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Teen Health Film Festival


ΤΕΕΝ HEALTHThe Salt Lake County Health Department is excited to announce the 5th annual Teen Health Film Festival.

This year, the festival will focus on the theme of I Advocate, encouraging participants to showcase aspects of health that are impacting their community and how youth advocacy can create change for better health outcomes. We invite youth in grades 7–12 to participate by creating a 30–60-second original short film telling the story of health advocacy through their own voice and creativity.

In years past, the festival empowered middle and high school students to create and send a video-based message to their peers about the dangers of youth e-cigarette use. In providing this opportunity through evaluation efforts we found that 78% of teens perception of e-cigarettes changed. We value the youth voice when it comes to learning how public health topics have an impact on them and their community. We want to keep these conversations going as we know that they are most impactful to teen health.

2023 Teen Health Film Festival timeline

January 17: Submissions open (see the submission form by clicking here)
March 19 (at midnight): Submissions close
April 18: Winners announced at in-person film screening event


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  1. a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy.

The "I Advocate" theme for the 2023 Teen Health Film Festival aims to inspire and empower young people to use their voices and their art to promote better health outcomes and advocate for causes they believe in. The festival will showcase original youth-created, short films that address important health issues and encourage understanding and action, inviting viewers to join in a dialogue of advocacy. These short films may be documentary or fictional, tackling a diverse range of themes including health care, wellness, mental health, nutrition, exercise, and more. Through the festival, youth are invited to share their stories and perspectives on how they can advocate for their own health and the health of their communities, inspiring positive change and improving health outcomes in Salt Lake County and beyond.


$500 REI Gift card

$400 Salt Lake Art Tix gift card

2 Pack Lagoon Season passes

$200 Beehive Skate Shop gift card


Submitted films should feature creative content informed by scientifically valid research. Below are a few approved resources filmmakers can refer to for information to use in their films.  

Free Music for Your Film

Access the Utah Education Network's Online Library from home. Get login information from your school librarian or email

Personal Appearance Form

Every person who appears in your film must fill out and sign a personal appearance form; if they are under the age of 18, their parent or guardian must sign the form.



To become a sponsor for the 2023 Teen Health Film Festival, please fill out this short sponsor application.


Please read the information below carefully. Failure to adhere to the rules or submit necessary paperwork will disqualify your entry.


  • Entrant must be either a resident of Salt Lake County or enrolled in a school in Salt Lake County.
  • Entrant must be enrolled in a K-12 public, private, or charter school; or home-schooled with a valid excuse certificate from their local school board.
  • Entrant must be in grade 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12.
  • Entrant’s film cannot include any copyrighted content, including but not limited to: music, images, video clips, or trademarks.


Create a 30-to-60-second film (excluding credits) under the theme: “I Advocate” How you do advocate or would you advocate for a teen health topic that’s important to you, your community, or school.

  What does Advocate mean?

  • Advocate: to support or argue for something that’s important to you
    • To plead in favor of

  Examples of Teen Health Advocacy Topics 

*These examples are not required topics for film submissions

Think about a health topic that’s important to you and how things could be better if change was made. What would that change look like? How could you represent this in your film?

We have listed some possible examples below of what advocacy for a teen health topic could look like. You’ll notice some of the principles or steps of advocacy have been underlined. These examples are not required topics, but could be helpful in creating inspiration for your film submission.

  • Vaping in Schools: Vaping may be a problem at school that makes it hard for those who do not vape to use the bathrooms. Advocacy could look like creating awareness of this problem and working with the school to make a helpful change. *Please note the safe messaging guidelines below.

  • Creating Safe Spaces: Is your social environment inclusive and friendly towards diversity? Starting a club or group that wants to increase safe spaces at school or other areas could be a great place to start to create change.

  • Healthy Relationships: Teen dating violence may be a problem in your friend group or at your school. Advocating for healthy relationships classes or peer support groups could help to limit or lower this issue. Asking for what you need to feel safe and healthy in your environment is a great way to practice advocacy.

  • Nutrition and Food Access: Is there access to healthy and nutritious foods in your daily life? Who makes the decisions about what types of foods are available? Reaching out to leaders at school, home, or other places about what’s important to you and how changes could impact your life can be an effective form of advocacy


  • Create, edit, and upload your film to YouTube.
    • *YouTube does not allow users under the age of 13 to upload videos. Those under the age of 13 will need parental permission to use the site and upload a video.
  • Once it has uploaded and processed successfully, you can submit the link to your film to the Teen Health Film Festival Submission Form.
  • You do not need to make your video public to submit to the film festival.  
  • Submit a completed Personal Appearance Form for EVERYONE who appears in the video and/or audio of your film.

Safe Messaging for Mental Wellness:

         Please note, as directed by the safe messaging guidelines addressed by Live On Utah linked below, that submissions including depictions of suicide or means will not be accepted. We invite prospective participants to read the Safe Messaging guidelines below for a full understanding of best practices for depicting Mental Health in your film.  

