Castleton University invites all Vermont area high school students to participate in the Castleton VideoFest contest and festival to be held at the University’s Fine Arts Center on Friday, May 10.

Submissions and accompanying forms must be submitted digitally or postmarked by Tuesday, May 1 to compete for the grand prizes in the categories noted below:

  • One $1,000 scholarship for 1st place entry - Documentary
  • One $1,000 scholarship for 1st place entry - Experimental/Animation
  • One $1,000 scholarship for 1st place entry - Narrative fiction
  • One $1,000 scholarship for 1st place entry - Public Service Announcement (PSA)/Advertisement
  • A first and second runner up will be named in each category.

Scholarships are awarded to schools for Castleton Media & Communications or Theater Department majors.


All entries must include an entry form, all subject releases, and completed video. Students must obtain signed releases from all persons seen and recognizable in all video and/or audio. Be sure to inform subjects of this possibility. When in doubt, get permission! Without release forms, films will not be screened. For ease of on location release forms, you can use the link on the right to have subjects sign and submit release forms, even from mobile devices.


Videos will be screened at the festival on Friday, May 10 at Castleton’s Casella Theater in the Fine Arts Center, culminating with an awards ceremony and re-screening of winning videos in each category.

Playback will be projected 1080 digital video, QuickTime .mov files with H.264 or ProRes 422 Proxy encoding. Videos that do not meet these requirements will be re-encoded for playback. For best viewing quality, export your video with the settings listed above. If you are unsure of your video file’s settings, you can right click to get more info, and search the video program you’re using to learn how to change export settings.

Please let us know if you are planning to attend, how many will be coming, and when you expect to arrive and must depart, so we can do our best to screen your films while your group is here. We aim to start at 9 am, with the awards presentation following lunch at noon.

You may like to contact our admissions department for tours of campus following VideoFest.

Notes on Judging

While some teacher input is assumed, videos should be primarily student produced. Because of judging time constraints, high schools and technical centers should submit no more than ten individual videos or two total hours of video per instructor. Please abstain from identifying High School/Tech Center on DVD menu or credits, if possible. Appropriate credit will be given in the event program.

Students are urged to make their videos as concise as possible. A five-minute length limit is strongly encouraged. If you would like the judges to view five minutes of content starting somewhere other than the beginning of your entry, please indicate on your entry form where you would like the judges to begin. While it is our hope to be able to view the entirety of each submission, unfortunately, this is not always the case with multiple long videos.

Videos will be judged on creativity, content, and execution, in that order. Content must be 80% original, with credit given to outside sources. In the case of a “music video” type submission, students are urged to use an original song, perhaps from friends/classmates. Judges reserve the right to change the category of a submission. Judges’ decisions are final. VideoFest judges are professional video makers, media analysts, and college student filmmakers. Vermont media professionals serve as volunteer judges.