Spring Film Challenge


The Spring 2021 Film Challenge was held entirely online, and kicked off on Wednesday, March 17, at 8am. Participants had two weeks to produce and submit their short films, which were due by 11:59pm on Wednesday, March 31. There are three categories this year (see descriptions below). Winning films are listed at the bottom of this page.

The CHALLENGE ITEMS for the first two categories are:

- Five-by-Five: the theme is age and the prop requirement is wheels.
- Short Film: the theme is authenticity and the prop requirement is water.

Each category's theme could take on any number of forms, and should inform the overall story of the film. The prop should have some kind of substantial role in the film -- that is, do something interesting with it! (don't just set it on a table or in the background of a shot)


    Short-Short category: Five-by-Five - create a short-short consisting of five different shots, each lasting five seconds, for a total time of 25 seconds (not counting titles and credits). Theme provided upon kick-off (see above_.

    Short category – create a short film spanning a minimum 1 minute and maximum 5 minutes (not counting titles and credits). Theme provided upon kick-off (see above).

    Ad category – (for MKTG and COMS/PR students) create a 30-second ad for a product. Any specific category or product requirements will be provided by the instructor.

There will be separately judged tiers for RU and High School students in the short-short and short categories. Movies will be screened by a judges' panel for award consideration. All entries will be screened at an online award ceremony on Tuesday, April 27 at 5:30pm (Zoom link TBA).


- Participants will upload their completed movie to YouTube, after which they will fill out the ONLINE SUBMISSION FORM.

Check out the updated Spring Film Challenge OFFICIAL GUIDELINES. See below for filmmaking resources and a short 'getting started' video.' Please direct questions to citl@radford.edu.



Read the short Film As Curriculum article to learn about interdisciplinary applications of short film.



If you are new to moviemaking or simply need some guidance, check the short video directly below to learn how to get started. In addtition, there are numerous resources further down the page: how-to's, tips and tricks, software tutorials, and related info.

Additional Resources

Producing Your Movie

Vimeo Video School - visit the lessons area to view three short, general tutorials on preparing for, shooting and editing video. Also visit the main area to view other people's short films and to check out their weekend challenges, in case you want to try one for practice.

Advertisements/Commercials - check out this sample script and the resulting video, as well as this guide for how to write a basic script. In addition, check out some simple, creative examples like this short ad on YouTube, or this PSA on texting on the Ad Council website.

McConnell Library - students can checkout camcorders, tripods, DSLR cameras, and audio recorders. The default period is three days, and it's a good idea to make a reservation in advance. You might also consider spending some time with the camera you'll be using before you check it out to shoot your movie.

Apple iMovie Tutorial 2017 - a brief, narrated video tutorial on using Apple's iMovie. If you're a Mac user, this is for you. While the latest version differs a bit, most of the features are the same.

Audacity - a really great, freeware audio editor for Windows or Mac. Good for recording voice, mixing multiple tracks together, special audio effects. etc. Click link to download. If you need help getting started, download the Audacity quick reference.

CITL - on the second floor McConnell Library. If you need to speak with someone about questions you have or how to do something -- or, if you need access to a computer for editing, then this is the place. Email citl@radford.edu with general questions, or to set up an appointment with one of our staff, or to make a reservation to use a video editing station or learn more about video software.

CITL Studio One - also in the CITL, this is a small audio and video production space for producing voice work, green/black/white screen video, audio and video presentations, VR gaming and other related activities. Training and appointments necessary. Email citl@radford.edu to find out more.

DSLR video tips - a short document containing tips for using a DSLR camera to shoot video. Anyone with questions can also email citl@radford.edu for info or to set up an appointment to talk about it.

Additional Media

Creative Commons Search - use to search Flickr, Google, SoundCloud, etc., for open-license images and audio to use in your movie.

The Free Sound Project - use to find audio and sound effects for your movie (you have to sign up to download stuff, but it's free).

FindSounds.com - use to find sound effects (household, nature, etc.) to use in your movie. TIP: search for 16-bit/44100 format WAV or AIF files.

The Internet Archive - use to find public domain or open-license media to use in your movie.

Past years' winners ...

Cruisin' Shoes

Daddy's Little Ransom

Super Crayon

2021 festival awards:


Best Use Of Music In Ad
- FIRST PLACE (tie): Zachary Lacroix, Common Sense and Danielle Hogue, Wanderlust
- SECOND PLACE: Kristen Turner, Friendship Is Magic
THIRD PLACE: Brett Armentrout, Sunsets

Most Convincing/Persuasive Ad
- FIRST PLACE: Carter Kilby, Danny Dillon, It's A Doggie Doggie World
- SECOND PLACE (tie): Haley Hickenbottom, Give A Hug, Get A Hug and Lexi Houk and Gia Degliobizzi, Best Way To End Your Day
- THIRD PLACE: Ashton Stephens, The Little Things in Life 

Most Attention-Getting Ad
- FIRST PLACE (tie): Ashton Stephens, The Little Things in Life and William Green, Medicine Of Laughter
SECOND PLACE (tie): Nicolette Gaboriault-Whitcomb, Mask Freedom and Alex Matlock, Mother Nature
- THIRD PLACE (tie): Kayla Courtney, The Joys Of Dancing and Zachary Lacroix, Common Sense

Best Ad
- FIRST PLACE (tie): Brody Leake, Radford Can Help and William Green, Medicine Of Laughter
SECOND PLACE (tie): Haley Hickenbottom, Give A Hug, Get A Hug and Carter Kilby, Danny Dillon, It's A Doggie Doggie World
- THIRD PLACE (tie): Lexi Houk and Gia Degliobizzi, Best Way To End Your Day and Danielle Hogue, Wanderlust


Best Picture: Kaydence Addision, Lose My Mind


Best Picture:  Jaden Castillo, Will Greene, Owen Saunders, Riding Through Life
Runner-Up:  Tyler H and Eli B, Old Milk


Sweep Award (Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Performance (Stephanie Hazelhoff), Best Director (Brooke Parish), Best Use Of Prop): Stephanie Hazelhoff and Brooke Parish, My Worst Enemy


Best Picture:  Garrett Ludwig, Matt Lunga, Colin Mills, Tires Through Time