168 Film Project Contest Rules for 2015

All producers will sign the 168 Film Project Entry Agreement and Warranty document, and the License document as a condition of participation. The following is a summary of those documents:

Eligibility and Entry

  • All teams, worldwide, are eligible to participate and may consist of any number of individuals.
  • Teams are required to designate one primary producer as the team's agent or “signing producer” (the "Entrant").  This Entrant will be the primary contact with 168 and will sign the entry agreement, agree to these Rules and the Warranties and Licensing Agreement, and execute all necessary release forms for the submitted Film. There can only be one Entrant on record per film entry. The Signing Producer "Entrant" assumes all legal responsibility for the film's content, its production, and the safety of the cast and crew.
  • Individuals who are employees or board members of 168 are not eligible to participate on a team.
  • Student Teams must be headed by an individual age 18 or older.
  • 168 reserves the right to bar any team or individuals from the competition or exhibition.
  • Producers may submit multiple film entries in the same or different film type categories. However, each film, is considered a separate entry and requires that a separate Entry Fee be paid. Further, entries may be capped as deemed necessary by 168 Film Project ("168"), the organizer and operator of the Project.
  • ONLY ONE TEAM PER USER ID. If registering more than one team, producers must create a separate ID on this site.
  • To enter, teams must (1) pay the Entry Fee and (2) agree to abide by the rules.  A Contract and Warranty/Licensing form (downloaded from the purchase acknowledgement page) must be signed submitted within 5 days of entry purchase.
  • Cancellation Refunds: A team may cancel its entry registration any time by notifying 168 in writing. Refunds of entry fees will be made according to this schedule:
    • Cancellation up to 30 days before Verse Assignment - full entry fee refunded
    • Cancellation less than 14 days before Verse Assignment - No refunds
    • Team registrations are NOT transferable. 

Entry Process (Step-By-Step)

  1. Click the ENTER button to purchase entry.
  2. Use your existing login if you have already joined 168 or you participated last year. (Old passwords will not work. All teams must create new passwords for 2014).
  3. Your TEAM NUMBER will appear on the confirmation page and your email receipt. Use that team number on all paperwork and the film itself.
  4. After purchase you will be logged into the site. Click "Manage My Entry to enter the Producer Dashboard and see Step #1. Click to download the CONTRACT/LICENSE agreement. Download, print, sign and return this document immediately.
  5. The contract and license must be returned to 168 no later than 5 days following entry. NO PAPERWORK - NO VERSE.

Season Schedule

VERSE ASSIGNMENT (Foundational Verses Randomly Assigned)
Tuesday, May 12, 2015: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Friday, May 22

TURN-IN DAY (Upload must begin BEFORE 11:00 AM PDT)
Friday, May 29. 

MEDIA DAY INTERVIEWS Friday, May 29, 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM PDT, Location TBA. Cast and Crews will be interviewed by 168. The media is invited.

13th Annual 168 Film Festival - Saturday and Sunday August 29-30, 2015. Regal Cinemas Premiere House at LA Live!, Los Angeles, CA. Location and Info - Virtual Tour

Rules on Content

168 Films do not require any overtly Christian characters. Authentic Christian characters are encouraged versus one-dimensional Christian caricatures. Heroes should come to be aligned with truth, goodness, God & the Bible. A respectful, traditional interpretation of scripture is obligatory. Heretical or blasphemous films and gratuitous elements are unacceptable. This means the following:

  • No swearing
  • No gratuitous sex, violence, language or drug use.
  • No overly revealing costumes
  • No using the word “God” or “Jesus” as an expletive or showing disrespect to Jesus, God or the Spirit of God
  • No morally ambiguous films (like purely black comedies) or those that wink at or poke fun at hell, taboos and sin

As Jesus is our redemption, redemptive stories are ideal, even if it's just a hint of redemption. If tragedies are produced, they must show real consequences for bad behavior (sin). By poking fun at the seriousness of murder, etc., TV and movies have helped to destroy the pursuit of virtue and make light of the miseries of mankind.

