Official Selections to 2017 Sonscreen Film Festival

Dramatic Short

White Collar

Dear Hamilton

The Other Side

The Follow-Through



500,000 Miles to the Moon and Back

An Authentic Life




Big Brothers, Big Sisters

Chef’s Table: Walla Walla

Class of 2017 // One Step Forward

Our Town


The Hugs Project

Foreign Native



Catering for Kidnap

Reel Fitness: Post Pro

The Deep End - Pilot

Old People vs. Snapshot

100% Match

The Prepper

Company is Coming Remix



The Wholesome, Hospitable, Van Housens




Dewey Dixon

My Own Worst Enemy    

Amazing Grace



Moving On

A Voice to Protect Humanity



Small Imagination

Bearly Awake

Book of the Month

Fenton Forest Animatic



Prayers | Carl Canwell

Me + You | Rajeev Sigamoney

Jackie - The Transformation Project | Dominique Wakefield

Faithdance | Jonathan Davidson

Limitations |Nick Livanos




Sonscreen Film Festival Submissions 

The Sonscreen Film Festival carefully assesses each film submission, and it reaches a final consensus based on a set of subjective criteria and requirements. This is a meticulous task. Each year, Sonscreen thoroughly evaluates every single submission. A number of highly qualified films are chosen to be screened at the festival as the official selections.  

All films must be submitted and paid for through

Please read the instructions below before submitting your film to the Sonscreen Film Festival


Film Categories

Official selections will be either selections in-competition or selections not-in-competition. The five categories for film in-competition are: Dramatic Short, Comedy Short, Animation Short, Documentary Short, and High School Short.

Only films in-competition will compete for the Sonny Awards, except the Audience Choice Award. All official selections are eligible for the Audience Choice Award. 

A select number of not-in-competition student and professional films are featured each year for exposure and acknowledgment of their work, mentoring purposes, and professional networking opportunities.

In-competition requirements

The following requirements, in addition to the subjective judging process (outlined below), must be met for a film to qualify as in-competition:

  1. Film must have been completed after January 1, 2015.
  2. Filmmaker must have clearance and permission to use all copyright protected music and any images used in the film.
  3. Films must have been completed while filmmaker was a student at a recognized educational institution. No paid commercial, theatrical, or TV releases will be accepted for competition.
  4. Sonscreen requires that all “above the line” production roles be filled by students. Sonscreen defines “above the line” as the following: Producer, director, screenwriter, director of cinematography, and editor. Other creative roles may be filled at the discretion of the filmmakers. We encourage as many of the other creative roles as reasonably possible be filled by students as well, and to only receive instructional help from professional educators. These distinctions are difficult to draw specific lines around, but the festival director reserves the right to disqualify a film if there is significant creative influence by teachers or other professionals. Festival director, in consultation with relevant teachers, will make a decision that is the most fair to all films and filmmakers in competition.
  5. Movies submitted to the Sonscreen Film Festival must uphold the values of the festival, portraying uplifting themes and refraining from displaying (if you have questions, please ask):
    1.  Offensive language
    2.  Nudity or sexually explicit scenes
  6. Films must not exceed 30 minutes in length, including credits.
  7. All films submitted must be in English, subtitled in English, or dubbed in English.
  8. A separate entry form and additional entry fee must be submitted for each film. 

Judging Criteria

The Official Sonscreen Jury evaluates film entries based on several subjective criteria: Originality, Creativity, Plot, Pacing, Structure, Characters, Dialogue, Theme, Cinematography, Direction, Writing, Entertainment Value, Overall Quality of Production.

Film critique is not an exact science. Powerful new ideas, expressions and methods of communicating and effectively telling a story arise constantly, reshaping old ideas or paving over them completely. Not every Award winner or nominee scores “10s” across the judging table. The weight of each category varies with the nature of each entry.

The uniqueness and originality of the premise or story. 

The effective use of imagination as evidenced in the entry.

The actions, events, conflicts, and turning points that propel the story forward. How the story unfolds.

The timing of the action, unfolding of plot elements and character development. 

The framework of the film or script. Effective use of three-act, odyssey, linear, or non-linear story progression.

