DPL Teen Film Festival

The DPL Teen Film Festival seeks to provide an opportunity for teenagers to highlight their storytelling and filmmaking talents within their local community. Through participating in the festival, we hope teens will gain the experience they need to grow their skills, as well as acquire a project they are proud to add to their reel or portfolio as they proceed in their academic and professional careers.


  1. Create a narrative video that is no longer than ten minutes in which you had a major creative role. The video can be live-action or animation, fiction or documentary, but it should reflect your aesthetic tastes and intellectual and emotional interests. Both solo and team/group submissions will be accepted. You must specify what role(s) you played. Submit only one video. Multiple submissions will result in a rejected application.
  2. Participants should fill out our registration form, submit their project to the DPL Film Festival on Film Freeway, and email Gary Hernandez with a video introduction. See below for more details.
  3. Teen participants will have the entire spring season to submit their films. Submissions open for teen films March 19 and close June 20.
  4. Open to teens aged 13-18, at the time of submission, who live in or go to school in Delaware.
  5. All work submitted should be appropriate for viewing by a teen audience and therefore should coincide with the Motion Picture Association’s (MPAA) PG-13 rating criteria.
  6. Not all work submitted will be presented at the festival; the festival committee reserves the right to choose which film submissions will be viewed at the festival. At the discretion of the festival committee and the participant(s), creators may be contacted to make minor changes to any submitted work for viewing or accessibility purposes.
  7. All materials submitted become the property of the Delaware Division of Libraries. By submitting your work to us, you are giving the Delaware Division of Libraries the nonexclusive right to publish your work in any format, including all print, electronic, and online media. All individual contributors to the Dover Public Library (DPL) Teen Film Festival retain the right to submit their work for nonexclusive publication elsewhere.

Submission Guidelines

Video introductions should be 30-60 seconds speaking directly to the camera in a single take with no edits explaining what your film submission means to you. Group/team video introductions may be up to 2 minutes in length. For groups/teams, each team member must fill out their own registration form. It is not required for all individuals featured or involved in the creation of the film submission to register as a participant; however, all individuals involved in the creation of the film submission must be included on the Film Freeway project submission. Film submissions must be no longer than 10 minutes in length. All video file submissions should be accessible through a video sharing platform link provided by the contributor. We accept links from YouTube, Vimeo, FileWhopper, and the participant’s personal website. Alternative submission methods such as DropBox, Google Drive, or USB flash drive may be accepted for files too large or incompatible for email for Film Freeway. Additionally, participants can choose to fill out a physical submission form at the Dover Public Library. Participants are encouraged to email Gary Hernandez with any questions about video submission links and video sharing methods.


All teen participants with work presented at the festival will be awarded the DPL Contributor Award. The Best Short Film | Audience Choice Award and Best Short Film | Committee Choice Award will also be given out on festival day; both awards will be accompanied by a cash prize.