Pens to Lens 2021

Entries are open for the 2021 Pens to Lens Student Filmmaking Competition! Student-produced films running 5 minutes or less may be submitted through June 30th (although extensions may be granted — if you expect that to be necessary, please contact us ASAP at to make arrangements).

>> Find Student Film Rules, Judging Criteria, and Submissions here <<


Pens to Lens 2020

Important 2020 Pens to Lens Announcement!

The Pens to Lens board has been discussing the future of Pens to Lens, and we firmly believe that there is immense talent in our local community and the next generation of filmmakers and story tellers in our area. In the past the screenwriting competition has been our main focus, but over the past few years we’ve seen exciting growth in the Student Filmmaking Competition as well. It has always been the goal of the program to inspire and cultivate young talent, and this year we’re going to focus exclusively on the Student Filmmaking competition and supporting these young artists bringing their stories to the screen themselves.

While we intend to bring back the screenwriting competition in 2021, this is a good year to try something different, and we’re excited to see what the students in our community come up with!

Submission will be due in June and we will still be offering cash prizes for the first, second, and third place winners. Stay tuned for more information on filmmaking workshops and deadlines for the Student Film Festival!

Thank You For Your Scripts!

Submissions for the 2019 Pens to Lens Student Screenwriting Competition are now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted, and keep an eye out for the screening lineup announcement this summer, as well as tickets for the Gala in August!

We are still accepting student-produced short films for the Student Filmmaking Competition!  You can get details on that here, and when you’re ready to submit your film you can do so here.  We will be accepting student film entries through June 30th!

If you are interested in getting involved with the production of this year’s films and posters, check out this page and see what might apply to you, and if you’re interested in being considered for an onscreen role in one of the films, you can set up an actor profile on Champaign Casting Call.