The San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival (SFIOFF) Student Film Competition gives students a chance to make a big splash and tell their own stories about the ocean while building their creativity and filmmaking skills.

Submissions for the 6th Annual Student Film Competition at the 2017 SFIOFF
will be accepted

starting September 1, 2016!

The SFIOFF welcomes short films (five minutes or less) from students in grades 6 through 12. Stay tuned for more information about the rules and how to submit your student film.

2016 Student Film Winners

Announcing the winners of the 5th 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 this year. 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

Start Planning for Next Year

The submissions period for the 6th Annual SFC at the 2017 SFIOFF will open later this year. Stay tuned for more information: Sign up for our mailing list (below) and follow us on Facebook and Twitter so you can be among the first to know!

Judging and Prizes

All submissions are judged by an elite jury of professional filmmakers and ocean conservationists. The three top winners in each category—middle school and high school—receive a cash prize and have their films screened at the SFIOFF.

Learn more about the rules and eligibility.


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

  • Ocean environments    
  • Ocean wildlife
  • Ocean science    
  • Our land-based connections to the ocean
  • Ocean cultures    
  • National Marine Sanctuaries
  • Ocean sports    
  • Ocean industries
  • Ocean history
  • Why we need the ocean

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.




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