Official Rules and Guidelines

Official Rules and Guidelines

Deadlines & Fees

Entry Fee: NOW WAIVED!


The Challenge will accept submissions and award cash on a rolling basis.  The winning videos will be featured in an online live cast on September 10 at 7:00 PM EST.

The online submission portal is open now.

Final Deadline: August 14, 2020

Your submissions will be available on our website for all participants as well as any visitors. As part of our effort to broaden the impact of your submission, we will post the films on other websites such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to get your message out.

All submissions must:

  1. Be made by people ages 15 to 25 years of age.
  2. Be under 8 minutes in length (including titles and credits) for the documentaries
  3. Be under 2 minutes for social media videos.
  4. Be original video shot by you and/or your group. If visual materials are used that have not been created by you, you need to obtain written permission and credit the author.
  5. Include a call to action promoting youth voting.
  6. Use original music or graphic material; or properly license copyrighted materials.
  7. Be in English or subtitled in English.
  8. Provide a three-line synopsis that will be used in the Challenge program
  9. Provide a still from your film that will draw viewers.
  10. Finalists will be asked to provide a three-minute bio on themselves and why they selected their specific issue.

Media submission:

Please use YouTube, Vimeo, or Instagram link to your video.


The final Democracy 2020 Youth Film Challenge competition will gather all the films selected from the three deadlines and will be judged by a jury of young men and women together with distinguished media professionals. Selected films will be presented in an Awards Ceremony in September 2020.


Documentary Category

  • First Prize: $5,000
  • Second Prize: $2,000
  • People’s Choice Award: $1,000

Social Media Category

  • First Prize: $2,500
  • Second Prize: $1,000
  • People’s Choice Award: $500


  • Gold Medal: $2,000
  • Silver Medal: $1,000
  • Bronze & Honorable Mentions: $500

All files submitted in qualifying JusticeAid issue categories are also eligible for the Civic Life Project awards – your film could potentially win up to a total of $7,000!

All films submitted will be judged for creativity, originality, production value, quality of interviews, and whether they promote empathy and civil dialogue.  The Challenge welcomes all submissions regardless of gender, race, ethnic background, and multi-abled.

By submitting your film you agree to the full rules and guidelines.

JusticeAid Prize & Judging

The JusticeAid Prizes are $2,000 Gold, $1,000 Silver and $500 Bronze cash prizes in the categories of both films and Social Media. Each submission must include a call to action to vote to qualify. All entries will be judged by a panel from the JusticeAid Board of Directors and social justice filmmakers and digital producers.

Selected submissions will be promoted on all JusticeAid social media platforms, as well as those of Civic Life Project. Winners will be screened as part of the JusticeAid Public Forum in Washington, D.C. in September 2020.

All films submitted in qualifying JusticeAid issue categories are also eligible for the Civic Life Project awards – your film could potentially win up to a total of $7,000!

Submit Your Film

Our goal is for participants to generate well researched, empathetic and compelling videos that rise above entrenched partisanship. Participants in the Youth Film Challenge are encouraged to increase their awareness of social issues and to understand how their voice and vote can change society.

Two formats for entry:

  • Short Documentaries under 8 minutes in length
  • Social Media Works under 2 minutes in length

The best videos will be selected by a youth jury along with a panel including some of the most distinguished journalists and civic leaders in the country. The videos will be judged on the basis of creativity, content and balance and must promote empathy, civil dialogue and a call to vote.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!