Category Max. Time Description
2-8 min.
A film that creates continuous motion by means of rapid display of a sequence of static images that minimally differ from each other. Animations may be Digital, Hand-Drawn, or Stop-Motion.
Broadcast News
3-8 min.
A newscast with focus on the visual medium, suited for television or Internet.
30-60 sec.
(PSA = Public Service Announcement). Announcements intended for television or the Internet that aim to persuade or sell a product or influence the public toward a cause or action.
5-8 min.
Non-fictional film to specifically instruct how to do something, following a specific process.
5-8 min.
Non-fictional film intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instructing, informing or maintaining a historical record.
3-8 min.
An artistic filmmaking practice that focuses on sensory aesthetics and is often characterized by the use of various abstract techniques (out-of-focus, rapid cuts, etc.), the absence of linear narrative, and often has the goal of placing a viewer in a thoughtful space.
Music Video
2-5 min.
A multimedia expression centered around a piece of music.
5-8 min.
A film that depicts a fictional or fictionalized story or event, framed within humorous, serious, or science fiction/fantasy genre.

Film FAQs

Each school will submit one or more entries through Film Freeway.

  • Any middle or high school may participate by joining the WHSFA.
  • From Feb. 18-Mar. 16, advisors register online, with an accurate roster of student and adjudicator names, certifying interscholastic eligibility (usually handled by an athletic/activities director or an administrator), and assigning students to specific film entries. During that window of dates, coaches may log back in and make changes to registration, up until they submit videos of student presentations (due April 25). See  registration instructions in the Film Handbook.
  • The festival will be asynchronously adjudicated. The number of scores above a certain threshold will determine awards.

No. Each new school year must begin with a new work; however, production work may commence June 1 and submitted during the following school year.

Films will be released for all participating schools to view. Watch for more details during the spring semester 2022.

No. That would be a violation of copyright law, unless express permission is attained from the copyright holder/licensing agency.

Only if permission and royalties have been paid to the copyright holder/licensing agency. BMI and other licensing agencies may provide a school license, often obtained through music educators and/or activity/athletic directors through a special agreement with NFHS. Learn more here >>

One adjudicator is required for each film entry submitted.

Homeschool students may either participate with an area public or private school,** or as part of a homeschool association that joins the WHSFA.

**WHSFA supports the local school district policy for interscholastic athletics/academic contests. For example, if a home-schooled student is allowed to join the basketball team, a home-schooled student may participate in Theatre, Speech, and Debate activities.

Here is the official policy from the WHSFA’s Constitution/Bylaws:

SECTION III: Membership

Wisconsin homeschooled/online/virtual school students:

  1. Conditions: Students must be members of a homeschool association or enrolled full time in an online school. They cannot participate individually, unless as part of their attendance-area school district, if the school district allows participation.
  2. Procedures:
    1. Homeschooling associations may apply for membership by registering and paying the yearly dues. Online/virtual schools headquartered in Wisconsin may apply under the same conditions.
    2. As members, their students are eligible to participate in all WHSFA events in the District/Section where the homeschool association is located. Students living in Wisconsin who are enrolled in online/virtual schools that are members of WHSFA may participate in the subdistrict and district festivals in which the online/virtual school is located.

If you're not affiliated with a particular school, or would like to offer your adjudicating services to additional schools and contests, please contact our office.

Each summer, advisory committees for each activity meet to review the previous contest season and propose changes to the Board of Control. Contact us with concerns and/or suggestions, and we will forward these to the respective committee(s).


Updated Feb. 8, 2022.

Contest Timeline