2019 Schedule / Deadlines

For high school film makers. 

The purpose of the film festival is to highlight the talent of our state's high school (grades 9 through 12) audio/visual students while allowing these students to make a positive impact on our State's K-12 youth in the areas of Diversity, Character Education, and Healthy Living.


1. Choose your category: There are three categories to focus your message: Healthy Living, Building Character or Celebrating Diversity.

2. Select your audience: There are two target audiences for this competition - students in grades K-6 or older students in grades 7-12. Your PSA message should be age appropriate. When producing a video for younger audiences remember to keep it simple. Please remember that younger children cannot read fast so do not include lot of written copy in your PSA when targeting this audience. Also please keep in mind, the K-6 audience do not operate vehicles so please do not choose this audience if your topic is drinking and driving or other topics more appropriate for an older youth audience. The judges and film festival committee reserve the right to move entries to a more appropriate category. The film festival committee and legacy partners encourage students to demonstrate making great choices and keeping your videos positive!

3. Write and produce your video! PSA videos should not be more than :30 and give your PSA an appropriate title.

4. If necessary print off talent release form  (download from the Meijer Great Choices website) Entries that have actors or the filmmaker in the video, must include a signed talent release form from each individual appearing in the video. This includes any on-camera actors and voiceover announcers (this form can be found under the registration and forms button.) The completed form(s) can be scanned and then uploaded along with your video.

5. $5 Early registration discounted deadline is Friday, January 18, 2019. Register at the Meijer Great Choices Film Festival website (meijergreatchoices.com) by January 18 and pay only $5 registration fee per video. Completely fill out the registration form;

6. Or final registration deadline is February 8, 2019 with a $10 registration fee, then;

7. Upload your video: Be sure to ask your teacher to email kathyrichards@bcpsk12.net to set up a Google Shared Drive for your school to upload student PSA videos and talent release forms. You can also scan and upload any proof of permission to use copyrighted music - be sure and indicated this on your registration form.

8. Mail the registration fee (must be postmarked by the deadline date), along with all talent release forms and any proof of permission to use copyrighted music if these materials were not uploaded with your video. Be sure to add your name, school and title of your video with your payment so it can be matched up with your on-line registration information. Checks should be made payable to: Meijer Great Choices Film Festival and mailed to c/o Van Singel Fine Arts Center, 8500 Burlingame SW, Byron Center, MI 49315.

9. Or pay registration fees by credit card: Your teacher/school can call 616.878.6800 (press option 5) Monday through Friday, 12 to 5 pm with complete credit card information. Receipts can be emailed to the teachers/schools.

ADDITIONAL NOTES: All material must be copyright free, original and the film festival committee encourages creating positive messages relating to building character, healthy living or celebrating diversity. Be careful about showing items with brand names - these videos may be disqualified. Be sure to check out the rules and guidelines  which are available at www.meijergreatchoices.com. Please be sure to select the correct audience and category in which your PSA should be placed. Talent release forms, a copy of the registration form with your name and school, plus the registration fee must be submitted by the deadline. Please be aware that it is very important to give your PSA a title/name.

March-April 2019 The videos will be judged by college students and their instructors from Compass College of Cinematic Arts, Cornerstone University, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Northwood University, and Western Michigan University, festival staff and Legacy Partners.

Judging will separate PSA's first by target audience, then by Great Choices categories of Character, Healthy Living, and Diversity. The judges reserve the right to move an entry to a more appropriate category or to disqualify a video. Entries will be narrowed to the top ten for each Great Choice categories for a total of sixty semifinalists.* (The judges reserve the right to reduce the number of semifinalists/finalists by category pending adequate number of entries.)

May, 2019 The top 10 finalists in each category will be notified via a letter, email and invitation to the Festival Event scheduled on a Saturday in June 1, 2019 at the Van Singel Fine Arts Center in Byron Center, MI (just south of Grand Rapids).

Top ten finalists and their families will be invited to the Meijer Great Choices Film Festival Awards Event on Saturday, June 1st, 2019 at the Van Singel Fine Arts Center in Byron Center.
•Top 10 PSA's (:30) promoting healthy lifestyles targeted for grades K-6*
•Top 10 PSA's (:30) celebrating diversity, targeted for grades K-6*
•Top 10 PSA's (:30) building character, targeted for grades K-6*
•Top 10 PSA's (:30) promoting healthy lifestyles targeted for grades 7-12*
•Top 10 PSA's (:30) celebrating diversity, targeted for grades 7-12*

•Top 10 PSA's (:30) building character targeted for grades 7-12*

Awards: Six 1st place awards of $1,500 each, six 2nd place awards of $1,000, and six 3rd place awards of $500 and 42 finalists (4th-10th place) will receive $75. Winners will be announced at the June, 2019 Awards Ceremony.

How to claim your award - winners are invited to the Meijer Great Choices Film Festival awards event scheduled for Saturday, June 1, 2019. More than $21,000 in cash prizes will be awarded at a VIP ceremony and reception at the Van Singel Fine Arts Center in Byron Center, MI (just south of Grand Rapids). The awards event begins at 10:00 am, followed by a reception for the winners and their families. Winners will be notified via email and mail.

Important note: If winners are unable to accept their award at the June 1st awards event, prizes may take up to two months to mail to recipients. When mailed, the post office will require a signature before delivery to the recipient. If the award is returned to the Meijer Great Choices Film Festival, it will be the responsibility of the recipient to make arrangements to personally pick up their award/cash prize from the Van Singel Fine Arts Center or recipient will be responsible to cover the cost of mailing a second time.


Fall 2019 Top Ten PSA's (*Pending qualifications) of each category to be reproduced and distributed on DVD to Michigan schools as tools for their Character Education, Health and Diversity programs.

For information contact:
Kathy Richards, kathyrichards@bcpsk12.net or 616.878.6801.

Staff Coordinator for Meijer Great Choices Film Festival

Mailing information:
c/o Van Singel Fine Arts Center
8500 Burlingame SW
Byron Center, MI 49315
Administrative: 616.878.6801
Fax: 616.878.6820