Celebrate What's Right!

The theme for the 2015-2016 North Country Middle School Film Festival was
Celebrate What's Right!

The festival took place on a Saturday morning in March 19, 2016 at the Rialto Theatre in Lancaster, NH.

View films from past film festivals.



The 2015-2016 winners:




2015 - 2016 Entry Rules & Guidelines

Let's celebrate what is right in our lives by highlighting what has a positive influence in or on the North Country. The film must celebrate an asset that impacts those living or visiting the North Country (which may also impact those outside the region as well). Assets may include, but are not limited to, people, places (natural or man-made), businesses, organizations, events, new or unique solutions to problems, community groups, activities, natural resources, a way of life, an attraction, something that strengthens the community, etc. Here are a few questions that may help with an idea for topic


Award Categories

The judges are looking for excellent story telling, strong production value, and original work created by student teams. This year's festival will recognize*:

  • The six best films that represent the spirit of the theme "Celebrate What's Right!"
  • Best Technical Merit: Overall combination of film elements which include editing components of effective transitions, steady shots, and the use of audio and/or sound effects.
  • Best Cinematography: Visual impact, composition, videography and framing of shots to contribute an overall dramatic effect while conveying a compelling message.
  • Best Picture: Overall creativity and technical merit produced in the spirit of theme "Celebrate What's Right"

*Categories subject to change depending on the number and quality films submitted. 



Entry to the competition is free and it is open to students in grades 6, 7 & 8 from schools in New Hampshire SAUs 3, 7, 9, 20, 23, 35, 36, 58, 68, 77 & 84, as well as charter and private schools and homeschoolers from the North Country region. For K-6 schools, you may include grade 5 students on the team. Other schools willing to travel to the festival may contact NCES about the possibility of being included.

Team Adviser Requirement

The team adviser must be a member of the staff at the school. The adviser does not necessarily need to be skilled in making videos since this is a student production. A parent can assist, but a school representative must serve as the official contact person.There can be more than one adviser in a school working with teams.

Teams/Film Crew

The size of the team, the film crew working behind the camera, producing, and editing, is recommended to be 2 to 4 students. The minimum is 2 students. It is preferred that the team consist of no more than 6 students, but that is at the discretion of school coordinator. The team can consist of students from any combination of grades. There is no limit on the number of teams per school. Each team may submit up to two video entries (in the past the limit was one). This festival is an educational event and we encourage teachers, artists, and advisers to work with students, particularly in identifying and refining the focus of the film. However, production and editorial decisions must be made by students. 

Initial School Registration by November 25, 2015

The adult team adviser must register via the School Registration Form (online preferred or paper). Please submit the number of anticipated students/teams to help us plan accordingly. It is okay if the final submission groupings end up slightly different. If you miss this deadline, you can still participate, but please let us know as soon as possible how many students and teams we should expect.  

Film Submission Deadline: Wednesday, February 11, 2016

New this year, films can be uploaded. Uploading deadline is midnight, February 11, 2016. Physical entries on a DVD or USB must be delivered to NCES by 4:00 PM on or before Thursday, February 11, 2016.  Mailed films should be sent to Lori Langlois, Film Festival Entry, North Country Education Services, 300 Gorham Hill Road, Gorham, NH 03581.
Please note, at your discretion, you many use an earlier internal deadline if it coincides better with class schedules, semester or project periods. Each film, uploaded or submitted on physical media, must be accompanied by an entry form. The entry form can be completed online or on paper. Upload films here (link not active until February).

Film/Video Requirements

The actual video production and editorial decisions must be made by the students. Entries must have a run time of no longer than 2 minutes including the credits. An Entry Form must be submitted with each film on paper or online (available in February).

Students may use whatever software, hardware and equipment they have available. The final entry must be in a format supported by YouTube (see supported file formats). The entire production must be the work of the student team entering the competition. There is no age limit for actors, documentary subjects, or musicians who may appear in the production.

Films should NOT include the full real names of students within the film, including in the credits. First names only are allowed in the credits. For minors appearing in the film, use first names only or fictitious names.

Films should conform to a "G" (preferably) or "PG" rating as described by the Motion Picture Association of America: http://www.mpaa.org/ratings/what-each-rating-means.

There are no minimums or limits on the number people in the film (the cast). We strongly discourage the sole use of a series of images/slides (because that's a slideshow, not a film). Live-action, animation, and stop-motion-animation, or a mix of these, are allowed.



The Team Adviser should collect and keep on file a signed Talent Media Consent and Release Form from all talent/actors (parent signature for minors) appearing in the films. Obtaining this permission is to protect you and the school. When you submit a film, your are assuring that you have obtained these permissions.


Film Festival: Public Screening & Awards

The date for the festival will be a Saturday, March 19, 2016 from 10:00 to 12:00 at the Rialto Theatre in Lancaster, NH. Parents and families are welcome to attend and NCES will provide you with the invitations. Transportation will not be provided. Teams do not need to be present to receive an award.


Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia

Students are encouraged to use original music, copyright free music, or music they have obtained permission to use, however, use of copyright materials is allowable per the Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia. A reference chart is available here.
Please note: After the festival, winning video will be posted the NCES YouTube channel.  Copyrighted music is often stripped automatically by YouTube and this may result in the removal of all audio from a film using non-original music.


Terms & Conditions of Entry:

By participating in the North Country Middle School Film Festival, you agree that,

  1. NCES reserves all the rights to screen or not to screen any film(s) for any reason it deems valid. 
  2. All films must be an original work of students.
  3. NCES retains all the rights to the films received and may show these for publicity and educational purposes anywhere in the world using any medium.
  4. The award decisions are final.


  1. The rules herein are subject to change without prior notice.
  2. NCES shall make all reasonable efforts to inform participating schools of any change in these rules & guidelines, whether minor or major, but no guarantees are made or assumed that such intimation will be given.
  3. You are requested to visit this page regularly to identify, read, understand and comply with any change in the rules & guidelines of this competition.


Film festival coordinator: Lori Langlois, lori@ncedservices.org, 603-466-5437.

Tips for Filmmakers