How do I enter?
To get started, register for the AIA Film Challenge, then download the toolkit and the official rules to help you prepare your entry. Make sure to download the Film Challenge logo to use in your entry. Finally, submit the release forms, found in the official rules document, and your entry by August 24.
How much does it cost?
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.
Why is the format different this year?
Your health and safety are important to us. Given the varying stay-at-home orders across the country, the format has changed to allow everyone to abide by local and federal restrictions.
What is the new format?
Instead of 3- to 5-minute films, participants will produce a 60- to 90-second mini documentary using their personal devices.
What kind of content can I include in my mini documentary?
Up to 50% of your footage can be previously shot. We will also accept recorded virtual interviews, still images, and stock footage/images.
Should I work with a team?
This year’s challenge is designed for you to produce a film on your own, but you can work with a team as long as all are staying safe and following local and federal restrictions. We encourage virtual collaboration.
I’m working with others to produce my film. Does every team member need to register, or can the team leader do it?
Yes. We encourage every participant to register for the challenge and confirm their team members and project.
Do I have to connect with an architect or filmmaker ?
No, but if you’d like to you may reach out to your local AIA chapter, which can be found here.
To virtually 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.
Can I participate in this challenge if I’ve participated in other Students of the World or CSpence Group film challenges or productions?
Yes! All are welcome to participate, regardless of past or current involvement with AIA, Students of the World, or CSpence Group productions.
What are the films about?
Each team should create a unique film that creatively answers the prompt: Tell a story of how architects, civic leaders, and their communities are working together to design a healthy, sustainable, and just world.
How long are the films?
Films must be 60- to 90-seconds long.
How does the judging work?
The CSpence Group staff will pre-screen all submitted films and select 10 to 15 finalists that adhere to the challenge guidelines and rules. The finalist films will make it to the final judging round. These films will be judged by representatives from The American Institute of Architects, CSpence Group, and professional filmmakers, producers, and directors from across the country.
Can I win both the Grand Prize and the People’s Choice Award?
Yes! Judges will select the Grand Prize winner but the People’s Choice Award is granted to the video with the most votes. Make sure to encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to vote and vote often! There are tips for promoting your film in the Toolkit.
What can I do with my film after the Challenge is over?
You may use your film for personal, non-commercial purposes. This means you can include your film in your portfolio of work for future academic and/or 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. 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/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/or architectural project. AIA reserves the right to use the film submitted to the challenge for promotion or distribution in connection to the campaign.
What are the specifications for the video?
Entries will need to provide vimeo or YouTube links. Finalists will be asked to provide mp4 files.
Does the maximum length of the film include credits?
Yes. Please include title/credits in the last five- to 10-seconds of the film within the 60- to 90-second length. The AIA Film Challenge logo must be part of the title/credits.
Are credits in the beginning permissible?
Are animations and special effects allowed?
Can I use stock footage or photos?
Yes. 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 share these forms with CSpence Group as part of the submission.
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 not required, they are encouraged.
How do I submit release forms?
Email release forms to firstname.lastname@example.org after you’ve submitted your final film.
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?
No, but you may need a permit. We do not require you to prove to us that you received 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 use my own equipment?
Every participant must provide their own equipment. There are no restrictions on the equipment you may use. CSpence Group will not provide equipment to the participating teams.
What equipment is allowed?
Any device available to you – smartphone, tablet, GoPro, professional camera, etc. – is allowed. Check out our toolkit for 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/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/or architectural project. AIA reserves the right to use the film submitted to the challenge for promotion or distribution in connection with the campaign.
Questions? Contact email@example.com.