Innovate@BU Impact Film Competition

angela-compagnone-574156-unsplashNew ideas come in all shapes in sizes: new businesses, nonprofits, community service, advocacy, arts and culture projects, and more. Despite their differences on the outside, every new idea has at least two things in common – they have their own story and seek to create impact.

This summer, Innovate@BU is launching the Impact Film Competition. We’re asking current BU students to create a 90-second flm that tells the story of a person, place, thing, or idea that is creating impact.

Whether you’re studying film-making, inspired by a fellow BU Terrier or local changemaker, or you’re working on an idea of your own, we want you to tell us a story of impact.

Participants will have the chance to win a cash prize for the filmmaking team and for the featured subject of their film! Check out judging and prize details below.

When: May 1 – October 2018

  • May 1, 2018: Start by registering for the Impact Film Competition and get going! You have all summer to create your 90-second film.
  • September 21, 2018: Deadline to submit final films via Film Freeway.
  • October 2018 (date to be confirmed): Impact Film Competition Screening Celebration!


  • Current BU students or a Class of 2018 graduate. You can work on your own or as a team.

What next:

Register here!

The film you create should

  • tell a story of a either a person, place, thing, or idea that is creating impact.
  • be 90 seconds or less and shot in 16:9 format (landscape) and include captions
  • be no larger than 10GB.
  • be inspiring and engaging.
  • be authentic and original content.
  • be respectful and empowering of those impacted by the story you’re telling.
  • gain permission of individuals or institutions that are featured in the film. (A template media release will be provided.)
  • be a fun experience for you!
  • be submitted on our Film Freeway site by September 21, 2018. 

The film you create could:

  • be a collection of interviews and/or still photos.
  • be animated. 
  • use subtitles (especially if content is not in English).
  • use AR/VR technology.
  • be an extension of something you worked on for a class, student club, or internship (with permission).  
  • be completed on your own or in collaboration with others.
  • We’re open to interpretation. Impact comes in all forms. Wow us with your creativity!

The film you create shouldn’t:

  • be a pitch or ask for funding.
  • portray stereotypes, use sensationalism, or exploit others/a community. See helpful articles in the Resources section. 
  • be an overwhelming process. We want you to have fun creating it!


All entered films will be shown at the Innovate@BU Impact Film Competition viewing party in October 2018 (date TBA). First and second place winners will be chosen in two categories: Most Inspirational and Most Creative.

Winners will be chosen by the live audience at the Innovate@BU Impact Film Competition screening celebration on Thursday, October 11, 2018 (to be confirmed). The audience will use a mobile web app to vote. In the event of a tie, the audience will re-vote for the top teams with the tied score.

  1. Most Inspirational Film
  2. Most Creative Film

First Prize of each category receives: 

  • $500 to the film creator(s).
  • $500 to the person, place, thing, or idea featured in your film

Second Prize of each category:

  • $250 to the film creator(s).
  • $250 to the person, place, thing, or idea featured in your film

The odds of winning a prize are determined by the number of entries received.  Entrants need not be present to win. Cash prizes will be distributed to winners within 60 days of the viewing party, pending completion of necessary paperwork by winner(s).