Additional Content-Related Rules:

  • 168 Logo Films shall not use the 168 logo without prior permission.
  • Personal Information: Films must avoid featuring or referencing personally identifying information (PII), including, but not limited to vehicle license plates or real names/addresses. If unavoidable in filming, such information should be blurred or blocked during post production.
  • Copyrighted Images or Trademarks: Films must avoid featuring or referencing third party marks, including but not limited to third party names, logos or trademarks on background signage, products, panoramic views, vehicles, or clothing such as T-shirts, hats, etc. without permission. If such are used, written release documentation must be obtained and kept on file by the entrant. 168 may, at its discretion, require the entrant “cover” (blur) certain un-cleared items so that the film may be publically screened.
  • Live Animals: Films must not utilize live animals unless Entrant has obtained the consent of the animal’s owner and an affidavit from the animal owner or wrangler that the animal was not harmed in the making of the Film. Entrants are encouraged to contact the local Humane Society prior to filming to verify appropriate animal safeguards on set.
  • Content Jurisdiction: 168 reserves the right of discretion on film content.  Films deemed to be non-compliant in all material respects with the Rules or that otherwise contain prohibited or inappropriate content will not be considered for awards, and may be eliminated from screening at the festival or in other places. 168 may request the producer of a non-compliant film to correct, remove or conceal offending content and resubmit. Such edited films will not be eligible for awards (other than Audience Favorite), but may be included in the 168 Film Festival Screening and online.

Rules on Originality, Length, etc

  • Originality: Submitted films must be comprised of only all original material, created specifically for the Project, subject to the following:
    • Up to 90 seconds of stock footage or public domain footage can be used per film, except for documentaries, which has no limit on stock footage..
    • Films based on true or real life events may be submitted, with appropriate clearances including "life rights" for true stories.
    • Artwork or musical compositions not created specifically for the Project may be used as background material, with appropriate clearances.
  • Film duration: See below for film duration limits for specific film types
  • Mandatory Content: items that must be included to be eligible for awards:   
    • Slate at the head of the film, according to specifications in the Producer Dashboard.
    • Credits, typical of standard motion picture production, which must be readable and contain the words "a 168 film project" at some point, according to specifications in the Producer Dashboard
    • Post-roll Bible Verse Insertion, from "Verse Asset Package" content provided by 168 in the Producer Dashboard.
  • Music Award Eligibility. For a speed film to be considered for Best Song or Best Original Score:
    • No writing of lyrics, score or charts may occur until Verse Assignment.    
    • No recording of vocals/instruments or digital audio project assembly may commence until the Production Start.
    • Award-eligible composers will sign a certificate affirming that their work was produced in accordance with these rules.
    • Films using pre-recorded songs or library music are not eligible for “Best Original Score.”
    • "Music Video" is a separate category with different rules (see below).

Turn-In Rules

  • All teams are required to turn in TWO (2) versions of their films: (1) a compressed online JUDGING version , and (2) a SCREENING version on physical media, which will be delivered no to 168 no later than one week following Turn-In of the Judging version.
    • The JUDGING VERSION must be rendered to h.264 (QuickTime or MP4 according to our specifications) and must have begun uploading before the specified hour on Turn-In Day. An unaltered copy of the Judging Version must be included with the physical submission (below).
    • The SCREENING VERSION must use ProRes, DNxHD or very high bandwidth MP4 codecs according to our specifications, and shipped to 168 on physical media (Flash drive or portable hard disk). The Screening Version may include enhancements, such as audio sweetening, color correction and other minor adjustments. The total length must remain the same. The express courier delivery, including an unaltered copy of the Judging Version and the paperwork must be postmarked no later than one week following turn-in day.
  • All film specifications and a "cookbook" to achieve file quality can be found in the Producer Dashboard.
  • Optional 5-minute max "Making Of" Documentaries must be uploaded no later than 1 week following the primary film's turn-in date. Screening version of the "Making Of" documentary should be included with the Screening Version of the primary film.
  • Turn-in times are for the Pacific Time Zone in the USA. Teams outside of the PST time zone need to adjust their start/end times accordingly
  • The Southern California Turn-in event has been discontinued.  All teams will submit the Judging Copy online.

Rules, Duration and Start Times for Specific Film Types

For "Speed Films," Start Time is strictly regulated. "Non-Speed" film types may start immediately upon entry purchase/forms completeion.  Films will compete with other films of the same type. Note: All films in all parts of the world are due at the same time in the PACIFIC TIME ZONE.

