• Submission Deadline: 11:59 p.m. May 6, 2016
  • Topic Announced: April 21, 2016
  • Official Contest Period: April 21-May 6, 2016

2016 Contest Information: Create a fictional or documentary short film that is no longer than 5 minutes that fits this year’s theme: “What if?” Your film must include the following:

  • A Frisbee
  • A character must say, “Keep your eye on the prize.”


  • Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on the contest deadline using MIPA’s online contest system.
  • Cost: $3 per entry
  • There is no limit on the number of teams per school, but each team can have a maximum of four students.
  • Entries should be uploaded to a video file sharing service or website. Submit a URL to your entry using the contest entry form.
    • Entries that cannot be accessed by the judges will be disqualified. This means that if your website or third-party file sharing service goes down, or if your content is locked behind a password, we cannot judge your entries.
  • Use of copyrighted music, artwork, videos or other materials without written permission of the copyright holder may violate U.S. law and MIPA’s Copyright & Plagiarism Policy. Entries that violate MIPA’s Copyright & Plagiarism Policy will be disqualified.

All creativity must take place during the “Official Contest Period.” Any creative work in advance of the competition weeks is prohibited. Creative work includes, but is not limited to:

  • Writing the script
  • Rehearsing
  • Shooting
  • Editing
  • Sound
  • Rendering

The only work to begin prior to the “Official Contest Period” is:

  • Organizing Crew
  • Organizing Reporters

All footage must be shot within the contest time period of the project. No stock footage or footage shot or created at another time may be used.

Animation and special effects are permitted, but must be created during the official contest period, (Note: Stock footage as part of a special effect in a third party special effects program is permissible if you own the copyright.)

Still photographs are permitted, provided that the team has the rights to them. The photos do need to be created during the official contest period.

Past Winners


Using MIPA’s contest entry system

  • Submit Your Entry – Pay Now – Pay now as you submit each entry (you will provide credit card information for each entry you submit)
  • Submit Your Entry – Pay by Invoice – Submit your entry, and then request an invoice to pay by purchase order or check.
    • Mail payment to: MIPA Film Challenge, MSU School of Journalism, 404 Wilson Road, Room 305, East Lansing, MI 48824


You may pay entry fees by check, purchase order or credit card.

Payment by checks or purchase orders should be postmarked by the submission deadline. Credit card payments should be completed by the deadline. If your school is slow to process checks or purchase orders, plan ahead. You can always pay fees before you submit your entries.

  • Pay by credit card when you submit each entry using the Submit Your Entry – Pay Now link above.
  • To request an invoice, allowing you to make a single payment for multiple entries/critique services:
    • Submit your entry using the Submit Your Entry – Pay by Invoice link above”.
    • Tally your entries and request an invoice using the MIPA Contest Payments & Summary Sheet form
    • Payments by mail should be sent to MIPA, MSU School of Journalism, 404 Wilson Road, Room 305, East Lansing, MI 48824. Include an itemized list of fees being paid.