Animated Short Toolbox

Submission Requirement Checklist:

Number One: My film is exactly 30 seconds long. The title slide does not count toward the 30-second limit. Why this matters:  Many of the films (even if they are not winning films) are used to support local awareness efforts and shown in local movie theaters and even on TV.  We are only able to use films that meet the 30 or 60-second requirement (based on the submission category you choose). 

Number Two: My film includes the required end slate. Films must include this end slate which includes a compilation image of logos and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This end slate should appear at the end of your film and within the 30-second limit. Choose one:

In addition, you may also include the Crisis Text Line (text “HOME” to 741741) as an additional resource in your film. Learn more about the Crisis Text Line here.

Number Three: My film includes a title slide. You may use this title slide template or you may create your own title slide as long as it includes the required information below. Download the Title Slide Template here.

The title slide is not counted in the 30-second limit and needs to include:

  • Film Title
  • Filmmaker (s) names: (these are the youth involved in the filming, editing, or creation of the film)
  • School or Organization, Club or Other Affiliation Name
  • City, State
  • Adult Advisor Name
  • Submission Category

Number Four: I have release forms on file for every participant involved in my film:  Filmmaking requires discipline and dedication to the craft. Youth filmmakers and participants are honor-bound to acquire all necessary permissions and signatures and must accept the liabilities for copyright violations. This means the cast and crew, and anyone else involved in the creation of your film must sign a release form, including parent/guardian signatures if they are under the age of 18. Be sure your advisor keeps all release forms on file in case the Directing Change staff asks you to provide them to us. For more information visit the Release Forms page.

Number Five: My film doesn’t include any disqualifying content:  Be sure you’ve reviewed the “Disqualifying Content” section of the submission category of your film to make sure your film won’t be disqualified for including any of this content. For example, if you’re submitting in the Suicide Prevention category, your film should not include portrayals of suicide deaths, attempts, or steps leading up to an attempt (such as a person holding a gun to their head or standing at the side of a ledge). Any films that show this or show any weapons will be disqualified.

*A reminder! – All film submissions should align with safe messaging guidelines and there are specific safe messaging scoring measures for each category which we encourage you to review. 


Suicide Prevention Resources to Assist You with Content

For background information review these fact sheets and short educational films developed by the Directing Change Team in collaboration with NAMI California.

For additional questions regarding the “Suicide Prevention” category, please contact us.

Suicide Warning Signs for YouthWarning signs are indications that someone may be in danger of suicide, either immediately or in the near future. Most people show one or more warning signs, so it is important to know the signs and take them seriously especially if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. (www.youthsuicidewarningsigns.org)

  • Talking about or making plans for suicide.
  • Expressing hopelessness about the future.
  • Displaying severe/overwhelming emotional pain or distress.
  • Showing worrisome behavioral cues or marked changes in behavior, particularly in the presence of the warning signs above. Specifically, this includes significant:
    • Withdrawal from or changing in social connections/situations
    •  Changes in sleep (increased or decreased)
    • Anger or hostility that seems out of character or out of context
    • Recent increased agitation or irritability

The following is a list of emergency warning signs that require immediate action!:

  • Threatening self-harm or suicide
  • Person is in act of self-harm or suicide
  • Person has a weapon or other lethal means
  • Seeking weapons or means to self-harm
  • Talking about death or suicide while acting agitated or anxious, or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol

These warning signs may not signal an emergency situation, but are signs that a person may be in need of help:

  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Hopelessness
  • Isolation, loneliness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Significant personality change
  • Dramatic mood changes
  • Unusual neglect of personal appearance
  • Frequent complaints about physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomachaches, fatigue, etc.
  • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
  • Increasing use of alcohol or other drugs
  • Putting his or her affairs in order (for example, giving away favorite possessions, or throwing away important belongings)
  • Becoming suddenly cheerful after a period of depression (this could be a sign that a person has made a suicide plan)

The Directing Change team is able to provide support for messaging in your film. Please contact us.