MHC Online Film Fest

The MHC OFF celebrates and promotes filmmakers who, through excellent storytelling and filmmaking, raise awareness and understanding of mental health issues.

Selection and Awards

Our selection criteria are broad. MHC will choose as Official Selections films that:

  • are related to mental health, illness or wellness in some way
  • offer a meaningful viewing experience to our audience
  • demonstrate good filmmaking skills and high production value

There is no maximum or minimum number of films that we will select.

All Official Selections will be recognized by MHC through our web, newsletter and social media presence to potentially millions of viewers. They will then be webcast from December 1, 2016 (the festival start date) through November 1, 2017 (when the next festival begins).


New since last year, the festival now offers 1st through 3rd place awards, with a higher grand prize. 1st place will receive $1000, 2nd place $500 and 3rd place $250.

MHC staff and jurors will choose the award winners from Official Selections. Award-winning films will remain online for 3 years, and recognized as the 2016 Award Winners.

The MHC OFF reserves the right not to award any or all of these awards if we do not receive submissions of sufficient storytelling or production merit.

For more information, please view the Festival Rules.

Enter Your Film

How To Submit

Submissions only August 15, 2016.

Only complete submissions (completed Entry Form, online screener, and complete payment) will be considered.

Filmmakers are allowed and encouraged to submit multiple entries. Please make sure each film is submitted separately with its own Entry Form, online screener and Entry Fee.

Schedule and Fees

Submissions must be completed by midnight CST of the deadline date.

August 15, 2016 Submissions Open
September 15, 2016 Early Bird Deadline Entry fee: $20
October 15, 2016 Regular Deadline Entry fee: $40
November 15, 2016 Late Deadline Entry fee: $60
December 1, 2016 Winners and Official Selections released


Submission Requirements

  • Only works with a maximum running time of 20 minutes or less are eligible.

  • There is no minimum running time.

  • All genres are welcome (documentary, narrative, animated, experimental, or music video).

  • Filmmakers may submit multiple entries as long as each film is submitted with its own Entry Form, online screener and paid Entry Fee.

  • Films must have been completed on or after Jan 1, 2006.

  • We accept short films from all regions. Non-English films must have English subtitles.

  • Works-in-progress will not be considered.

  • We accept films shot in any format, however submissions must be provided via online screener.

  • Only online submissions are accepted.

  • Entry Fees are nonrefundable.
  • Entries will not be considered without a paid Entry Fee.
  • No Checks are accepted to pay submission fees. Online payments only, through Film Freeway OR
  • All filmmakers who submit films grant MHC OFF the right to retain a copy of the film as part of our Festival library and for media, promotional and educational purposes.

  • If your film is selected we will ask you to email us still images and press kit, if available.

  • All films chosen as Official Selections will grant MHC OFF the nonexclusive right to screen them online for 12 months without any form of compensation beyond the publicity and recognition that that Selection provides.

  • Films chosen as Award Winners will grant MHC OFF the nonexclusive right to screen them online for 36 months without any compensation beyond the publicity and recognition that that Selection provides. The cash awards that the Award Winners will receive are prizes for exceptional filmmaking. They are not and should not be considered compensation for the rights to webcast the associated films.

  • All films chosen as Official Selections will grant MHC OFF the rights to use clips/trailer for promotional purposes.

  • For a complete list of rights granted to the Festival related to the screening and promotion of Official Selections, see the Terms and Conditions.

  • Award Winners and Official Selections will be notified on or before December 1, 2016.
  • MHC reserves the right to decline naming Official Selections and granting awards in the event that we do not receive enough submissions meeting our standards of storytelling or production value.

Terms and Conditions

  • I understand and accept the Submission Requirements.

  • I warrant that I am authorized to commit the film for screening.

  • I warrant that I have signed releases from any people appearing in my film, and have the authority to use any copyrighted materials that appear in my film, including but not limited to music, images or footage.

  • If my film is chosen as an Official Selection, I hereby grant the MHC Online Film Festival (the Festival), the Mental Health Channel (MHC), and its funders, creators, distributors, production companies and assigns, the rights to:
    • Webcast my film on and host it on Vimeo, Youtube, or any other hosting platform they deem appropriate for 12 months (36 months for Award Winners), without any form of compensation. During that time, I further grant the above entities the rights to:

    • Promote, link to and embed my film in the Mental Health Channel’s web and social media outreach and any other platforms they so desire

    • Allow Mental Health Channel viewers to embed my film in other websites and in other forms of web and social media outreach
    • Affix to the head and tail of my film bumpers, not to exceed 6 seconds each, that announce my film as a Mental Health Channel Online Film Festival Official Selection or Award Winner, potentially including a link after the end credits to, and a logo bug in the corner of the frame throughout.

    • Use an excerpt from my film not to exceed 30 seconds for a Festival trailer and/or other promotional purposes to promote the Festival and/or MHC, in perpetuity and universally.

    • Release, publicize and promote my name, image or likeness in association with my film.
  • I will indemnify and hold harmless Mental Health Project LLC, the Mental Health Channel, the MHC Online Film Festival, its creators, production companies, funders and assigns, from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, defamation or publicity related to the presentation, distribution or promotion of my film.
  • I understand that Mental Health Project LLC, the Mental Health Channel, its creators, production companies and associates, are constantly creating and producing films, and may have films in existence or in development for future production that may include ideas, images, themes, stories, treatments, interviewees or characters that appear in my film, or otherwise bear a strong resemblance to my film in some other way. I hereby agree that I am not entitled to any compensation in any form based on any similarities of such film content to my film, whether real or perceived.

  • I am at least 18 years of age, have read and understand the foregoing Terms and Conditions, and am competent to execute this agreement.

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