Film Contest: FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of this film contest is to break down the barriers associated with mental health stigma and inspire individuals to seek support. These films will not only educate and inform but also serve as a catalyst for change, encouraging empathy, compassion, and a community-wide commitment to mental well-being.
*Pilot Program: The 2023 pilot film contest is open to all Westfield High School students.
In 2024, The contest is open to Hamilton County, IN - high school students or individuals that are high school age to age 25.
Films should be approximately 60 seconds in length - no less than 50 seconds and no more than 60 seconds (Including the end slate), while animations should be around 30 seconds long.
There are many mental health topics you can create a film on but it is important that our guidelines are followed. The guidelines and criteria for film submission include details regarding the format and filesize, content and disqulaifying content. This information can be found here.
Judges will select a 60-second (or 30-second animation) mental health film to win $500 for either a school mental health program or a mental health organization of filmmaker’s choice - 501(c)(3) requirement. The $500 prize is from the CICF/Hamilton County Community Foundation.
All films are submitted via filmfreeway.com. Detailed submission guidelines are outlined here.
There is no fee for participation.
Yes, the films will be judged by a panel from the Hamilton County Community Foundation (Stigma working group) and folks from the field of mental health and filmmaking. The winners will be selected based on criteria such as creativity, storytelling, production quality, and the ability to effectively address mental health topics.


See the offical judging form for suicide prevcention here.


See the offical judging form for mental health matters here.
The exact date for announcing the winners will be communicated via email to all participants.
You can submit more than one film or animation.
Collaborative projects are welcomed and encouraged. A maximum of 8 members can be on the team.
Winning and selected films may be used for public screenings, educational purposes, or raising awareness about mental health. We will inform participants about the intended use of the films via email and at that time, request that a release form is signed. It is our hope that the attitudes and conversations of the younger generation trickles up to our entire community.
We allow this as long as all the guidelines are met and you meet the qualifying age both at the time of making the film and at the time of submitting the film.
Content that promotes violence, hatred, or violates any laws or regulations is not allowed. There are details on all other disqualifying content found here.
This information is used solely for the purposes of the contest and related communications.
By submitting using https://filmfreeway.com/DirectYourHeartsFilmContest - you have the option to withdraw your film from consideration.

Email: help@directyourhearts.com

Avoid using copyrighted material without proper authorization. Unless you have obtained necessary permissions or your usage falls under fair use, create original content or use copyright-free material for your film.

Agreement: No part of the film is, or will be, actionable for defamation or violate any right of privacy or publicity of any person, and the full use of the rights in the film will not violate any rights, including copyright or moral rights, of any person, firm, or corporation; and the film is not the subject of any litigation nor is it threatened by any claim or litigation.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact us:

Email: help@directyourhearts.com

Expect a reply the same day or within 24 hours.

If we choose your film for a public campaign, we will reach back out to you for signature on a release form. If you will be filming at a public location, please have a location contract signed. An example contract can be found here.
Simply follow the steps as seen on this Getting Started Flyer.
Do not forget to sign-up! The information can be updated at any time.