What is AIA Film Challenge?
AIA Film Challenge is a film contest that amplifies the stories of architecture projects transforming communities through the power of design and collaboration. In 2022, the challenge calls for narratives of architects working with civic leaders to design sustainable, equitable communities.
How do I participate in the film challenge?
Please follow these two steps:
- Register by August 22 so you can access the Participant Portal, which serves as your account. The portal will give you access to resources to produce your film, like the toolkit, official rules, and the AIA Film Challenge logo.
- Submit your film and a complete entry through the portal by August 26 (see details below).
When are the registration and film submission deadlines?
There are two different deadlines to participate in the film challenge:
- Register by 11:59pm PT on August 22 to access your Participant Portal. If you do not register before the deadline, you will not be allowed to submit a film to the 2022 competition.
- Once you are registered, you must submit your film and all additional information through the Participant Portal before 11:59pm PT on August 26.
What is the difference between registration and submission?
In order to participate in the AIA Film Challenge 2022, you must first register. This tells us that you intend to submit a film, and it also gives you access to additional resources and webinars to help you produce your film. After registration, you’ll be given access to a portal where you can add your film and submit your completed entry.
What does a complete entry consist of?
A complete entry includes the following elements, all of which are uploaded to or completed on the Participant Portal.
- A link to your 1:30- to 3-minute short documentary film that answers the prompt and includes the AIA Film Challenge logo in the title/credits
- Film profile: A title and description
- Credits: Information about your team members
- Contact information
- Still images
- Release forms: Talent, location, and content releases
- Agree to the official rules
What is the participant portal, and how can I access it?
The participant portal can be accessed once you have registered for the AIA Film Challenge. The portal is where you will submit your challenge entry. Here, you will also find additional resources to help you produce your film as well as gain access to a chat with our community manager, Ro Hensley, who can answer all your questions throughout the duration of the film challenge.
What is WeAreSpence.com, and why does the community manager not have an AIA email account?
Spence is AIA’s trusted partner who administers the AIA Film Challenge, including supporting the film challenge community.
How much does it cost to enter?
There is no entry fee to participate in the challenge.
Who are the filmmakers?
People like you! The AIA Film Challenge is open to filmmakers, architects, and storytellers in the United States and its territories.
What is the format?
Short documentary-style films ranging from 1:30 to 3 minutes. This means films must have a narrative element and interviews, in addition to footage shot specifically for the AIA Film Challenge.
What kind of content can I include in my film?
Up to 50% of your footage can be previously shot, but at least 50% of the footage must be shot specifically for the AIA Film Challenge. We will also accept recorded virtual interviews, still images, and stock footage/images.
Should I work with a team?
It’s up to you! You can produce a film on your own or work with a team. If working with a team, please follow all local and federal social distancing restrictions, if any.
I’m working with others to produce my film. Does every team member need to register, or can the team leader do it?
Only one person needs to register, but you will be asked to enter information about your team members under the “credits and collaborators” section in the participant portal.
Do I have to connect with an architect or filmmaker to produce my film?
If you’d like to team up with an architect to produce your film, you may reach out to your local AIA chapter, which can be found here.
To connect with filmmakers, reach out to local film organizations, film programs at schools nearby, or film festivals in your area. You may also utilize video-sharing sites, such as Vimeo and YouTube, to discover filmmakers in your area, find a style you like, and get in touch with those filmmakers to see if they may be interested.
You can also join the AIA Film Challenge Facebook group to make connections.
Can I make a film about a project that is not finished?
Yes, your film can focus on an architectural project that is not yet finished as long as it relates to the prompt. Take a look at the 2020 Runner Up for a good example of a film about an unfinished project.
Can I participate in this challenge if I’ve participated in other Students of the World or Spence film challenges or productions?
Yes, you can participate in this challenge if you’ve participated in other challenges or productions! All are welcome to participate, regardless of past or current involvement with productions sponsored by AIA, Students of the World, or Spence.
What are the films about?
Each team should create a unique film that creatively answers the prompt: Tell a story of architects working with civic leaders to design sustainable, equitable communities.
How long are the films?
Films must be 1:30 to 3 minutes long.
How does the judging work?
