The 2022 Democracy Youth Film Challenge is an annual national film competition for youth ages 15-25 organized by the Civic Life Project. The goal of the Film Challenge is to encourage students to create a well-researched, empathetic, compelling, and balanced video about a civic issue they believe to be important.

Choose from the two submission categories: 

  • The Documentary Category is for videos up to 8 minutes in length and must focus on an issue the filmmaker believes should be addressed by 2022 candidates. 
  • The Social Media Category (presented in partnership with the Campus Vote Project) is for works up to 2 minutes with an aim to measurably increase youth registration and voter turnout in 2022. 

The top films, selected by a panel of volunteer judges, receive cash prizes of up to $5,000! Selected films will be presented at an online Awards Ceremony on September 21, 2022, at 7 p.m. EST. Learn more.

The Gephardt Award

In collaboration with Civic Life Project, the Gephardt Institute challenges WashU students to make videos for the Democracy Youth Film Challenge! 

Create a well-researched, compelling, and balanced video examining an issue you are passionate about (gun violence, immigration, climate change, voting) for a chance to receive a cash prize $5,000 from the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement. All WashU-produced films that follow Democracy Youth Film Challenge guidelines will be eligible for national awards in addition to the Gephardt Award*.

Selected films will be presented at an online Awards Ceremony on September 21, 2022 and screened on the WashU campus during the fall semester. Make it fun or make it poignant, but make it count! 

*Films that are produced by non-traditional students above the age limit for the Democracy Youth Film Challenge will only be eligible for a Gephardt Award.

Watch our virtual information session with the founders of the Civic Life Project for more details on this collaboration!

Find the full list of rules here.
To submit your video, visit:

Have questions? Email Associate Director for Civic Engagement, Alannah Glickman, at