Bridging Divides, Healing Communities
Youth Film Challenge

JULY 9 – NOVEMBER 1, 2021

Have you been thinking about how to address global problems or resolve inequities in your country, your state, your town, your community, your school, or even your family? Do you see a way forward? If you’re between the ages of 14 and 24 and you live or attend school in our region, we’re inviting you to make a 6-minute (or less) film that focuses on a specific challenge that divides us and shows how you would tackle it.

We’ve partnered with Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and the Civic Life Project to present the Bridging Divides, Healing Communities Youth Film Challenge. It’s easy to apply, it’s free to enter, and you won’t be on your own. You can learn skills from professional filmmakers in free workshops and Q&A days, and we’ll be here to offer advice along the way. Don’t worry about equipment; you can shoot it on your smartphone! We’ll even give you $50 toward your production if you apply early, and we might be able to help out if you don’t have a camera.

Your entry will be judged by a panel of film industry professionals, and you’ll have the chance to win up to $2000 and have your film screened at 3 local theaters. You have until November 1 to submit your film. Get the details below, apply today, and start putting together ideas for your film.

Important Details

  • 1

    The submission period is from July 9, 2021 through November 1, 2021.

    You may enter as an individual or a group.

  • 2

    Films should be no longer than 6 minutes.

    You may submit a film that’s already been completed or create something new!

  • 3

    You must fill out an application in order to submit a film.

    You’ll receive a confirmation email once we’ve received your application.
    (Don’t worry, the application is very short)!

    Not only is it free to apply and submit a film, but the first 50 submitted films will receive $50 to help cover their production expenses.

  • 4

    To apply, you must be a resident of or attend school in the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation region, which includes Berkshire County, Massachusetts; Columbia County, New York; parts of Dutchess County, New York; and parts of Litchfield County, Connecticut.

    Check this map to see if you qualify:

  • 5

    You must be between the ages of 14 and 24.

Helpful Guidelines

  • How to Pick a Topic

    Share your views on what’s creating divisions and inequities in society, and show how you’re tackling challenges in your families, schools, and communities. Your film can explore topics such as climate change; the state of our democracy; exclusion based on identity, age, religion or social or immigration status; or any local, national or global issue of your choosing for which there are opposing views yet possibilities for reconciliation and healing.
    Here are a few more ideas (pdf).

    BE CREATIVE! Make a music video, spoken word/poetry session, write a play, do a short documentary, make a commercial or short narrative. The possibilities are limitless!

  • A Few Things To Think About

    What’s the purpose of your video? What’s the message you’re trying to convey? What’s the tone of the video (serious, funny)? How do you want people to feel when they watch it?

  • Title

    Make sure you have an opening title and that you credit the people who starred in and worked on your film.

  • Music

    You can find free music on the internet. Otherwise, you must pay for the right to use music or songs (which can be expensive). You could also create original music.

  • Get a Release

    If you’re filming people, you must get a release giving their permission to participate in the video. It’s a good idea to make several copies of the release form and take them with you on a clipboard (along with pens) whenever you film. Click here for the RELEASE (pdf).

  • Location

    If you’re filming at a location other than your own home or on the property of someone you know, you must get a location release giving you permission to use someone else’s premises. It’s a good idea to make several copies of this form and take them with you on a clipboard (along with pens) wherever you film. Click here for the LOCATION RELEASE (pdf).

  • Submit Your Film

    To submit your film please fill out this short application.

Other Resources

  • Filmmaking Workshops and Guidance

    Professional filmmakers will be conducting four free, online classes this summer:

    All classes will be recorded and available on this site afterwards.
    We’ll be scheduling additional classes in the fall.
    We’ll also set up Filmmaker Q&A sessions so you can get answers to any filmmaking questions you may have.

  • Tips for Filmmakers

    For some simple filming tips, watch this video.

  • Official Rules

    Here are the RULES (pdf) for participation. You will need to agree to them when you submit your application.

  • Need a Camera?

    If you don’t have a phone with a camera, you can apply to get a camera from us. It’s part of the application.

Have questions?

Email Us


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