39th Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival - May 15-23, 2020NEXTWAVE: 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 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 film industry professionals.

How to Submit

Submissions for the 2020 festival are now closed. Submitters will be notified of an official decision by March 12, 2020.

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

If you are having difficulty submitting your film, please contact submissions@mspfilm.org.

Eligibility and Guidelines

  • Films must be shot, directed, and produced by youth age 18 and under. Adult participation must be limited to an advisory or acting role.
  • Films must have been completed after January 1, 2019.
  • Films must be 10 minutes or less.
  • Films 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).
  • Films can be shot on any type of video camera.
  • Films can be produced in any language but need to have English subtitles for submission review and festival presentation.
  • Films 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.

Technical Requirements

  • Upon selection, submitters must provide festival staff with a high resolution video file for theater exhibition (.mov preferred).


Invited films will screen at the 2020 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 December 13, 2019. Filmmakers will be notified of an official decision by March 12, 2020. Notifications will be sent by email to the primary contact listed on the submission form.

MSPIFF Contact Information:
Phone: (612) 331-7563
Email: submissions@mspfilm.org