We recommend you read all the questions and answers for tips, rules and links for the Film Competition.


What does the theme mean?

The theme of “young kiwis making a difference”, should act as a guide for your film. It could be cleaning up a local beach, volunteering in the community, or anything that in some way is about young New Zealanders making a difference. That might mean in their personal lives, for the benefit of others, or for the benefit of the environment. The judges will be rewarding films that are relevant to the theme.

Do I need to be a New Zealander?

No. However, your film must be relevant to the theme of “young New Zealanders making a difference.”

Is there an age limit?

Yes; you need to be 13 or older to enter the competition. There is no upper age limit. The minimum age limit is because Vimeo.com, the submissions platform we use for films, requires in their terms and conditions that users be at least 13 years old. If you fall outside of the age restriction and still wish to be a part of the competition, please contact us.

Can I enter as an individual or do I need a team?

You can make a film by yourself or in a team. It’s up to you. There is no limit to the number of people in your team, but each member needs to sign the right paperwork.

Why are there three categories?

The categories are a way of dividing the different skill levels. By having three categories there are more chances for more people to win awards.

What if our team is a mixture of people from different categories?

You will need to choose one of the categories that best represents your team – in terms of the age and skill level of the majority of your team. If it is too difficult, we recommend you enter in the Open category – or ask us.

Why is there a film duration limit?

Shorter films are perfect for web distribution and can spread a message easily. They can get to the point faster and have more impact for people with short attentions spans or limited time. Longer films have a chance to give a bigger picture and a more detailed story. You do not have to use the entire time limit – a 30-second film could be just as effective, if made well. Think about giving yourself time to trim your final version down to something even shorter for a punchier storytelling approach. The 5-minute limit means that your film can be up to exactly 5’00” (5 minutes) including credits – but not longer. Entries submitted that are longer than 5 minutes will not be accepted.

Can I enter more than one film?

Yes. Each film needs to be registered separately, and there is a $20 Early Bird submission fee and $50 regular submission fee for each film.

Why is there an entry fee?

The entry fee per film goes towards the registered nationwide charity, Inspiring Stories, to help cover the coordination costs of running the Film Competition, as well as providing more opportunities for young filmmakers, through workshops and other platforms.

Does the film need to be in English?

No, it can be in any language, or any combination of languages, but you will need English subtitles where any speech is not in English (this does not include individual words in a sentence – for example, no subtitles are needed for a word or two in Te Reo). This will help you to share your story with a larger audience.


What is a Release Form and why do I need to sign one?

It’s for legal reasons, and crucial for your entry to be considered. These films will be seen by many people – at film screenings and online, and you need to be sure that everyone involved is OK with that, even if it is for a good cause. We recommend you get these forms filled out as you go and don’t leave them until the last minute. It might be annoying but it is all a part of the filmmaking process.

Do Release Forms need to be signed by everyone involved?

Yes. You can download these release forms here . They are for all key people involved in the filmmaking: the filmmakers, those in front of the camera, the musicians and owners of locations. If you don’t get the right forms filled in, we will not be able to screen your film. Send your relevant release forms in all together when you submit your final film, but make sure you have a copy of them all for safe-keeping, in case they get lost.

What about music – how do I find some I can use?

Music can be one of the most influential parts of your film. I can create a mood and transform your audience’s emotions. Feel free to make your own soundtracks and music. If you find a song you want to use, ask if the musician will give you permission to use it and sign the Musician Release Form. Consider offering the musician a Koha for their work. Also try searching the internet for Royalty free Music.

If you cannot get permission for the soundtrack/music used in your film, you can still submit it for the competition but we may not be able to screen it publicly or online. Check out our tips for music , such as getting a Festival Licence for you film, where to look for Royalty Free music and sites for more info.

How can I convince people to sign a Release Form?

Explain what your goal for the film is. Give them an idea of what your story is and how it will help their community, New Zealand and its young people. Explain that you do not intend on making a profit from your film, and that it will be used to help inspire and share stories of young New Zealanders and filmmakers. It often helps to say Inspiring Stories is a charitable trust, and to get them to check our website and see what we are all about. Most of the time a musician is more than happy to help a good cause, with the promise that they will be credited and that their music could be heard by heaps of people through your film.


What will happen to my film after the competition?

Inspiring Stories will help you to enter your film into other festivals in New Zealand and around the world, if it’s suitable and you’re keen. Selected films will also be uploaded onto the Inspiring Stories website for visitors to view. Be sure to do the right thing and thank everyone who helped you out during the making of your film. You might not realise how much it means to them.

Can I promote my own film?

Share your film with as many people as possible! Get in touch with local papers or radio stations to let them know what you are working on and help to get yourself more community support. By the end of the competition we will have tips and guidelines on how to host your own community film screening.


How do I create a Vimeo account?

Easy. Go to Vimeo and sign up for an account. You will need to be at least 13 years of age.

Why use Vimeo.com and not YouTube.com?

Vimeo has nice privacy settings so you can keep your film a secret from the public, and save it just for this competition. Vimeo has no length-limit, whereas Youtube does, which is useful if you want us to watch a rough cut that is longer than 10 minutes to give you feedback.

Can I alter my film once I have submitted it?

Only up until 8p.m. on the 6th of November. Any submissions or changes to submissions after this closing time will not be accepted. We can tell if your film has been altered since there is a time stamp on vimeo.com for when it was uploaded, as well as on the actual film’s final export and file-modified time.

Can I submit a film that I made previously for another event, competition or festival?

Absolutely, so long as it is within the guidelines and restrictions and is somehow linked to our theme. Be sure to mention your films history when you fill out the submission form. Feel free to mention that your film is a part of the Inspiring Stories Film Competition in your opening or closing credits.

When will we know who the finalists are and when will we know who has won an award?

Three finalists for each award will be announced online and by email. The Awards Ceremony for 2017 competition will be in Wellington, location and date TBC.

What will happen if I am a finalist?

We will get in touch with you and let you know the next steps to prepare for the Awards Ceremony. You will be asked to send us a copy of your film on USB stick, so make sure you save a high-quality version of the film you submitted through vimeo.com. This MUST be the same as the version you submitted for the competition. We will also ask you to send us some photos to use for publicity, so keep a record of your filmmaking process.

Where is the Awards Ceremony?

It will be in Wellington, location and date TBC.

If I am not a Finalist, can I still attend the Awards Ceremony?

Absolutely! It will be in Wellington. We’ll let you know exact location and date closer to the time.

Need Help?

If you have any questions or if some things still don’t make sense, please contact us by email.