37th Annual VIRGINIA FILM FESTIVAL Oct 30-Nov 3, 2024

37th Annual VIRGINIA FILM FESTIVAL October 30-November 3, 2024

ACTION! The VFF's High School Director Competition

ACTION! is part of the Virginia Film Festival's Community Outreach & Education Program.


In Brief

ACTION! The VFF’s High School Director Competition was a competition for high school students. As of 2017, we are discontinuing the ACTION! program and encouraging high school directors to submit films for continuation through our Call for Entries.

Film submission fees are waived for Virginia residents and students at Virginia schools.


Past Winners

Thank you to all the filmmakers who participated and congratulations to our ACTION! winners:

2016 ACTION! Winners

Grand Prize: Loop, dir. Ryan Beard, Stephen Gentry, Eli Hall
Runners-Up: The Magic Motley, dir. Madeleine Jones; Override, dir. Jacob Chang-Rascle


2015 ACTION! Winners

Grand Prize Winner: Incubus, dir. Jacob Chang-Rascle

Runners-Up: Mr. Balloon’s Wild Ride, dir. Joanna Gerr; Rogue Taxidermy, dir. Elizabeth Culbertson, Ryan Beard, Eli Hall.


2014 ACTION! Winners

Grand Prize Winner: Magic Marker, dir. Jack McCaffrey

Runners-Up: Lemonade Standoff, dir. Saunder Boyle, Ryan Beard, Sam Crowell; Time Flies, dir. Jacob Chang-Rascle


2013 ACTION! Winners

Grand Prize Winner: The Picky Eater, dir. Shalemar Coloma

Runners-Up: Awakened Eyes, dir. Lainey Wood; Space Girl, dir. Daniel McCrystal, Si Affron, and Madeline Hunter


2012 ACTION! Winners

Grand Prize Winner: Production Values, dir. Tim Schauer

Runners-Up: A Dream’s End, dir. Tilden Lexa; Caffeine, dir. William Jones

Rules and Regulations

  1. ACTION!: The VFF’s High School Director Competition is open to rising 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students who are current residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  2. Students may submit only one (1) entry per person/team. Each team may consist of no more than three (3) students who serve as the Directors of the submitted film. This rule does not limit the number of people contributing to or performing in the film; however only three (3) student collaborators will be recognized as prizewinners.
  3. All films submitted are to be the complete original work of the applying students. See copyright policy below for specific information.
  4. Films are limited to a maximum of eight (8:00) minutes in length, including credits. There is no minimum time restraint.
  5. Films may not include profanity, graphic violence, or sexual content.
  6. The Virginia Film Festival will award three (3) prizes to three best directors or directing teams to support continued film and filmmaker education. The ACTION! Grand Prize is a check for $1,000, and two (2) ACTION! Runner-Up Prizes are $500 each. Prizes will be awarded by check written to the student(s) listed as the Student Director on the application. If more than one name appears as Student Director, we will split the prize evenly between the students.
  7. Virginia Film Festival staff will notify all entrants of award status. The VFF does not provide critiques or notes on films.
  8. Virginia Film Festival will screen the winning films during the Virginia Film Festival. Each winner will also receive one (1) Industry Badge for access to VFF screenings and the VFF Filmmakers and Sponsors Lounge.
  9. Non-winning entries may be screened during the Virginia Film Festival at the discretion of VFF staff.
  10. All entries, or portions thereof, may be used by the Virginia Film Festival in promotional materials.
  11. Films that do not qualify for ACTION! may qualify instead for the VFF’s open Call for Entries.

Copyright Links

The links provided are starting points for students to read, explore, and consider in regard to copyright issues.