Looking for the 2017-2018 film festival information? We are awaiting confirmation of funding for this year. We do expect it but need to wait until it is official before we kick-off. The theme and guidelines are anticipated to essentially be the same as last year. If you are thinking about participating, the information below can get you started. If you haven't been in touch with Lori Langlois yet and want to be notified when we have the green light, send her an email at 

Thanks for your patience. (Last updated 10/24/17)

Through Our Eyes

View pictures and winning films here!

The theme of the 2016-2017 North Country Student Film Festival, Through Our Eyes, sought to give students a voice to highlight the positives of the region. From people to place, to creative ideas and the ways people are working towards solutions, student teams were invited to submit up to 2 films in the categories outlined below.

The primary sponsor for the film festival was the North of the 44th project. All of the North Country’s schools are situated north of the 44th parallel. North of the 44thers seek to shift the way we think about our region, to celebrate what is right, and to build from our strengths. This theme exposes the audience to new concepts, stories, ideas, and ways of thinking about the region North of the 44th. 

Film Categories:

  • Innovation North of the 44th
  • Life North of the 44th
  • The Future We Envision North of the 44th

Download category descriptions

View films from past film festivals.




2016 - 2017 Entry Rules & Guidelines

Award Categories

The judges are looking for excellent story telling, strong production value, and original work created by student teams. This year's festival will recognize*:

  • At least one film for each category will be recognized (Innovation, Life, Future).
  • Additionally, awards will be given for:
    • Best Technical Merit: Overall combination of film elements which include editing components of effective transitions, steady shots, and the use of audio and/or sound effects.
    • Best Cinematography: Visual impact, composition, videography and framing of shots to contribute an overall dramatic effect while conveying a compelling message.
    • Best Picture: Overall creativity, technical merit, sophistication and all-around excellence in production and storytelling.
    • Best Originality: The film that showed something unanticipated and leaves the audience wanting more.

*Award categories are subject to change depending on the number and quality films submitted. 




Entry into the film festival is free and it is open to students in grades 4-8 (two levels of competition). Eligible schools are New Hampshire SAUs 3, 7, 9, 20, 23, 35, 36, 58, 68, 77 & 84, as well as bordering schools in Vermont and Maine. Charter and private schools and home-schoolers from the North Country region are invited to participate as well. Other schools willing to travel to the festival may contact NCES about the possibility of being included.


New this year, there will be two levels of participation, a grades 4-5-6 competition and a grades 7 & 8 competition. Students in the 6th grade may participate with 7th & 8th grades in the 7-8th grade competition if that aligns better with the configuration of your school.

Local Team Advisor Requirement

The local team adviser must be a member of the staff at the school. The adviser does not necessarily need to be skilled in making videos since this is a student production. A parent or community member can assist, but a school representative must serve as the official contact person.There can be more than one adviser in a school working with teams. However, if there is more than one local team adviser per school, the stipend may need to be split (this will depend on the total number of schools and whether additional local funding is secured).

Teams/Film Crew

The size of the team, the film crew working behind the camera, producing, and editing, is recommended to be 2 to 4 students. The minimum is 2 students. It is preferred that the team consist of no more than 6 students, but that is at the discretion of local team adviser. The team can consist of students from any combination of grades, but a student can only be on one team. There is no limit on the number of teams per school. Only acting or appearing in a film does not count as being on a team; the student must be involved in the creation of the film (writing, producing, editing, filming, researching, etc). Each team may submit up to two video entries. This festival is an educational event. We encourage teachers, artists, and advisers to work with students, particularly in identifying and refining the focus of the film. However, production and editorial decisions must be made by students. 

Initial School Registration by November 23, 2017

The adult team adviser must register via the School Registration Form (download here). Please submit the number of anticipated students/teams to help us plan accordingly. It is okay if the final submission groupings end up slightly different. If you miss this deadline, you can still participate, but you still need to complete the School Registration Form.

Film Submission Deadline: Friday, February 17, 2017

Uploading deadline is midnight, February 17, 2017. If you wish to upload films, contact Lori Langlois for a link to your school's upload folder. Physical entries on a DVD or USB must be delivered to NCES by 4:00 PM on or before Friday, February 17, 2017.  Mailed films should be sent to Lori Langlois, Film Festival Entry, North Country Education Services, 300 Gorham Hill Road, Gorham, NH 03581 and must be post-marked by February 17th. Entries that are mailed and not received by the following week may not be considered.

An Entry Form must be submitted for each film.

Please note, at your discretion, you many use an earlier internal deadline if it coincides better with class schedules, semester or project periods. 

Film/Video Requirements

The actual video production and editorial decisions must be made by the students. Entries must have a run time of no longer than 2 minutes including the credits. 

Students may use whatever software, hardware and equipment they have available. The final entry must be in a format supported by YouTube (see supported file formats). The entire production must be the work of the student team entering the competition. There is no age limit for actors, documentary subjects, or musicians who may appear in the production.

Films should NOT include the full real names of students within the film, including in the credits. Use first names only in the credits. For minors appearing in the film, use first names only or fictitious names.

Films should conform to a "G" (preferably) or "PG" rating as described by the Motion Picture Association of America:

There are no minimums or limits on the number people in the film (the cast). We strongly discourage the sole use of a series of images/slides (because that's a slideshow, not a film). Live-action, animation, and stop-motion-animation, or a mix of these, are allowed.



The Local Team Adviser should collect and keep on file a signed Talent Media Consent and Release Form from all talent/actors (parent signature for minors) appearing in the films. Obtaining this permission is to protect you and the school. When you submit a film, you as the Local Team Adviser are assuring that you have obtained these permissions.


Film Festival: Public Screening & Awards

The date for the festival will be a Saturday, April 8, 2017 from 10:00 to 12:00 at the Rialto Theatre in Lancaster, NH. Parents and families are welcome to attend and NCES will provide you with the invitations. Transportation will not be provided. Teams do not need to be present to receive an award.


Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia

Students are encouraged to use original music, copyright free music, or music they have obtained permission to use, however, use of copyright materials is allowable per the Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia. A reference chart is available here.
Please note: After the festival, winning video will be posted the NCES YouTube channel.  Copyrighted music is often stripped automatically by YouTube and this may result in the removal of all audio from a film using non-original music.


Terms & Conditions of Entry:

By participating in the North Country Middle School Film Festival, you agree that,

  1. NCES reserves all the rights to screen or not to screen any film(s) for any reason it deems valid. 
  2. All films must be an original work of students.
  3. NCES retains all the rights to the films received and may show these for publicity and educational purposes anywhere in the world using any medium.
  4. The award decisions are final.


  1. The rules herein are subject to change without prior notice.
  2. NCES shall make all reasonable efforts to inform participating schools of any change in these rules & guidelines, whether minor or major, but no guarantees are made or assumed that such intimation will be given.
  3. You are requested to visit this page regularly to identify, read, understand and comply with any change in the rules & guidelines of this competition.


Film festival coordinator: Lori Langlois,, 603-466-5437.

Tips for Filmmakers