5 Minute Rule: Your movie may be five minutes long or less. We are using the common timecode standard, so your movie's length must be equal or less than 05:00:00. This limit includes credits and anything else which might be included in your final exported file. If your movie is over the 05:00:00 time limit, it will not be judged or screened at CMF Finales, but will appear on campusmoviefest.com.
Moviemaking Week: You must shoot and edit your film during your University's Moviemaking Week. If there is evidence that you shot or edited your movie outside of your University's moviemaking week, your movie will not be judged or screened at any CMF events.
If there is footage pertinent to your film that you cannot shoot in the given Moviemaking Week for your University, please email firstname.lastname@example.org at least 24 hours before your University's CMF Launch, to explain the scenario and to request permission to use footage created outside the given week.
A good example of when permission is granted is if a student is shooting a documentary and wants to show pertinent information that has happened in the past and compare it to events happening now. A good example of when permission is NOT granted is if a student wants to start filming early because that schedule fits better for his/her actors.
Typically, if permission is granted, you will be allowed to use up to 10% of your movie’s final runtime for footage shot outside your moviemaking week.
Editing Software: You are permitted to use any type of software to edit your movie. iMovie, Final Cut Pro 7, and Final Cut Pro X will be provided on all of the CMF laptops.
Submission Format: You must turn in your final submission as a high quality QuickTime movie file (file extension .mov), regardless of which editing software you are using to edit your movie. The data rate must exceed 20 mbps in order for CMF to project your movie at any screening or event. More details regarding how to export your movie to these specifications can be found in the CMF Training Manual.
Copyrighted Music: You are not permitted to include any copywrighted music or performance in your movie without the signed CMF Music Release from all copyright holders of the music.
This is generally a very difficult and expensive process so we strongly encourage you to avoid using copyrighted music -- if you still want to do so the CMF Music Release can be found on the CMF loaner laptops as well as at campusmoviefest.com. You are also welcome to create your own music, but remember it must be original -- copyrighted music performed by you is still copyrighted and cannot be used without the release mentioned above.
We also have a library of 1,300+ songs from independent musicians available in the iTunes Library of the CMF Loaner laptops as well as on DVD’s that may be checked out at CMF Launch on your campus. All of these tracks are also available for preview on campusmoviefest.com/music.
Trademarks: You are not permitted to include any trademarks (logos, symbols, characters, etc) in your films. Please be very careful - the use of any trademark at all may legally force us to disqualify your movie and/or prevent your movie from being screened. We won’t automatically disqualify movies that include trademarks (for instance if a laptop or phone is in your movie), but if we are contacted by the copyright holder (which is more likely to occur when a trademark is used negatively), your movie will not be screened and will be removed from competition.
Other Copyrights: In addition to the copyright music guidelines above, you are not permitted to use any copyrighted material of any kind in your films. Please be very careful - the use of any copyrighted material at all may legally force us to disqualify your movie and/or prevent your movie from being screened. Copyrighted material includes but is not limited to film clips, television clips, audio clips, video game clips, books, magazines, etc. Even featuring just the image of an item that is copyrighted (like the cover) can violate the law so please be extremely cautious to protect yourself. We won’t automatically disqualify movies that include copyrighted material (for instance if Avatar is playing on a television in the background of a shot), but if we are contacted by the copyright holder (which is more likely to occur when a trademark is used negatively), your movie will not be screened and will be removed from competition.
- Nudity is not permitted.
Dangerous Behavior: It is absolutely prohibited for any participant to engage in dangerous, reckless, illegal or otherwise negligent behavior in any aspect of the creation of your movie. Any such behavior will lead to immediate disqualification from the competition.
University Affiliation: All members of your movie’s crew must be currently affiliated (student, faculty or staff) with the participating campus in which you are submitting your movie. Your movie will be paired with that University for the duration of the competition and prizing for crew members will be determined using that information.
All crew members must be able to produce a student ID or other similar verification upon request.
Crew Members: Your crew is defined as the group of people who perform technical or creative tasks on your movie (example: writers, directors, producers, editors, cameramen, grips, etc). All members of your crew must be currently affiliated (students, faculty or staff) with your University.
Cast Members: You are welcome to have cast members from outside your campus appear in your film as talent (actors, extras, voice-over, etc), though they are not permitted to perform technical or creative crew tasks as mentioned above.
A violation of any items above will cause your movie to be withdrawn from competition and ineligible for prizing or screening at Campus MovieFest events.
All Cast and Crew members must have a registered User Account at campusmoviefest.com and be paired with your film on the website.
Release Forms: It is highly recommended that your movie's Movie and Talent Release forms are submitted to CMF staff at the same time you submit your movie.
If you are unable to submit your Release Forms at the time you submit your movie, you must submit them by faxing to
or scanning and emailing them to email@example.com. Please include the subject "Release Forms - Movie Name - Team Name - University Name - Year". The CMF team must receive your release forms within 24 hours of your movie submission.
Prizing: Only Cast & Crew members that are currently affiliated (student, faculty or staff) with the campus in which you are submitting your movie are eligible to win prizes. You are more than welcome to have non-affiliated Cast members appear as talent (actors, extras, voice-over talent) in your movie, but they will not be eligible to win prizes. As mentioned above, that rule will apply to all levels of the competition including CMF Hollywood. We will require a current Student ID to claim any prizing.
Your Cast & Crew must be identified on campusmoviefest.com at least 24 hours before your University's CMF Finale.
Exposure: We have many exposure opportunities for the movies, but the majority of our partners will not broadcast mature content.
We encourage all CMF participant's movies to follow the criteria below:
No profanity. No nudity. No graphic violence. No drug use. No hate speech.
Movies that do not follow the criteria above will not be judged differently and will not be removed from the competition, but they will be severely limited in exposure opportunities with partner outlets such as Virgin America in-flight entertainment, television networks, and Apple affiliated websites.
Other Websites & Festivals: We love helping get the maximum exposure for CMF movies. You'll receive an embeddable link so your movie can be shared around the web after your University's CMF Finale.
You may not upload your CMF movie to other video hosting/sharing websites or submit to other festivals on your own, but just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for permission and assistance if you would like to submit your movie to another festival.
Members of the CMF Distinguished Filmmakers Network (DFN) also get additional support submitting their movies to top festivals.