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Rules & Guidelines

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The FÍS Film Awards Competition is open to all primary schools in the Republic of Ireland. Only films created and produced by Republic of Ireland, Dept. of Education designated primary school pupils and their teacher(s) will be eligible, i.e., the film must be the school’s own original work. There is no need to register in advance – simply make your film and enter before the end of June in line with the below criteria.

Film Time Limit

Films submitted must be no longer than 5 mins in length (excluding credits). Any films that exceed this time limit will not be eligible.

Submission Form

Each school must complete the online entry form available from www.fisfilmproject.ie

To complete the online form you will need to have the following to hand:

  • Roll Number, School Name & Address
  • Contact details (email/phone)
  • Film Details (Title, Classes involved)
  • Storyboards (optional) scanned to one doc (word, pdf, jpeg, etc) ready to attach

Films can ONLY be submitted using a YouTube URL link which can be pasted into the entry form.

A tutorial is available here to show teachers how to set up a you tube profile account, upload film files and copy the URL for your entry.

If your entry is shortlisted we will require the actual film file later in the FÍS film competition process. Movie file format must be either .mp4 or .mov.


The Storyboard is useful to the judging panel to help them get a sense of the children’s involvement in the planning process.  Submission of the storyboard is optional.  Storyboards should be scanned into one document and submitted with the online entry via document upload facility built into the form.

Film Format

The preferred file formats are MP4 or Quicktime.  When exporting the Final Cut (after editing) please save to the highest possible quality, ideally, 1920x1080HD, 24 frames, quicktime, H.264, Audio AAC – that way the judges are viewing the best image and sound quality version of the film entered.

Films should be uploaded to a your own or schools YouTube account, YouTube will scan the film to check if it contains copyrighted music.  Please do not submit films that YouTube has flagged as having copyrighted music.  You can remove any the music and replace with copyright free music from any audio library, such as YouTube’s own or Ben Sound or other creative commons platforms.  Alternatively, if you have permission to use original music you may use that provided you email fisfilm@iadt.ie with the written permission from the artist and recording studio if applicable, naming the title of your film project and school details so we can match to your entry.  Please ONLY submit films with copyright free material / music.  Thank you for your cooperation.  If in any doubt, please refer to our Good Practice Video 4 in the resources to guide you.

Multiple Submissions

More than one film may be submitted by a school. Once you have submitted your first film then the online system will return you to the entry form so you can make another submission if desired.


Completed entries must be submitted online at  https://fisfilmproject.ie/competition/ on or before the last Friday in June each year at 5:00pm.

Consent & Release Forms

Consent & Release forms for all children participating in the film must be signed by parents/guardians. Completed Consent & Release forms should be kept with the school normal records. You do not need to send these to us when entering but you should have permission / consent before you enter the film. You will be asked to confirm this on the  online entry form.  Parental Consent & Release Form available here … with Irish Version available here

Location Release Forms

Where films are shot on location outside the school, schools should get written consent from property owners where necessary.  Completed location release forms should be retained by the school. Location Release Form available here with Irish Version available here

Copyrighted Material

The use of copyrighted visual material is not permitted, i.e. photographs, logos, insignias, branded items, etc. Please use creative commons copyright free material or original content. Use of copyrighted material including music, without written permission from author, artist and producers along with evidence of written permission, will lead to automatic disqualification.

Music Copyright

Schools should choose soundtracks that are either:

  • Original music created and recorded at school.

Note: re-recording (i.e. singing and /or instrumental) and /or syncing to video of copyrighted material is in breach of copyright law.


  • Use copyright-free music available from audio libraries (such as YouTube) or music available for use via creative commons licence.
    Note: “available to download free” is not the same as copyright-free!

You will be asked to confirm that you have not used copyrighted material in your film when filling in the online entry form.

If your school has gained permission from the relevant artist and production company to use copyrighted material (incl. music) you must contact fisfilm@iadt.ie directly in advance of the closing date and we will advise next steps and additional paperwork required re. your entry submission.

Awards Attendance

Schools whose films are shortlisted for an award at the annual National FÍS Film Award Ceremony should be available to attend The Helix Theatre, DCU, Dublin 9 in mid-February each year. Partial support may (TBC) be offered financial support re. bus / coach hire to assist schools with the cost of attending this prestigious event. IADT/FÍS and OIDE reserve the right to host the awards online in the event of a pandemic, or other unforeseen restriction that may arise.



Judging Panel

The judging panel for the FÍS Film Awards comprises individuals with expertise in the areas of education and film. The judges will be impartial. Where split decision arises the FÍS Manager has the casting vote.  The decision of the judges is final.


When reviewing films submitted for the awards, judges will consider the following:

  • Imagination and creativity
  • Originality of the story
  • Curricular relevance (include details of subject/strand/strand unit where relevant)
  • Support of pupils’ literacy and/or numeracy skills development
  • Excellence in set design, costume design, film direction, film production, the use of sound, acting, cinematography, etc
  • Excellence in the art of storytelling
  • Excellence in the use of special techniques, e.g., animation or special effects
  • Excellence in visual interpretation of a story or concept


Scannáin as Gaeilge

Cuirfear fáilte ar leith roimh scannáin as Gaeilge.



Award Categories

Awards may be made in a wide variety of categories including Documentary, Comedy, Acting, Storytelling, Adaptation, Animation, Special Effects, Direction, Costume, Editing, Production Design, Cinematography, Sound Track, Best Newcomer, Best Junior Class Production, Curriculum Relevance, among others.

Special Award Category

For the 19th Annual FÍS Film Competition opening on the 22nd of April 2024, there is a suggested category of ‘Climate and Sustainability’. Films do not have to be on this subject matter, but there will be a dedicated award in this category for those looking to narrow the focus of their submissions.


Queries may be directed to fisfilm@iadt.ie