the 8th ANnual Student film competition

Our Call for Submissions for the 8th Annual Student Film Competition is now open!

Cash prizes up to $500 for for the top three winners
in each category of High School and Middle School!!


The IOFF's International Student Film Competition (SFC) gives middle school and high school students from around the world a chance to demonstrate their filmmaking skills and tell their ocean stories.  The top three winners in each category of middle school and high school will compete for cash prizes! 

The SFC is a free program that showcases top student films during the festival at a free program on Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 10am.

The rules are easy and straightforward:

  • All films must be about the ocean

  • All films must be less than 5 minutes in length

  • Films must be made entirely by an individual student or a group of students

  • Deadline for submission has been extended to Monday, January 21, 2109.

In order to help you submit your film, here are three ways in which we would like to help. Please read all three documents before submitting your film. 

  • 2019 Information Sheet - Information, rules and deadlines for submitting a film.

  • 2019 Scoring Rubric - A reference sheet for the point system used in ranking each film based on technical qualities and content.

  • Resources - Need help finding footage for your film? Looking for ocean ideas for your film? Click on Resources to find some helpful links.

To submit your film, please complete the 2019 SFC Submission Form.


This 2018 Winners

Congratulations to all the 2018 SFC winners!

Watch the winning films on Vimeo.


1958, by Catalina Lane & Annika Jackson, 12th grade, Tamalpais High School, Mill Valley, CA

Enjoy the Process, by Thomas Chang, Matthew Cho & Eva Chang, 11th grade, Mission San Jose High School, Fremont, CA

Haenyeo: Mermaids of Korea, by Sehee Park, 10th grade, Branksome Hall Asia, Jeju, South Korea


1st Place: Strawbucks, by Helena Gans, Danielle Karr, Alexandra Chung, & Avery Benello, 7th grade, The Hamlin School, San Francisco, CA

2nd Place: I Sea Pollution, by Dakota Peebler (age 11), Iseko (age 12), Carlos (age 15), Yarawe (age 16), & Dilluna (age 17), of Heirs To Our Oceans, Redwood City, CA

3rd Place: The Story of a Plastic Bottle, by Cambria Bartlett, 8th grade, & Coralyne Taylor, 7th grade, homeschool, La Honda, CA

Rules & Eligibility

The SFC is open to middle school and high school students (grades 6 through 12) from around the world. Films must be five minutes or less in duration, and touch upon some subject matter regarding the ocean. Open to middle school and high school students around the world, the SFC is a way for students to tell their stories about the ocean and explore the exciting world of filmmaking.


Films must be five minutes or less, and touch upon at least one of these ocean-related topics: 

  • Ocean environments

  • Ocean wildlife

  • Ocean science

  • Ocean cultures

  • National Marine Sanctuaries

  • Ocean sports

  • Ocean industries

  • Ocean history

  • Ocean conservation issues including climate change, pollution, overfishing, marine debris

Winning films will be chosen on the basis of creativity and the ability to tell a story that leaves the audience better informed about or moved by the ocean.


All submissions will be judged by an elite jury of professional filmmakers and ocean conservationists. The three top winners in each category — middle school and high school — will be eligible to win cash prizes up to $500. The top finalists in each category will have their films presented on the big screen during the SFC Program on Sunday.

The winners are announced on stage at the end of the program. It's free to attend!

Filmmaking Resources

Find resources, photos and footage, and tips for making your film: download the SFC Film Resources guide.

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If you have any questions about the SFC, please email Jennifer Gamurot, SFC Coordinator, at