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Far-Out Films: NASA Footage to Star in Space Movie Competition

CineSpace Short Film Competition
The CineSpace Short Film Competition is now accepting submissions for films of 10 minutes or less that utilize NASA images and footage. (Image credit: CineSpace)

Calling all filmmakers! NASA wants you to make a movie using the agency's own images and footage of space. 

The CineSpace Short Film Competition asks participants to make short movies that use publicly available images and footage from NASA. Filmmakers are free to use whatever footage inspires them, whether it's from one of NASA's science missions, including its many telescopes and scientific spacecraft, or the agency's many human space missions. Entries must be no longer than 10 minutes and must consist of at least 10 percent publicly available NASA footage.  

Entries can be in any film genre, including narrative, documentary, animated and experimental. The films will be judged on "creativity, innovation and attention to detail: the same hallmarks of spaceflight," according to a press release from the competition organizers. "Works submitted to CineSpace will compete for cash prizes and the opportunity to be shown to audiences both on and off Earth."

Cinespace 2016 Trailer from Houston Cinema Arts Society on Vimeo.

The competition is a collaboration between NASA and the Houston Cinema Arts Society, a nonprofit organization that hosts the annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival. This is the third annual CineSpace competition, and you can watch the winning entries from 2015 and 2016 on the Houston Cinema Arts Society webpage. (The trailer above is from last year's competition.)

Three winners will be selected from a group of finalists. The top winner will receive $10,000, while second place will receive $5,000 and third place will receive $3,000. Two additional $4,000 prizes will be offered for films that best fit one of this year's two themes: "Benefits of Space to Humanity" and "Future Space Exploration." Check the competition guidelines for a complete list of rules and limitations.

Entries to the competition will be accepted now through July 31, 2017. A "team of specialists" from NASA and the Houston Cinema Arts Society will select the winners and finalists. Academy-award winning director Richard Linklater will return as one of the judges tasked with selecting the competition finalists. 

The finalists and winners will be announced at the Houston Cinema Arts Festival in November. (The competition guidelines tell contestants that winning filmmakers will be notified "within a reasonable period of time after the end of the submittal period whether your submission has been selected by NASA for an award.")

The winners and finalists will also be screened at the festival in November. Additionally, they may be screened at other film festivals, as well as on NASA TV and even on the International Space Station, according to the press release.

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Calla Cofield
Calla Cofield joined the crew of in October, 2014. She enjoys writing about black holes, exploding stars, ripples in space-time, science in comic books, and all the mysteries of the cosmos. She has been underground at three of the largest particle accelerators in the world. She'd really like to know what the heck dark matter is. Prior to joining Calla worked as a freelance science writer. Her work has appeared in APS News, Symmetry magazine, Scientific American, Nature News, Physics World, and others. From 2010 to 2014 she was a producer for The Physics Central Podcast. Previously, Calla worked at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City (hands down the best office building ever) and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California. Calla studied physics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is originally from Sandy, Utah. Contact Calla via: E-Mail – Twitter