"Speed Film" Types

"Signature" Speed Films (Dramas, Comedies, Musicals, etc.)

  • Duration must not exceed 11 minutes including credits (11:00:01 means no awards).
  • No Writing may occur prior to Verse Assignment (the beginning of the 10-day Pre-Production period).
  • Before Verse Assignment  teams may conduct casting, secure locations and develop concepts prior to verse assignment, but no scripting may be performed.
  • No filming may commence prior to the posted Production Week Start Time.
  • Production must be complete and upload started by the posted Turn-In Time. (See above for Turn-In rules for all films.)
  • (Musicals are dramas/comedies where song lyrics advance the plot.)


  • Music must be original, composed for the project.
  • No writing of lyrics, score or charts may occur until Verse Assignment.
  • No recording or Digital Audio production until the start of Production Week.
  • Composers will sign a certificate that states music was composed within these rules

Signature Speed Films with Hybrid Live Action/Animated/Effects:

  • These (up to 11 min) films alternate synthetic elements and live action and are considered Speed Films.
  • As such, all CG effects, animation, etc. are considered a part of live action. These assets include Motion Capture, Plates and Virtual Sets. 
  • Effects MAY be planned after the Verse Assignment, but filmmakers may NOT shoot or do work on any of these elements before the Start Production date and time.

Student Speed Films (up to 11 min)

  • Student films follow the same timetable as Signature Films (in the Pacific Time Zone)
  • Key personnel (producer, director, etc.) must be active college or high school students, supervised by an adult advisor.
  • One adult advisor must register as Signing Producer if student producer is under age 18.
  • If the normal pre-production/production schedule interferes with exams at the school, dates of verse assignment and 168-hour production week may be rescheduled. Proof of exam-week conflict must be provided to be considered. Contact us to explain the circumstances.
  • Student films compete in their own category.

Non-Speed Film Types

All "Non-Speed" films may begin production as soon as fees are paid.


  • Duration is 11-minutes or less including credits
  • Production Start Time: Documentary production may commence as soon as entry fees are paid.
  • Producer must choose a verse related to the annual Theme. The verse must be communicated to 168 at least 10 days before Verse Assignment Day to allow 168 to create the Verse Asset Package. Verses will be published using the NIV translation.
  • Content Rules and Turn-In Rules as described above apply to Documentary entries.
  • Production turn-in deadline is the same as for Signature Speed Films.
  • Stock Footage: Use of stock or generic footage in docs is not regulated, but releases are mandatory
  • Unlimited Documentaries compete in their own category.  They are eligible for the Evangelista Award.

KidVids (Non-Speed)

  • Production  of these (up to 11-minute including credits) films may commence as soon as entry fees are paid.
  • Producer must choose a verse related to the annual Theme. The verse must be communicated to 168 at least 10 days before Verse Assignment Day to allow 168 to create the Verse Asset Package. Verses will be published using the NIV translation.
  • Producer will specify age range of the target audience in the Film Details Database. Ages 3-15 year-olds - “G” or "PG” rated.  The spirit of these film ratings is a return to the very conservative standards of 1950's media.
  • Age appropriateness will be a criterion for judging.
  • Duration may be no more than 5 minutes, appropriate for target audience attention span.
  • KidVids are subject to the same Content Rules as described above.
  • Production turn-in rules described above apply.
  • KidVids compete in their own separate category.

Pure Animation Films (Non-Speed)

  • Length is 5-minutes or less including credits.
  • Pure Animation films must contain animation or motion capture in every frame.
  • Producer must choose a verse related to the annual Theme. The verse must be communicated to 168 at least 10 days before Verse Assignment Day to allow 168 to create the Verse Asset Package. Verses will be published using the NIV translation.
  • Pure Animation films will compete in their own category, and are also eligible for the Evangelista Award.
  • Turn-in rules for all films (above) apply.

Music Videos (Non-Speed)

  • Length is 5-minutes or less including credits.
  • Music Videos are a special category, where the visuals enhance or illustrate the lyric of the song.
  • Producer must choose a verse related to the annual Theme. The verse must be communicated to 168 at least 10 days before Verse Assignment Day to allow 168 to create the Verse Asset Package.
  • Original music is encouraged. If copyrighted pre-existing music is chosen, all licenses and synchronizations rights must be secured and copies delivered to 168 with submission (see below).
  • Music Videos compete in their own category.
  • Turn-in rules are the same as all other films (see above).

