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Teens of L.A. Film Festival | Submission Guidelines

General Guidelines


  • Try to keep audio levels consistent and balanced.
  • Dialog and interviews should be audible, understandable and free of excessive background noise or interference.
  • When recording interviews or dialog, use an external microphone placed as close to the subject as possible to improve the quality of the recording.


  • When recording video, try to avoid excessively bright or dark scenes unless used for intentional effect.
  • Use artificial lights or sunlight to help illuminate your subject--lights bounced off a wall or ceiling, or sunlight on an overcast day provides the most even, soft light.
  • Subjects should be in focus - if your camera or device offers it, manual focus is preferred.
  • Avoid bright white, green, red, or deep black as they can cause lighting problems as well as busy, repeating patterns which may appear to “vibrate”.

Copyright and Permissions

By submitting your film, you agree that you are the sole owner and producer of the work and that you have permission to use any copyrighted materials which appear in the film including music and still and moving images.

Festival Rules

  • All short films must be written, directed and edited by persons in or entering grades 6-12 AND 19 years of age or younger.
  • All filmmakers must have a Los Angeles Public Library card or Student Success Card.
  • All entries must be teen-produced, and may be either a group project or individual work.
  • Adult guidance and instruction are permissible, but the planning, production must reflect teen effort. Note, however, that adults are permitted to act in and assist with your film.
  • Films may be on any topic, but must be G or PG-rated in language and subject matter or they will be disqualified. Films will be reviewed for content.
  • Title pages and credits should be included in your film.
  • Unless relevant to the plot, please do not include bloopers in your submitted film.
  • Filmmakers are solely responsible for their film production.
  • During production, filmmakers may not obstruct the public right-of-way or film on private property without permission from the owner.
  • Use of sound or video clips from other films, television shows, music videos, etc. within your submitted work is not permitted unless those clips are in the public domain or you have received written permission from the copyright holder. Use of trademarked products or characters is also not permitted unless permission is received from the trademark owner. Filmmakers are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright and trademark owners.
  • The Teens of LA Film Fest (“TLFF”) requires all filmmakers to obtain permission to use copyrighted music in their films. Filmmakers can also use their own original music. Additionally, copyright-free, public domain, trade-friendly or Creative Commons licensed music can be used.
  • Each filmmaker may submit one film. In the case of a group project, one filmmaker should submit for the group.
  • Films submitted become the property of Teens of LA Film Fest, the Los Angeles Public Library, and the City of Los Angeles (collectively “City”).
  • The City is under no obligation to use or exhibit the submitted film(s) in any manner.
  • TLFF retains the right to accept or decline any entry, for whatever reason, without notice or explanation.

Terms and Conditions

  • The filmmaker grants to the City a perpetual, royalty-free, irrevocable, non-exclusive license to copy, distribute, create derivative works, perform, and display the film in any and all media, including, but not limited to: Showing the film(s) to the public at a future Teens of LA Film Fest event, other partner festivals and promotional events. Displaying the film, in part or in its entirety, on the website, Teens of LA Film Fest website, and Los Angeles Public Library social media sites.
  • By entering the TLFF, filmmakers indemnify and hold harmless the City from, and against any and all losses, damages, rights, claims and action of any kind arising in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, at any time in connection with the submitted work. The City cannot be held liable for any damage or loss during shipping, previewing, or screening. Filmmakers are responsible for their own insurance. The rights and remedies of the City provided in this section shall not be exclusive and are in addition to any other rights and remedies provided by law or under these Terms and Conditions.
  • By submitting your film, you certify that you are the sole owner and producer of the work and that you are authorized to submit this work and that all clearances and licenses necessary for public display of the work have been granted. Filmmaker represents and warrants that its film(s) submitted to TLFF does not infringe in any way, directly or contributorily, upon any third party’s intellectual property rights, including, but not limited to, music, still images, moving images, copyright, trademark, and right of publicity.
  • Filmmaker, at his/her own expense, shall defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the City from and against all lawsuits and causes of actions, claims, losses, demands, and expenses, including, but not limited to, attorney’s fees (both in house and outside counsel) and cost of litigation, damages or liability of any nature arising out of infringement, actual or alleged, direct or contributory, of any intellectual property rights, including, without limitation, copyright, trademark, and right of publicity. The rights and remedies of the CITY provided in this section shall not be exclusive and are in addition to any other rights and remedies provided by law or under these Terms and Conditions.
  • These Terms and Conditions shall be governed in accordance with the laws of the State of California. All disputes under this agreement shall be resolved by the courts of the State of California, including the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, and the parties all consent to the jurisdiction of such courts, agree to accept service of process by mail and hereby waive any jurisdictional or venue defenses otherwise available to it.