Advancing the Interests of Animals International Short Film Contest for Youth


About the contest:

This is a film contest for youths designed to allow them to produce original films which promote compassion and respect for all living creatures.

There will be 3 age groups (under 14 years old, 14 to 17, and 18 to 21). See below for details on age categories. Films will be no longer than 3 minutes total including credits.

This is an international contest open to any one who meets the age requirements and follows the rules outlined below.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the winner and runner-up in each category. In addition, winning films will be screened at the annual Advancing the Interests of Animals Gala and winning contestants will be featured guests on the nationally syndicated radio show, Animals Today. (

Purpose of this contest:

The purpose of this contest is to inspire young filmmakers to create compelling videos which promote a greater feeling of respect and compassion towards animals.  Examples may include but are not limited to animals in nature, environmental protection, human-animal bond, domestic animals, animals in agriculture, animals in the entertainment industry.

Rules, Participants and Eligibility

1.       Age categories: There are 3 age categories: Junior, Teen, and Young Adult. If on the day you submit (send) your film, your 14th birthday has not yet been reached, then enter in the Junior category. If on the day you submit your film you are 14 years old or older and have not yet reached your 18th birthday, then enter in the Teen category. If on the day you submit your film you are 18 years old or older and have not yet reached your 22nd birthday, enter in the Young Adult Category.

2.      Contestants must complete and submit an entry form

3.        Contestants must complete a filmmaker profile

4.      For minors, a parent or guardian of the contestant must complete the attestation form.

Video Guidelines:

1.       To be eligible for consideration for this contest, video submissions must be no longer than 3 minutes in length in its entirety.

2.       Submissions must include media (photography, music, video, etc) for which the filmmaker owns or has written permission to use.  (Any submission containing content without permission/license will not be accepted).

3.      The format of the video is at the discretion of the filmmaker and may be, documentary style, artistic, public service announcement, animation, and so on.

4.       Depictions of animal cruelty are permitted if they serve the purposes of the film provided that the footage was already in existence (either from undercover investigations or an animal welfare site, etc.) and not staged or in any way created by the filmmakers.

5.      General content guidelines: To maximize your chance of success in this contest, please bear in mind our mission and vision when creating your film: The mission of Advancing the Interests of Animals is to improve the lives of animals and to encourage increased compassion and respect for all living creatures. We act directly with focused campaigns to help animals, and through a variety of educational activities and informational efforts. Our vision is to be an effective, passionate and nationally respected advocate for all animals.

6.      English language. Also keep in mind this contest is based in the United States. Films in languages other than English are welcome, but the judges will view the appropriate and effective use of subtitles favorably.

Contest timeline:

Aug 01, 2012  –  video contest begins  – submissions are now accepted

Nov 30, 2012  –  deadline for receiving submissions.

Dec 01, 2012  –  judging begins

Jan 15, 2013   –  winners are announced


1.       Submissions must contain: 2 DVDs of the film, a completed film Information form, and (for minors) an attestation form and submission fee.


2.       Completed submissions must be mailed or shipped and received by the deadline to be eligible. The mailing address is:

Advancing the Interests of Animals

PO Box 5066

Palm Springs, CA 92263-5066


Please note that we will not accept on-line submissions or utilize Internet based video applications such as YouTube and Vimeo.  Videos submitted or published elsewhere are ineligible and will not be accepted. One submission per filmmaker is permitted.

Submission fee is US$35.00 per submission. (Note need to have mechanism for foreign submissions)


Legal Release:

Whether a video entry is selected as a winner or not, upon submission into the contest participants:

a) give Advancing the Interests of Animals, its staff or affiliates unrestricted right and permission to copyright and use, re-use, publish, and republish their video entry in online and print publications, presentations, television, radio, or in any other way that Advancing the Interests of Animals sees fit without notification, permission, or compensation.

b) relinquish any right that they may have to examine or approve the completed product or products or the advertising copy or printed matter that may be used in conjunction therewith or the use to which it may be applied.

c) affirm that they are submitting their video with the approval of a parent/guardian  over the age of majority who has the right to contract in their own name.

d) have read the above authorization, release and agreement, prior to its execution; and fully understands the contents thereo


  • Judging will be conducted by the Advancing the Interests of Animals Short Film Contest for Youths selection committee and its designees.
  • All decisions are final. Submissions will be kept private until judging is final.
  • The video entries will be judged based upon the following criteria:

1.      Relevance to the theme of the contest

2.      Originality and creativity

3.      Overall quality of submission


Awards and prizes:

There will be one winner and one runner-up in each category.

Winners will receive $1000.  Runners-up will receive $250.

Winning submissions will be screened at the Advancing the Interests of Animals gala.

Winners will also be invited to be guests on the Animals Today radio show.


Contestant Certification:

By submitting your video, you are certifying that you acknowledge and agree to comply with all of the rules and regulations set forth by the Advancing the Interests of Animals International Youth short Film Contest.

Contests are void where prohibited by law. The contestants assume the total responsibility of knowing their local laws in regard to video contests and are subject to any local, state, national or international laws. Advancing the Interests of Animals accepts no responsibility for making these individual legal determinations.

Agreement to Rules:

Participation in the Advancing the Interests of Animals International Short Film Contest for Youth by submitting a video and completing the online registration materials constitutes your unconditional agreements to the official rules and the decisions of the administrators and judges, which are final.

About Advancing the Interests of Animal    

In 2001, ophthalmologist Lori Kirshner, a lifelong devoted animal lover, decided to take action for animals in need by starting the non-profit organization, Desert Paws. Its yearly 5K race in Palm Springs raised needed funds for spay and neuter services and helped to establish the organization’s reputation as a vocal and effective advocate for domestic animals. Along with husband Dr. Peter Spiegel and executive Hal Ball, the organization steadily grew over the next decade, improving the lives of countless cats and dogs in and around the Coachella Valley.

Now, ten years later, after providing tens of thousands of dollars in grants to various groups to support free spay and neuter, vaccination, and animal abuse educational services, the organization – with a solid history that includes the popular Animals Today radio show and countless animal advocacy efforts – has a new name (Advancing the Interests of Animals) and expanded goals (to help all animals by promoting greater compassion and respect for them). A dinner gala honoring local animal advocates and featuring advisory board member Barry Manilow served as the public announcement of the group’s national expansion.

“The new name reflects our expanded mission, which aims to help all animals by promoting greater compassion and respect for them,” says Dr. Kirshner. “We are going to engage in both informational and grassroots campaigns. Plus, we have assembled a stellar advisory board consisting of regional animal advocates as well as internationally acclaimed leaders.”

The Animals Today radio show is one of AIA’s many campaigns to help animals.

“I invite everyone to tune in,” says Dr. Kirshner.  “On the show, we have met some of the most fascinating, inspiring and dedicated people you will ever encounter.”

The nationally syndicated show is streamed online and then archived as a free podcast for anyone in the world to enjoy, share and download at

To learn more about the nonprofit Advancing the Interests of Animals, please visit their new website or e-mail them at

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