Write of Passage Spotlight Films (Non-Speed)  

  • Length is 11-minutes or less including credits.
  • Turn-in rules are the same as for all films (see above).
  • Write of Passage scripts may be optioned and produced for the festival.
  • Producers may "bid" on the rights to produce any Write of Passage script. 168 Management has sole discretion in granting permission to produce.
  • Once accepted and fees paid, producers may begin production as soon as entry fees are paid. No time limits are required other than turn-in..
  • The foundational verse for the Write of Passage script will be the foundational verse for the film.
  • Technical requirements are the same as for all other submissions.  See Producer Dashboard for details.
  • Write of Passage Spotlight Films compete in their own category.
  • See the Write of Passage FAQ for full details.

"Making Of" Behind The Scenes Documentaries (Optional)

  • Behind-the-scenes (BTS) documentaries are encouraged but are not required.
  • No additional registration required.
  • Length is 5-minutes or less including credits.
  • Filming may start as soon as a team is formed.
  • All Content Rules (above) apply.
  • Deadline for submission is exactly 168 hours after the published hour on Turn-In day. A Screening Version of your Making Of documentary should be included in your Screening Version Physical Submission, which must be postmarked at the same time..
  • Upload and technical requirements are the same as for all other entries.
  • "Making Of" documentaries compete in their own category.

Rules about Rights and Permissions

Music Licensing

  • All music must be licensed
  • Original composers will use the form to assign rights to you and to 168.
  • "Production Music" (from library, buyout or online scoring service) may be used, but it will disqualify for Best Score or Best Original Song.
  • Production Music (if used) must be licensed for up to 3,000 copies plus Internet delivery.
  • Copyrighted "popular" music may ONLY be used if appropriate rights and permissions are obtained with license to make up to 3,000 copies plus Internet delivery. This applies also to incidental music that could be picked up by a microphone in a public place, or an actor humming a few bars or singing/speaking lyrics of a copyrighted song. For details on the hoops to use commercially-available music, please see www.bzrights.com/101.htm.


  • Producer must obtain releases from talent, cast, crew, location sites, trademarks, images or artwork displayed.
  • Template forms are provided in the Producer Dashboard. These forms are not to be construed as legal advice. Each team is responsible for its own contracts, releases and legal research.
  • If the film is based on true or real life events, Entrant is required to have those life rights and other releases executed by the participants as required by custom and usage in the industry and the applicable laws. Life rights owners must agree to the terms of the 168 license agreement.
  • Derivative works are not allowed. No books except he Bible are to be used as a basis for stories.
  • Releases are to be held by the producers in perpetuity. Producer guarantees that all appropriate rights have been secured.
  • Forms to be submitted to 168 with the film are listed in the Producer Dashboard.

Rules about Safety

Teams accept full responsibility for the safety of their cast and crew. This includes, but is not limited to, reading and complying with the Safety and Production Guidelines provided by 168. Producers must follow all applicable city, state, and federal laws. Team members including, but not limited to, Producers, Directors, Production Managers, Assistant Directors, Stunt Coordinators, and Effects Persons are required to attend the safety seminar or read/watch the safety presentation. Further, all teams will comply with all State and Federal OSHA requirements. Children on the set are subject to special rules outlined in the Official Rules and Agreement. 168 IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ACCIDENTS OR INJURIES ON YOUR SET.

Rules on Pre-Festival Screening

  • 168 reserves the right to premier your film at the festival.
  • NO open access to any versions of the film that may be uploaded to a video service (YouTube, Vimeo).
  • Films may not appear on any social media outlet (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) prior to the 168 Film Festival. (Be sure any preliminary uploads are "private" or "unlisted" and that recipients do not share the film.)
  • You may show your film to your team or supporters prior to the festival AS PRIVATE SCREENINGS ONLY.
  • If your film is NOT selected for festival screening, it may be made publically available, but only after the official screening schedule is announced.
  • Trailers are encouraged and may be uploaded to any social media or video sharing outlet referencing the premiere date of the festival. Trailers submitted to 168 will be featured on this site.