Film Contests


The San Antonio Film Commission hosts a #FilmSA Contest each year with the mission to tell the story of the people, places and shared experiences that make San Antonio a vibrant and celebrated city for visitors, residents, and filmmakers. This contest allows filmmakers to compete for cash prizes, a screening at Mission Marquee Plaza, and to be included in the City of San Antonio's marketing efforts (where applicable).

The 2019 #FilmSA Contest provides young filmmakers between 14 and 21 an opportunity to showcase San Antonio as a World Heritage City.


A partnership with the City of San Antonio’s World Heritage Office, this category allows young filmmakers of two age groups, 14 – 17 years old and 18 – 21 years old, an opportunity to enter two film contests at once.  The winning #FilmSA entries will not only win the #FilmSA prize, but will be automatically entered into the Organization of World Heritage Cities’ (OWHC) International Video Production Competition.


  1. To make the young people acquire a better knowledge and awareness of world heritage
  2. To convey to the young people a stronger sense of belonging and pride concerning world heritage
  3. To allow young people to express themselves, through their personal vision, on world heritage in general as well as on that of their city
  4. To ensure that they are involved in the OWHC conservation and enhancement approach regarding cities recognized as treasures of mankind

This contest asks filmmakers to explore the theme “If you have one day in a World Heritage San Antonio…” Filmmakers should explore the following questions with their video submissions: 

  1. What would you visit?
  2. What are the most important spots, according to your point of view, that deserves to be visited in one day?
  3. What are the most important elements that a one-day tourist should not miss to be imbued with the history of the city you’re showcasing?

This contest also asks participants to consider the overall theme of the OWHC’s World Congress, to be held in June 2019, which has the theme “Heritage and Tourism.” The video submissions should reflect the filmmaker’s own vision of this notion of “Heritage and Tourism.” Questions to the video submission should consider include:

  1. What is the impact of tourism in a heritage city?
  2. Is heritage an important motor for the tourism industry? Is it positive or negative?


  1. All entrants must be at least 14 and no older than 21 and live in Bexar County to be eligible for entry. Filmmakers will be entered into the age categories 14 – 17 years old and 18 – 21 years old based on the date of birth on the submission form.
  2. Filmmakers must fill out a San Antonio Film Permit prior to filming activities at cultural areas or any other City of San Antonio park: Entrants may contact the San Antonio Film Commission with any questions at (210) 207-6777.
  3. Teams are accepted. In the event that a prize is won by a team, it will be the responsibility of the team to separate equally the amount awarded. A representative of the team will have to be designated by themselves.
  4. By entering into this competition, entrants permit the City of San Antonio and all umbrella departments full ownership of the entry for marketing and other promotional uses. Uses include, but are not limited to:
  • Inclusion in social media posts and on channels including YouTube and Vimeo
  • Online advertising, including national/international media outlets and websites
  • Inclusion on City of San Antonio websites
  • Showings at festivals/tradeshows with City of San Antonio representation


  1. Each entrant may submit one (1) film for competitive consideration in this category.
  2. Entries must be no longer than five (5:00) minutes. Any title screens, logos, credits, or introductions before and/or after the actual video will count toward the five-minute maximum limit.
  3. Each video must showcase San Antonio as a World Heritage City. The video must present visual elements of the city; do not overload them with text. However, sound effects and music (with lyrics or not), are allowed.
  4. It is mandatory to integrate some text AND/OR narration (without exaggeration), in one of the three working languages of the OWHC: French, English or Spanish. Videos submitted without text or narration will not be accepted. Entries submitted in French or Spanish must include English subtitles. 
  5. It is mandatory that the video has a full title, which is not copied from the contest's title or theme. 
  6. Entries must include the San Antonio Film Commission animated logo at the end credits of the film. Filmmakers must email to receive the logo.
  7. Videos featuring music in their entries must obtain proper permissions for the music’s use and must be able to show proof of these permissions. Other options include no music or free-use music sources like
  8. Videos must be completely edited, in final form and in a .mov file format.
  9. Entries shall not contain obscene material as defined by Section 43.21 of the Texas Penal Code. Any entry deemed as containing such obscene material will be excluded from the competition.


  1. Entrants must post the video on YouTube, providing the San Antonio Film Commission the link to video in the contest application.
  2. Entrants must email the #FilmSA contest application to filmsa@filmsanantonio with the Subject: #FilmSA Contest - [Filmmaker Name]. Please verify that the correct email address is on the entry form and that the link to the downloadable video is via GoogleDrive, Dropbox, Vimeo, etc. Downloadable films must be completed edits and in final form and 1080i.


The extended deadline for all submissions is Friday, April 5, 2019 at 4 p.m. CT

  1. Applicants will receive a confirmation email after the entry has been received and logged. 
  2. Incomplete submissions will be ineligible for judging and prizes - please review ALL requirements above to ensure your submission is complete.
  3. Late entries will be ineligible for judging and prizes.


Judging will be based upon criteria set in place by the San Antonio Film Commission. All entries will be judged by a panel of industry professionals and judging criteria will include, but will not be limited to, the following: 

  1. Quality of the production (20%)
  2. Processing of the content (40%)
  3. Originality and creativity (40%)

NOTE: All films will be scored on a 100-point scale and must score 70 points or greater to be considered for an award. 

The San Antonio Film Commission and Department of Arts & Culture staff reserve the right to pre-screen films for artistic merit and to submit only those films deemed appropriate and suitable to the judging panel. There is no guarantee that all films will be submitted to the judging panel.


Two (2) total prizes will be awarded: $1,000 for the highest scoring entry in the 14 - 17 age group and $1,000 for the highest scoring entry in the 18 - 21 age group. The top scoring entry in each age group will also be entered into competition in the International Video Production Competition

All winning filmmakers will be eligible to work on a contract basis with the City of San Antonio to edit or add elements to the films for further promotional use by the City. Filmmakers will be contacted about these opportunities, should they arise.


The winning films will be screened at an awards ceremony 15 minutes before dusk on May 3, 2019 at Mission Marquee Plaza. 

Winners not in attendance must make arrangements to have their prizes mailed to them, or winners may elect a proxy to accept their prize on their behalf.


The San Antonio Film Commission reserves the right to change this program at any time. Check for updates at  

Previous Winners: 

Nathan Arellano and Sarah Casillas, students of John Marshall High School, took the top award for this category with their 2018 "A Bite of Culture" entry below: 

Katie Murtagh-Huerta took first place in her 2018 category with her "Medaling with Fiesta" entry below: