NASA CineSpace 2021 Short Film Competition invites entry to this year cinespace competition.
NASA and the Houston Cinema Arts Society are teaming up once again to host the annual CineSpace Short Film Competition, inviting filmmakers, editors, and animators from around the world to explore NASA’s digital archives and create short films inspired by, and incorporating, real NASA footage.
With over 60 years of space exploration at your fingertips – from the first Apollo flights to the latest Rover shots – your mission is to flex your creative muscles and create something truly unique. Using NASA imagery, we’re looking for films of any type and any format – that means traditional narratives, experimental expressions, documentaries, comedies, dramas, animated pieces, ambient visuals, music videos, re-mixes, VJ sets, even sci-fi or horror stories, and more. The key thing is that your short is based on innovative and artistic storytelling, provokes an emotional response, and showcases a mastery of filmmaking, editing, and/or animation. You can submit up to 5 short films to this competition. Submissions are due by Wednesday, July 14th at 12pm PT. To submit, make sure you’re signed into your Tongal account and click on the blue ‘Submit Video’ button at the top of this page. The countdown clock for the submission deadline automatically adjusts to your timezone.
Films will be judged on their creativity, innovation, and attention to detail – the hallmarks of spaceflight itself – with special guest judge Richard Linklater (Boyhood, Dazed and Confused) weighing in! Submissions must be 10 minutes or less (including credits) and comprised of at least 10% NASA imagery and/or footage, which is based on the film’s total runtime, excluding credits. While some footage is iconic, the judges also appreciate seeing material that has not been used in previous competitions. NASA-owned imagery may be sourced from the NASA archives or any publicly available source (see an up-to-date list here).
Films selected as “Finalists” will be screened at the Houston Cinema Arts Festival in November 2021, where a special ceremony will take place for attending filmmakers and the following awards will be announced during the screening.
The following cash prizes are provided in the NASA CineSpace 2021 Short Film Competition
- Grand Prize: USD $10,000
- Second Prize: USD $5,000
- Third Prize: USD $3,000
SPECIAL JUDGING CATEGORIES AND AWARDS: In addition to the above awards, the Jury may also award three Special Category prizes. They are looking for submissions that elevate the featured themes using creative and original cinematic and/or storytelling techniques. If the jury feels that a submission meets these criteria, the submission may be considered for these awards. If no submissions sufficiently meet the criteria, these categories may not be awarded this year.
- Educational Film That Best Highlights Impacts of Space and Science: USD $4,000
This award encourages filmmakers to make films that are educational in nature and that can be used in classrooms and with students to teach space and science topics. These films would make use of imagery from NASA’s archives to explain, demonstrate, and illustrate space and science lessons and effectively communicate these to students.
- Film That Best Depicts Unity and Inclusion in Science: USD $4,000
On October 18, 2020, history was made when NASA Astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch performed the first all-woman spacewalk in support of space station assembly, the first to be conducted entirely by women. This significant milestone celebrates NASA’s mission as we look forward to putting the first woman and next man on the Moon. This award celebrates stories following underrepresented individuals in science and space exploration. This category is designated for the film that recognizes the contributions to science and innovation that diversity brings. Filmmakers are encouraged to dive deep into NASA’s archives and unravel innovative moments in technology and science.
If your original plans for your CineSpace submission(s) have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage you to take this time to reimagine your approach and find new ways to create as well as virtually collaborate with others. One way to connect with other CineSpace creators is by posting in our Project Forum. We’ve also curated this gallery of past CineSpace finalist and winning films that showcase exceptional storytelling and originality using novel approaches and simple techniques that can be achieved at home using the tools you have at your disposal.
Please reference the prizing above, as the Project Funding breakdown at the top of this page automatically lists the prizing numerically rather than by ranking or category in NASA CineSpace 2021 Short Film Competition.
Finalist films for NASA CineSpace 2021 Short Film Competition may also screen at other events across the country, shown on NASA TV, and on the International Space Station!