The 6th Annual International Student Film Competition gives students a chance to tell their own stories about the ocean while building their creativity, encouraging them to explore the ocean and introducing them to the exciting world of becoming a filmmaker.

Submissions for the 6th Annual Student Film Competition at the 2017 IOFF
are now closed.

Announcements for the top finalists will be made on January 26, 2017.


The film competition is open to middle school and high school students around the world. The criteria for being accepted to the competition also requires that the films be five minutes or less in duration, and touch upon some subject matter regarding the ocean.  The Call for Entry for the 2018 Film Festival will open on August 1, 2017.  If you have any questions, please email us at sfc@oceanfilmfest.org.


Films must be ocean-related and touch upon any of these categories: 

  • Ocean environments    
  • Ocean wildlife
  • Ocean science    
  • Ocean cultures    
  • National Marine Sanctuaries
  • Ocean sports    
  • Ocean industries
  • Ocean history
  • Ocean conservation issues, i.e. climate change, pollution, overfishing, marine debris.

Winning films will be chosen on the basis of creativity and the ability to tell a story that leaves the audience better informed about or moved by the ocean.


All submissions will be judged by an elite jury of professional filmmakers and ocean conservationists. The three top winners in each category—middle school and high school—will be eligible to win cash prizes up to $500.  The top finalists in each category will have their films presented on the big screen during the SFC Program on Sunday, March 12, 2017 at 10:00 am and is free to attend. The winners will be announced on stage at the end of the program. We hope to see you there! 

FILM submission process

All of the instructions for submitting a film are on the 2017 Information Sheet below. We encourage you to read them first. 


Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Annual Student Film Competition! You can watch the winning films on Vimeo by clicking the titles below.

High School:

  • 1ST PLACE: How Can We Make This Right? American School of Tangier, Tangiers, Morocco
  • 2ND PLACE: Iaglo, Grade 11, Interlochen Arts Academy, Interlochen, MI
  • 3RD PLACE: The Otter Side, Grade 11, Campolindo High School, Lafayette, CA

Middle School:

Congratulations to all the winners!

2016 SFC Finalists

There were many, many great student films submitted, below are the finalists from the 5th Annual SFC.

High School:

  • Fears, Grade 11, Lafayette High School, Chesterfield, MO
  • Ocean of Inspiration, Grade 10, Tahoe Expedition Academy, Tahoe, CA
  • Oceanic Connection, Grade 10, The Branson School, Mill Valley, CA
  • Our Alpine Ocean, Grade 10, Tahoe Expedition Academy, Tahoe Vista, CA
  • The Oceans Are Now Yours, Acarkent IB Doga College, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Waveseeker, Grade 12, Hayfield Secondary School, Alexandria, VA
  • You Already Know It, St. Anthony High School, Long Beach, CA

Middle School:

  • Jaws of Life, Grade 6, Park Day School, Alameda, CA
  • The Ocean Effect, Francisco Middle School, San Francisco, CA


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The Student Film Competition is proudly sponsored by
Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Many thanks to Cordell Bank for its generous support!