Safe Messaging for Physical Health:

Anyone in the film under age 21 may NOT use or simulate the use of tobacco, e-cigarettes, or drugs in any way, as it is a violation of federal law for people under 21 to possess these items in any circumstance. We encourage filmmakers to find creative ways to bring attention to these teen health issues.


The information you provide will be used to verify eligibility and for the Teen Health Film Festival administration to contact contest winners. Your information, other than social media accounts, will not be used for any other purpose, or shared with any other party not affiliated with the Teen Health Film Festival and Contest except to the extent permitted by law. Social media accounts/handles may be used to tag entrants in festival promotional materials.


Entries must obey the Terms and Conditions below and must be submitted during the competition period, beginning on January 17, 2023, and ending on March 19, 2023 at 11:59 PM MST.

An Entry must be an original work of the Entrant, and cannot infringe upon the Intellectual Property such as copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or any other form of intellectual property or rights of any person, organization, or entity. If an entry contains any material, assets, or elements that are not owned or created by the Entrant, the Entrant is responsible for receiving, prior to submission, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the use and exhibition of the Entry by the Teen Health Film Festival in the manner set forth in these Terms. This includes, without limitation, name and likeness permissions from any person who appears in or is identifiable in the Entry, as well as music licenses and location releases when applicable. The Teen Health Film Festival reserves the right to request proof of these permissions in a form acceptable to the Teen Health Film Festival from the Entrant at any time. Failure to provide such proof may, if requested, render the Entry null and void.

Any assets not created by the Entrant must be credited at the end of the Entry. Entrant must submit a Statement of Originality and include the name, title, and source of any elements not created by the Entrant. Entrants must submit Personal Appearance forms for any and all actors or identifiable faces in the Entry. Should any actor or identifiable face be a minor under 18 years of age, the respective Personal Appearance form must be signed by a parent or guardian. The Entrant must submit a Parent/Legal Guardian Consent and Release form for the Entry to be in consideration.

Entry must be submitted before the competition deadline, March 19, 2023 at 11:59 PM MST. Any entries submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.

Terms and Conditions

  1. There is no purchase necessary to enter or to win, nor is there any cost to apply.
  2. The Entrant is deemed to be the holder of the established Facebook, Instagram, and e-mail accounts associated with the Entry.
  3. If the Entrant submitting the Entry is under 18 years of age, Entrant agrees to get permission from parent or legal guardian before Entry of any photograph video, audio, artwork or written media. The Salt Lake County Health Department requires a parent or legal guardian to sign the Consent and Release Form.
  4. By submitting the Entry, Entrant is warranting that the photograph, video, audio, artwork or written media is original. For any Entry that includes photo or video of multiple individuals, those individuals must agree to the Entry of their photo or video in the contest. Any individual under age 18 should also have their parent/legal guardian sign the Personal Appearance form.
  5. By submitting the Entry, Entrant is granting the Salt Lake County Health Department, including local media, the right to use the photograph, video, audio, artwork or written media for communication purposes for an unlimited time.
  6. By submitting the Entry, Entrant agrees and hereby releases the Salt Lake County Health Department, its employees, its board members, and its partners from any and all liability or responsibility arising in connection with the Entrant’s participation in the contest or as to any prize(s) which may be awarded.
  7. The Salt Lake County Health Department reserves the right at its sole discretion to reject and disqualify any Entry deemed in its sole discretion to be obscene, profane, offensive, lewd, pornographic or otherwise inappropriate. The Salt Lake County Health Department also reserves the right to ask Entrant to revise and/or edit written Entries.
  8. The Salt Lake County Health Department assumes no responsibility for Entries unable to be processed for any technical reason and further reserves the right to cancel the contest if it becomes technically corrupted or because of unauthorized human intervention. The Salt Lake County Health Department reserves the right in the event of such cancellation to award the prize to an eligible, non-suspect Entry received prior to cancellation.
  9. Entrant agrees that Entry and acceptance of prize constitutes permission for The Salt Lake County Health Department to have the option of using the first name of Entrant and Entry in any submitted photograph, video, audio, artwork or written media. Such use will be without compensation and may be for editorial, public relations, promotional or advertising purposes, or any other purpose as deemed reasonable by The Salt Lake County Health Department.
  10. This contest is limited to Utah residents in school grades 7-12. Applicable taxes are the responsibility of the Entrant.
  11. This contest is sponsored and promoted by: Salt Lake County Health Department, 2001 S. State Street, Suite S2-600, Salt Lake City, UT 84190.
  12. The winning selections will be shown at our in-person theater event.  Winners and prizes will be announced at our live event on April, 18, 2023.
  13. Contest Entry opens on January 17, 2023 and closes on March 10, 2023 at 11:59 MST. No entries submitted after that date will be considered for the contest. Entries must be submitted to the google form and the entire form must be completed.
  14. Public voting dates will be open on March 15, 2023 and close on March 17, 2023 at 11:59 MDT.
  15. The Salt Lake County Health Department reserves the right to adjust the rules, terms and conditions of the “Teen Health Film Festival” contest as necessary.
  16. Any Entrant who does not agree with the above terms and conditions should not enter this film festival.

Salt Lake County Health Department
General Information  
Phone: (385) 468-4100