the filmmaking crew must be age 19 or younger on the day the film


Films from the Washington Film Festival screening at the World Film Fair