NEW YORK – As proven by the recent uptick in book banning, people often want to silence ideas that they feel are harmful or offensive. Daily, youth are confronted with views they disagree with, from school censorship to online hate speech. How are youth and young adults coping with conflicting viewpoints? The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) wants to know and encourages filmmakers 19 and younger to participate in its Youth Free Expression Film Contest themed Speaking with people whose ideas you hate.  The deadline for submissions is September 8, 2023. 

NCAC encourages young artists to express themselves and share their stories through short 3-minute films that include animation, photographs, music, or other creative mediums. Film genres, such as documentaries, music videos, and narratives, among others, are welcome. A panel of renowned filmmakers, writers, artists, and activists will judge entries and select a winner and two finalists.

Winning entries will be judged based on relevant content, artistic and technical merit, and creativity. The top three filmmakers (individual or team) will receive a cash prize of $1,000, $500, or $250. A first-place winner will be announced in October 2023 and receive a scholarship to the New York Film Academy (terms and conditions apply). This year’s winning entry will also be screened in New York City during the NCAC Awards Benefit on November 13, 2023.

Contest participants must be 19 or younger on the day of contest entry and live in the U.S. The deadline for submissions is September 8, 2023.

NCAC’s Youth Free Expression Program Film Contest is administered by its Youth Free Expression Program and made possible by generous New York Film Academy support. Additional contest information, tips on filmmaking at home, content ideas, and copyright tips are available at

About National Coalition Against Censorship
Since its inception in 1974, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has functioned as a first responder in protecting freedom of expression, a fundamental human right, and a keystone of democracy. Representing 59 trusted education, publishing, and arts organizations, NCAC encourages and facilitates dialogue between diverse voices and perspectives, including those that have historically been silenced.