Spring Film Challenge


The Spring 2020 Film Challenge will kick off Wednesday, March 18, at 5pm in the CITL (second floor, McConnell Library). Participants will receive a challenge that includes a line of dialog you must include, a prop that must be included and film genre. Students will have until Friday, April 3 at 5pm to submit their shorts films.

Students participating in the Ad Challenge or the High School categories of the festival will receive information and deadline details from their instructor.

The festival screening will be held on Monday, April 27 at 5:30pm at the Radford Theatre in downtown Radford (free and open to the public). Awards will be presented at the festival.



- Students participating in the Short Film category should submit their films in person at the CITL no later than 5pm on Friday, April 3rd. Do not show up after 5pm, as the office will be closed (!) 

- Students participating in the Advertising category should upload their video to Vimeo (www.vimeo.com, creating an account is free) and then submit an ONLINE SUBMISSION FORM with a link to your video (link will activate after challenge kick-off). Alternately, if you want to submit your film in person you may do so and fill out a submission on-site.

Check out the updated Spring 2020 Film Challenge OFFICIAL GUIDELINES as well as the Advertising Category Official Guidelines, as well as FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS. 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

2019 festival awards:


Best Product Ad Award
- Anna Strachan, Abigail Williams, Ice Plates
Karenna Bays, Wind Wagon
Alexis Friedman, Beeping Backup Shoes
India Johnson, Kirby Trent, TV Remote Dumbbell 

Best Makerspace Ad Award
Damian Yupari, Pollu Cheplik, James Remember's His Girlfriend's Birthday
Liz Hammons, Kenzie Moore, Jordan Whelan, A Space For Getting Your Stuff Together
Tyla Maiden, Ruth Pokuaa, Radford's Hidden Gem
Hermela Sambu, The Solution To Your Problems

SHORT FILM CATEGORY (students drew scenes from famous films out of a hat to re-make):

Best Cinematograpy: Nebiyou Elias, Vertigo
Best Use Of Prop: Trae Price, Pulp Fiction
Best Performance: Zelina Zangieva, Vertigo
Special Effects Award: Leah Fleig, Alien
Best Director: Robel Moges, Vertigo
Best Picture: Vertigo


2018 festival awards:


Best Costume: Umbrella Man vs. Robo-Man
Best Editing: The Red Scarf
Best Performance in a Lead Role: Xavier Hayes, The Murderer From Appletraz
Best Director: Tessa Potter and Maddie Rader, The Love Bug
Best Film: The Love Bug


Best Cinematography: Stephen Mills, You Know What You Did
Best Editing: Noah Scheider, Jack Scott and Will Alderman, Hopper
Best Performance in a Lead Role: Stephen Mills, Old Friends
Best Performance in a Supporting Role: Jack Scott, Hopper
Best Director: Madison Griffin and Trae D. Price, You Know What You Did
Best Film: Stephen Mills (Producer), You Know What You Did