43nd Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival - APRIL 11-25, 2024NEXTWAVE: YOUTH FILM COMPETITION

NEXTWAVE YOUTH FILM COMPETITION is a youth engagement and education initiative that is part of the annual Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF). The competition provides premier regional film and media exhibition opportunities to youth pursuing an interest or career in filmmaking. It is a celebration of the up-and-coming generation of cinematic story-tellers, and an opportunity for their stories to be seen by an audience of 45,000 festival-goers and industry professionals.

How to Submit

Submissions for the 2021 festival are now closed. Submitters will be notified of an official decision by April 30, 2021.

FilmFreeway is the official submission platform for Nextwave Youth Film Competition.

If you are having difficulty submitting your film, please contact

Eligibility and Guidelines

  • Submissions must be shot, directed, and produced by youth age 18 and under. Adult participation must be limited to an advisory or acting role.
  • Submissions must have been completed after January 1, 2019.
  • Submissions must be 10 minutes or less.
  • Submissions can be fiction, documentary, animation, experimental or VR.
  • Music videos will be considered providing the consent, permission, or rights for the music have been cleared or allowed by the artist(s).
  • Submissions can be shot on any type of video camera.
  • Submissions can be produced in any language but need to have English subtitles for submission review and festival presentation.
  • Submissions submitted to Nextwave must be original and not copied from others. For example, films that use unlicensed music may be disqualified from participation.
  • All minors that appear in your film must have the consent of their parent or guardian to participate and appear. For more information about release forms CLICK HERE

Technical Requirements

  • Upon selection, submitters must provide festival staff with a high resolution video file for theater exhibition (.mov preferred), a high resolution still and a brief description of the film.


Invited films will screen at the 2021 Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival and participate in the Youth Filmmaking Competition. Select films will be given awards by our Youth Jury Ages 15-18. Previous awards have included Youth Jury Favorite Film Award and Excellence in Youth Filmmaking Award.


All entries must be submitted by January 1, 2021. Filmmakers will be notified of an official decision by April 30, 2021. Notifications will be sent by email to the primary contact listed on the submission form.

MSPIFF Contact Information:
Phone: (612) 331-7563