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Thunder Bay International Film Festival- Student Film Competition

2017 Theme #BiodiversityIs... Develop a film explaining what biodiversity means to you!
Watershed StudiesCommunity and Economic Development

The Thunder Bay International Film Festival (TBIFF) is an annual celebration of ocean- and Great Lakes-inspired films produced in partnership with the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival.


As part of Thunder Bay International Film Festival, the NEMIGLSI network and Friend's of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary host a STUDENT FILM COMPETITION.  Students (6th-12th grade) are eligible to enter individually or as a team, and there is NO entry fee for the competition.


The 2017 Student Film Competition's theme is #BiodiversityIs.

The deadline to submit your film is January 6, 2017!




  • Subject matter should focus on the theme, #BiodiversityIs, and it should connect with the natural resources in your local place.  You could develop a film about flora or fauna, native species, the impact of invasive species on natural habitat, and much more!
  • All film genres will be accepted.
  • We encourage creativity with all film entries!


  • Entries will be accepted from all students in grades 6th-12th.  Entry is not exclusive to organized school programs and is open to all middle and high school students.
  • Film submissions must be 5 minutes or less in length (including credits).
  • Films must be produced and made in entirety by student(s) or student teams, but entrants can have an adult mentor.
  • All audio/video/graphic content must be original, copyright free or have written permission, and be properly documented.
  • Video create tools will be allowed for production, with documented use of such tools.
  • Final submissions should be in .MOV format (1080 Widescreen preferred) and must include a completed student submission form.

Details from the Thunder Bay International Film Festival 1st Annual Student Film Competition

The 2016 theme of the competition was #WaterIs, which aligned with the 2015 UN Water World Water Day's message. The Student Film Competition was designed to give students the opportunity to explain what important resources, like water, mean to them while also developing skills as filmmakers.  


All films were viewed by a panel of professionals including filmmakers, educators, Great Lakes conservationists, and maritime archaeologists.  Selected films were screened in the theater of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary's visitor center (Alpena, MI) as part of the film festival.  

Check out the 2016 Student Film Competition winners from Stockbridge and Rogers City High School:

1st Place

2nd Place and People's Choice Award Winner

3rd Place


Tuesday, November 03, 2015
Created on Wednesday, November 04, 2015
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