2021 South Carolina Young Filmmakers Project accepting submissions through March 22nd

This is the poster advertising the SC Young Filmmakers Project.


Use your imagination! Be clever and creative! Most importantly, tell a great story.

The 2020-21 South Carolina Young Filmmakers Project is now open! To participate in the contest, high-school students in South Carolina must create a narrative short film (two minutes max) telling a cinematic story in any genre, following the Creative Challenge and all rules.


Designed to foster media arts skills and bring attention to the next generation of South Carolina media professionals, the Young Filmmakers Project is an annual statewide high school filmmaking competition hosted by Trident Technical College and the South Carolina Film Commission. It is accompanied by a series of instructional programs such as screenings, meet-ups and panels with South Carolina crew and department heads.


All South Carolina high school students (grades 9-12), including public, private and home school students, are eligible to enter. Entries will be scored by a panel of independent judges based on the criteria described below. The Top Ten scorers will screen at a special program where winners will be announced. First Prize receives $500, Second Prize $300, and Third Prize $200.


Make your films as strong as possible. Be sure to check out the YFP RESOURCE PAGE for links, guides, and tutorials on set safety, screenwriting, storyboarding, camerawork, lighting, editing, sound effects, music and more.


Use your imagination! Be clever and creative! Most importantly, tell a great story. You could win cash, prizes and a spot on the red carpet. Deadline for entries is midnight on March 22, 2021. Continue reading below for complete instructions on entering.






Each short film entry must somehow include this specific prop – a YO-YO. Be creative with it, and use it in a way that fits into your story, design and tone.   




  1. Each entrant must be a high school student (grades 9-12) living in South Carolina during the 2020-21 school year.  
  2. Each entrant may only enter once.
  3. Films must be at least 30-seconds long and no longer than two minutes.
  4. All entries must follow the Creative Challenge above, and incorporate the assigned prop (a ‘yo-yo’) into the story. How creatively and thoughtfully each film uses the ‘yo-yo’ will be part of how the judges score the entries; see ‘JUDGING CRITERIA’ below.
  5. The entering high school student must be the primary creator of each entry (story, characters, visual elements, etc.). Entrants are allowed outside help (as filmmaking is a collaborative process), but student participants must be the writer, director, and primary creative force.
  6. BE SAFE.  Safety in the production world is paramount, and all contest participants must be conscientious when shooting their Entries.  This includes having full written permission from the property owners or managers of any locations where you shoot.  (Download example of a general location release here, or use your own.)  Always review safety guidelines and protocols before shooting or producing any video project. 




  1. Make an awesome short film, following the Contest Rules and guidelines.  
  2. Upload your film to either YouTube or Vimeo by midnight ET on March 22, 2021.
  3. Tag your video with "SC YOUNG FILMMAKERS" once you've uploaded it.
  4. COMPLETE AND SUBMIT THE OFFICIAL ENTRY FORM HERE.  Online entry form with working link to your entry must be submitted and received by midnight ET, March 22, 2021.




Films will be judged by a panel of independent judges on the following:

  • *Script and Story
  • *Approach to the Creative Challenge (use of ‘yo-yo’)
  • *Production Value
  • *Design, including graphics, special effects, production design, sets, costumes, etc.
  • *Overall Impact




If your film deals with sensitive topics, please be aware we do not wish to offend the audience. The use of tension and conflict can be portrayed without excessive use of violence, weapons and/or explicit language. You may choose to explore these themes but please note, only projects that do so with a sense of artistic integrity and respect for their audience will be considered as top contenders. 

Contact brad@indiegrants.org with questions. Like the YFP Facebook page for contest announcements, or sign-up for our email list here for updates. And view last year's Top 12 screening with the winning films and Q&A with the filmmakers here.




TERMS & CONDITIONS: The following terms and conditions govern the submission of each short film Entry to the South Carolina Young Filmmakers Project filmmaking contest. By submitting an Entry, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions, Contest Rules, and the decisions of the South Carolina Film Commission, Trident Technical College, Indie Grants, and their judges, and that you and your Entry satisfy all eligibility requirements. If under 18 years of age, you guarantee that you have received express permission from a parent or guardian to participate in the contest, and to adhere to all terms and conditions. (Parent or guardian digital signature is required on your submission form.)

By entering, you promise that you are the primary creator of your Entry, and that all creative and story elements (photography, characters, script, etc.), were created by you as a high-school student, and/or other high school student collaborators.

It is your sole responsibility to secure authorization and/or permission from 1) the copyright owner(s) of any and all trademarked and/or copyrighted content or materials included within the submitted Entry; 2) the property owners or managers of any locations used; and 3) each person that appears in your Entry. Copies of such authorizations and permissions must be submitted upon request. By submitting an Entry, you represent that the Entry is your original creation and is your sole and exclusive intellectual property.

You maintain ownership of your Entry and are responsible for its production. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless the South Carolina Film Commission, Trident Technical College and Indie Grants for any action,claim, or liability  brought by any person or organization against the indemnities due to or arising out of your Entry, including but not limited to trademark, copyright, or any other intellectual property rights, right of publicity, right of privacy, or defamation. You agree that the South Carolina Film Commission, Trident Technical College, and Indie Grants will have no liability for any loss, injury, or damage to property or to person resulting from the production of your Entry. 

You agree that the decisions of the judges when it comes to placement of your Entry is final, and that awarding of prizes, placement, and qualification are at the sole discretion of the South Carolina Film Commission, Trident Technical College, Indie Grants, and their judges. Entries that do not follow all Contest Rules, guidelines and Terms & Conditions may be disqualified at any time.

You agree to allow Indie Grants, the South Carolina Film Commission, and Trident Technical College to exhibit your Entry as part of contest screenings, programs, on-line presence, and any other promotional purposes. You also allow those parties to use your image captured during official contest events (such as screenings) for promotional purposes. 

By submitting an entry, you grant to the South Carolina Film Commission, Trident Technical College and Indie Grants (“Released Parties”) the perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive and fully sub-licensable right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, combine with other works, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, edit and display such Entry (in whole or part) including, without limitation, the names and likenesses of any persons or locations embodied therein, and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed. You also allow those Released Parties the use of your name, voice, performance, photograph/Film, image and/or likeness for programming, advertising, publicity and promotional purposes in any and all media, now or hereafter known, worldwide, including without limitation, on the Internet, and in perpetuity by the Contest and its designees, without compensation (unless prohibited by law) or additional consents from the Entrant or any third party and without prior notice, approval or inspection.  

You agree to release, indemnify, and hold harmless the South Carolina Film Commission, Trident Technical College, and Indie Grants from all claims that any advertising, presentation, web content, or any other material subsequently produced, presented, and/or prepared by or on behalf of the three named entities infringes on the right of Entrant’s work as contained in this Entry.


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