COVIDeo-19 International Undergraduate Student Documentary Pop-up Film Festival

(Part of the new These Times Film Festival)

COVIDeo-19 is a pop-up documentary film festival intended to be about and for this moment. It is open only to undergraduate college students. By ?pop-up? we mean that we will be opening and closing submissions quickly and that the COVIDeo-19 theme will be a one-time thing (we hope!).


We welcome documentaries ranging from 1 to 15 minutes (1:00 minimum, 15:00 maximum) that explore life, living, social issues, personal problems, and the like that have emerged in this time of pandemic. Films may be traditional in form, experimental, or anything in-between. However, they must have been produced, directed, written, filmed, and edited by the same student; in keeping with physical distancing and public health concerns, and with common practice in many undergraduate documentary film classes, working with a crew is strictly prohibited.


Films will be evaluated on a rolling basis, beginning immediately. The Earlybird deadline for submissions is June1, Regular deadline August 1, and submissions will close on August 25. Selections will be announced on September 1, and award winners?selected by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Marshall Curry?will be revealed at the Grand Online Gala on Saturday, September 5, 2020, at 7 p.m. CST.


COVIDeo-19 is the 2020 installment of the newly-created These Times Student Film Festival. Each year the These Times festival directors will select a salient topic to/about which all films ultimately selected for the festival must speak. We will announce the 2021 These Times topic in the months ahead.



The top three U.S. Domestic films and the top three International films will be awarded special placement on the festival website by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Marshall Curry.

Marshall Curry is an Academy Award-winning filmmaker who has written and directed both fiction and documentary films. His work has won top awards at Sundance, Tribeca, and played on television around the world. His writing has twice been nominated for Writers Guild of America awards.

He won the Oscar for THE NEIGHBORS’ WINDOW, a short narrative film that he wrote and directed. He was previously nominated three times for Academy Awards for his documentary films, STREET FIGHT, IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT, and A NIGHT AT THE GARDEN. He also directed the award-winning documentaries RACING DREAMS and POINT AND SHOOT and was executive producer of MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS.


The COVIDeo-19 Film Festival was created by two college professors, one teaching in a film program and one in sociology, who independently assigned their students similar projects that boiled down to creating documentaries about life in these strange times. Inspired by those films, we wanted to create an outlet for similar work. And so COVIDeo-19 was born!


As our discussions about the festival developed, we realized we had stumbled on an idea for an annual festival. So These Times, the parent festival, was actually born after its child, COVIDeo-19. Strange days indeed.



* Submissions must be made through FilmFreeway.

* Only documentary films that in some way address, examine, or explore life during the COVID-19 pandemic will be considered.

* All films must run at least 1 minute (1:00) and may be no longer than 15 minutes (15:00).

* The festival is open only to undergraduate filmmakers. Proof of undergraduate standing will be required of all filmmakers whose films are selected.

* Films must be produced, directed, written, filmed, and edited by one student only.

* To allow us plenty of time to review films, please submit by June 1.

* The final deadline is August 25.

* Films not in English must be subtitled in English, with the exception of brief passages that do not affect the comprehension of the film.

* Films selected for the festival will be streamed on-line. By submitting a film, the filmmaker agrees to allow the organizers to stream their film. At the discretion of the organizers, the filmmaker will allow the     organizers to download, copy, and/or embed the film so that it may be streamed. However, the organizers will not allow others to download, copy, and/or embed any films. Filmmakers retain full copyright  
   over their films.

* Filmmakers are solely responsible for the use of any copyrighted material in their films. By submitting a film to the festival, filmmakers affirm that they have obtained permission to use any copyrighted      
   material included in the film.



Rik Scarce

Rik Scarce first picked up a camera of any kind in 9th grade, when he was invited to become a photographer for his junior high school yearbook. The bug bit hard and led him to work as a summer intern photographing the Smithsonian Institution?s Festival of American Folklife and, after graduating from college, as a reporter-photographer at the now-defunct New Smyrna Beach News and Observer newspaper in Florida.


In time Rik earned a Ph.D. in sociology, ultimately landing at Skidmore College. In 2006 he decided to shift his scholarship from text-based to video and largely taught himself how to create films. Along the way he has made virtually every mistake known to videomaking, but he has learned a lot and now teaches Visual Sociology, Video Ethnography, and Community Filmmaking. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Video Ethnography and serves on the executive committee of the Ethnografilm Festival. His films include an educational look at sustainability in the Hudson River region and his latest work, Impact: Mobility and Modernity Reconsidered, which is on the barefoot and minimalist running movement.

Joe Brown

Joe Brown is a filmmaker and educator based at the University of Denver. His documentary work has screened at: The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival; The International Wildlife Film Festival, The Wild & Scenic Film Festival; The Birmingham Sidewalk Festival, and many more venues. Joe is particularly interested in the relationship between humans and the environment around them. His current feature film, Operation Wolf Patrol, will be out in 2021.


Previously, Joe directed the Colorado Environmental Film Festival (CEFF) and the Great Lakes Environmental Film Festival (GLEFF). Joe also serves as the Executive Vice President of the University Film & Video Association (UFVA) and is active in the Denver filmmaking community.