Submissions are now open for the annual Montclair Film Emerging Filmmaker Competition (EFC), a film competition open to students from around the world interested in submitting short films in the Narrative, Comedy, Documentary, and Experimental film categories. This year’s competition also features a category called MY COVID LIFE, where student filmmakers can explore their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. EFC also offers special Social Impact Awards for young filmmakers who engage with social issues in their work.

This year’s competitive divisions are:

Storytellers, for filmmakers in Grades 6-8

Visionaries, for filmmakers in Grades 9-12

Submissions will be accepted starting today until April 12, 2021. Selected films will be screened at a special screening in the late spring of 2021, with awards given and a special filmmaker reception. For complete rules and to submit your film, visit

In order to encourage and support young filmmakers, Montclair Film + Education has been presenting filmmaking classes, programs, and workshops throughout the year, including Filmmaking, Screenwriting, Improv, Editing with Adobe Premier Pro, Acting for Film and TV, and more.

“The Emerging Filmmaker Competition is an opportunity for young filmmakers to use film as a means of self-expression and to explore their experiences during these challenging times,” said Montclair Film Education Director Sue Hollenberg. “Visual storytelling is a vital component of strengthening our community while helping us build a future for the art of film. We welcome all voices and look forward to seeing the work of our young filmmakers.”

For examples in each category and to view past winners, visit

Liz George is the publisher of Montclair Local.