Spence will review all submitted films and select up to 10 finalists that adhere to the challenge guidelines and rules, based on the films’ adherence to prompt, storytelling, and technical merit. The finalist films will make it to the final judging round, which will be reviewed by the judging panel. The judging panel will select the Grand Prize Winner, Runner Up, and Third Place winner.
Both Spence and the judges use a rubric to score films. You can find the rubric in the participant portal’s resources section once you register, and linked here.
How do you select films for public voting?
Spence will review all submitted films and select up to 50 films to move on to public voting, based on the films’ adherence to prompt, storytelling, and technical merit.
Both Spence and the judges use a rubric to score films. You can find the rubric here.
Can I win both the Grand Prize and the People’s Choice Award?
Yes, you can win both the Grand Prize and the People’s Choice Award! Judges will select the Grand Prize winner, and the People’s Choice Award is granted to the video with the most votes. So make sure to encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to vote and vote often!
What can I do with my film after the Challenge is over?
You may use your film for personal, non-commercial purposes. You can include your film in your portfolio of work for future academic and professional opportunities, including distribution for your firm.
What is the time investment?
There is no minimum time investment required, but the time and effort you spend on the challenge will likely play a part in your success. Therefore, we encourage you to make the best of this opportunity and have fun while doing it!
Who will own the content once I submit it?
Ownership of the content submitted to the AIA Film Challenge will remain with the producers and filmmakers. Owners reserve the right to use the film submitted to the challenge for personal purposes. Owners reserve the right to use the film submitted to the challenge for marketing and branding of the firm and architectural project. AIA reserves the right to use the film submitted to the challenge for promotion or distribution in connection to The American Institute of Architects, the AIA Film Challenge, and the Blueprint for Better campaign.
Is there an info session I can attend?
Yes! We held our first info session on June 29 but if you weren’t able to attend you can access the recording anytime.
Who can I contact with questions?
Email our community manager Ro Hensley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you have registered and have access to the participant portal, you can also use the chat function to ask questions.
What are the specifications for the video?
Participants will need to provide a Vimeo or YouTube link. Finalists will be asked to provide mp4 files.
Does the maximum length of the film include credits?
Yes, the maximum length of the film must include credits. Please include title and credits in the last five- to 10-seconds of the film within the 1:30- to 3-minute timeframe. The AIA Film Challenge logo must be part of the title and credits.
Are credits in the beginning permissible?
No, credits at the beginning of your film are not permissible.
Are animations and special effects allowed?
Yes, animations and special effects are allowed, but only when used to enhance your story. All films must be documentary-style. Fully animated films will not qualify.
Can I use stock footage or photos?
Yes, you can use stock footage or photos. You may only use third-party images, footage, music, or any other creative, proprietary content for which you have obtained expressed permission to use from all the rights holders. You will have to submit the appropriate forms and licenses through the portal along with your film.
Do I need to subtitle my film?
You do not need to subtitle your film, unless soundbites are in another language or audio is difficult to understand. While subtitles are not required, they are encouraged.
How do I submit release forms?
Upload all release forms to the participant portal.
How do I document public domain or royalty-free music and photos?
Have the person who has the rights to the music or materials sign a release form. Please also include documentation that shows your rights to the music or materials, such as a license, a purchase receipt, or a statement by the author.
Do I need a location release to shoot on public property?
You may need a location release or a permit. We do not require you to prove to us that you received a release or a permit, but you may be stopped from shooting or even fined if you do not have one. Please check with your local film commissioner.
Can I request or borrow equipment?
Every participant must provide their own equipment. There are no restrictions on the equipment you may use. Neither AIA nor Spence will provide equipment to the participating teams.
What equipment is allowed?
Any device available to you–smartphone, tablet, GoPro, professional camera, etc.–is allowed. Once you have registered, you will gain access to a toolkit with tips on equipment and software.
Who will own the content once I submit it?
Ownership of the content submitted to the AIA Film Challenge will remain with the producers and filmmakers. Owners reserve the right to use the film submitted to the challenge for personal purposes. Owners reserve the right to use the film submitted to the challenge for marketing and branding of the firm and architectural project. AIA reserves the right to use the film submitted to the challenge for promotion or distribution in connection with the campaign.