Personalities that are distinctive, compelling, multi-layered, and unpredictable. A protagonist and antagonist with clear and active goals.

The quality of cinematography or videography demonstrated in the work. Is the camera steady and are the shots framed and focused? Are close-ups and camera angles used to add meaning to the story? Is the lighting and camera positioning visually effective?

Does the editing help to clarify the story and enhance the pacing and flow of the story? Are transitions smooth and well-paced, or distracting? Are the opening titles and closing credits appealing and easy to read?

Audio, Music, and Sound Effects
Does the audio and soundtrack complement the story? Are audio levels consistent? Is the dialogue and/or narration clear and easy to understand? If there are sound effects, are they appropriate to the story, or do they detract from it?

The quality of direction exhibited in the work.

Entertainment Value
Does the story keep the viewer's or reader's attention? It is fun, engaging, or thought-provoking?

Voices that are natural, succinct, and unique to each character. Use of language that effectively reveals character and moves the story forward.

Overall Quality of Production or Script
Is the entry well constructed and well executed as a whole?

Filmmaker Attendance

Recognizing that it is financially challenging for students to travel, Sonscreen encourages filmmakers to attend the festival. To this end, we will provide assistance to educational institutions so filmmakers may attend. Sonscreen Film Festival is unable to provide direct financial compensation for travel expenses or additional expenses incurred during the festival. 

Publicity and Marketing

All selected films may be excerpted for publicity purposes. Sonscreen Film Festival reserves the right to promote any film or script to print, broadcast, or internet media as required to market the festival or our parent organization.

Theatrical and Event Screenings

By submitting your project to Sonscreen Film Festival, after final programing decisions are made, the filmmaker grants non-exclusive rights to showcase their film during the festival in as many screenings as required. In addition, Sonscreen retains non-exclusive rights to repeat films for the purpose of marketing and promotion after the end of the festival. 

Internet Broadcast (Coming Soon)

Sonscreen may make films screened at the Sonscreen Film Festival available for non-commercial Internet broadcast on the Sonscreen Film Festival website. Filmmakers have the ability to opt out of this program upon acceptance into the festival. This is an optional program in which the filmmaker has the ability to opt-out by contacting the film festival director.


The SONscreen Film Festival reserves the right to remove a film from the festival program for any reason or for no reason and shall not be liable for any refund or claims of any kind arising out of such removal.



2017 Sonny Award Nominees and Honorees

•Capture (John Butler, Brady Griffin, Southern Adventist University)

•Foreign Native (Denae Keizs, Madai Villa, Heidi Ramirez, Kiana Gurley, Andrews University)

•Class of 2017 // One Step Forward (Jacob Patterson, Walla Walla University)

•The Follow Through (Winner: Grace Romstad, Pacific Union College)                     

BEST DRAMATIC SHORT                                •Shelter (Winner: D’arce Peter, Royce Pajela, Southern Adventist University)                   •Dear Hamilton (Honorable Mention: Taylor Smith, Pacific Union College)

•The Hugs Project (Winner: Stephen Allcock, Jeriah Richardson, Maxine Murray, Andrews University)                                    •Foreign Native (Honorable Mention: Denae Keizs, Madai Villa, Heidi Ramirez, Kiana Gurley, Andrews University)    

•Capture (Winner: John Butler, Brady Griffin, Southern Adventist University)                     •100% Match (Honorable Mention: Shane Miosi, Southwestern Adventist University)

•Dewey Dixon (Winner: Baily Nolfe, Malia Bishop, Loma Linda Academy)                               •Moving On (Honorable Mention: Melanie Diaz, Hawaii Mission Academy)

Chef’s Table: Walla Walla (Winner: Jacob Patterson, Walla Walla University)  

•Bearly Awake (Winner: Stephanie Owen, Southern Adventist University)                     •Small Imagination (Honorable Mention: Richard Roberts, Southern Adventist University)

BEST SOUND DESIGN                                          The Other Side (Winner: Summer Medina, La Sierra University)

SONSCREEN VISION AWARD                            Bill Mechanic

Terry Benedict