Regulations and How to Submit a Film

Important Dates
Deadline – Friday, April 10, 2020 at 11:59 PM.

Film Festival entries available online – Friday, April 24, 2020,

Submission Checklist

  • 2020 Electronic Submission Form (Upload your video to GoogleDrive. Copy/paste the URL for your film  into the Electronic Submission Form – you will also need to pull a 30 second clip from your film and upload to GoogleDrive and share the link for the 30 second clip as well)
  • How to submit a film Watch this short video for help with submitting your film
  • The forms can be found here: The 2020 Submission Packet
  • Creative Works Release for your Film
  • Creative Works Release for your Music (If applicable)
  • Actor Release Form for all Actors
  • Rules

Your movie must oblige by the HoCo FilmFest rules. There is a different set of rules for Public Service Announcements (PSAs) and non-PSA films.

Story Based Films

  1. Films must be produced from a high school student that lives in Howard County.
  2. Must be student directed, produced, and edited.
  3. The entered film should be 3 to 10 minutes in duration.
  4. Must be an original concept or idea.
  5. Must be appropriate for family viewing. The film must be limited in sexuality, language, and violence.
  6. Must follow traditional storytelling elements. This includes the use of plot, characters, setting, etc.

PSA Films

Please Note:  PSA Films must correlate with HC DrugFree’s regulations of Public Service Announcements. No other PSA films will be accepted for the HoCoFilmFest. All PSA’s submitted must be related to the theme as set by HC DrugFree.

2020 HCDrugFree Theme: In the KNOW About the Consequences of Drug Use

Think about how the consequences of drug use could affect the lives of teens now, and in the future.

Please see HC DrugFree for more information on what should be included in your film.

Copyright Infringement and Fair Use

The Howard County Student Film Festival in past years has received excellent films. HOWEVER, they were IMMEDIATELY disqualified due to copyright infringement. Please read this section very carefully in order to prevent your film from being disqualified.

Regarding Video

Students “may use portions of lawfully acquired copyright works in their academic multimedia,” under two conditions. 1. The media is in the public domain (news footage) OR 2. the student has received written permission from the copyright owner to use the footage in their production.

Regarding Music

Copyrighted music is prohibited for use in films unless the student has explicit written permission from the copyright owner. Instead, music should be obtained from royalty-free music sites and include proper attribution. Films including copyrighted music will be automatically disqualified.

Actor Release Form
All actors need to have an actor release form. One release form is provided to you in the packet. **NOTE** If your actors are under the age 18, please have a parent or guardian sign the release form. Please note, that YOU will keep the actor release forms. You do not need to turn these in to the Film Festival.

Submission Process

Your video should be uploaded to your account, or to a personal Google Drive account, and submitted by the deadline date. In addition to the HoCo Student Film Fest Submission Form, you must also complete the following. This includes:

  • Actor Release Forms (1 for each actor in your film – again you will keep these and do not need to send them in to the festival)
  • Creative Works Release for your film (this is completed in the online submission form)
  • The forms can be found here: The 2020 Submission Packet
  • For any further questions, contact

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