KCFFI's Reel Spirit program educates and nurtures youth by extending learning through the process and science of filmmaking.  Through our Young Filmmakers Showcase and Video Camps, we encourage and inspire creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving through the cinematic arts. 

Help us in our efforts to inspire and educate young filmmakers!

Deadline for Entries
for All Divisions: February 25, 2021

Winning films will be announced March 17, 2021

Categories(grades 2-9)



Create a sense of movement through stop motion or computer animation
to bring inanimate objects, drawings, or clay to life to tell a story

Maximum length: 3 minutes


Advertisement for a student-created product or a real event in your school or community (Inspires the audience to buy the product or attend the event)

Maximum length: 2 minutes


A nonfictional film that presents factual information about real people, places, and/or events in a narrative format. Must include an interview with an “expert” (someone knowledgeable on the film’s subject matter)

Maximum length: 5 minutes
narrative (comedy/drama)


Fictional comedy or drama that tells a story. It must be a series of events with cause and effect relationship, (Narrative can be original work or adapted from public domain material)

Maximum length: 5 minutes
news feature


A factual or fictional news feature in newscast format, featuring only ONE topic
(Interviews and footage of subject matter are encouraged)

Maximum length: 3 minutes
public service announcement (psa)


Public Service Announcement, in an original presentation, must have factual information that supports, educates, or inspires solutions to community or student concerns

Maximum length: 2 minutes
science, technology, engineering, art & math


A nonfictional film that provides and explanation of science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics in an artistic, entertaining and knowledgeable way. The film must be presented in the form of a Narrative, Animation, News Feature or Music Video; or a combination of these.
Films will be judged for both technical and creative content.

Maximum length: 3 minutes


Filmmakers of winning films will be invited to the 16th annual Reel Spirit Young Filmmaker Showcase.

All films must be submitted through FilmFreeway. We are unable to process films in Youtube and WeVideo format for viewing at the Showcase.  You must save the  film to your computer from either of those sites and then upload the film from your computer to FilmFreeway.

Sponsor/Mentor must complete the online Contact and Copyright Form  BELOW:


Entries are judged by professionals from film and media fields. First, Second, and Third place Certificates  are given in the various categories and divisions according to the judges’ decisions. Decisions of the independent judges are final.

evaluation criteria & scoring

  • Technical ability: audio, camera work, lighting, and editing completely student created
  • Expression of creativity
  • Ability to communicate message or story line
  • Specific criteria related to the different categories
  • All music, pictures, and video clips must conform to the Reel Spirit Copyright rules.
  • Credits include only the actor/s first name
  • Teacher names should not be included in credits
  • Film credits should NOT include submitting school name
  • Maximum length of film includes titles, sources and credits
  • Subject matter must be appropriate  – no violence or inappropriate language
  • Entries with extraneous materials, such as “bloopers” will not be accepted description

submission fees

Fee: $8 non-refundable fee is required for each film submitted through Film Freeway


If your film or video selected as a WINNER, you agree to and understand the following:

  • FORMAT: You agree to give Reel Spirit Young Filmmakers permission to download a full version of the film from FilmFreeway
  • SIGNED RELEASE FORM:  Sponsor or Mentor of a winning film is responsible for acquiring a signed parental release form for all students age 18 and younger involved in the film and emailing to Reel Spirit.

submission deadline

Division I, II, III (grades 2-9) entries must be received by   February 23, 2021

Failure to submit by the deadline will result in disqualification of entry.

Submission of a film automatically gives consent to Reel Spirit Young Filmmakers and Kansas City FilmFest International to use film entry and likeness for promotional purposes


The following must be source referenced in credits at the end of the production:
* All music, sound effects, pictures and reference footage, whether original and/or non-original
* Original third party music, sound effects, pictures and reference footage may be used if permission by the owner/author is documented in writing and sent in with entry form
* Music, sound effects, pictures, and video clips purchased or available through filming or editing software is acceptable and must be referenced in the credits

Penalties due to Copyright Infringement:
* Other resources/websites for music, sound effects, pictures and reference footage that indicate “copyright-free” may not be completely and legally free for public or commercial use; the use of other so-called copyright-free websites will result in a three point penalty
* Winning productions failing to comply with copyright requirements will result in the film not being shown at the Reel Spirit showcase, website or other public screenings