Water Film Prize

The Water Film Prize is an annual short filmmaking competition. We seek creative films that share compelling stories about water issues, solutions and the current state of water resources around the globe. Entries can inform, educate, inspire or motivate people to come together and embrace our ubiquitous need to value water. There is also a Youth Water Film Prize for students ages 10-18. View our detailed submission guidelines below.

Between both prizes offered, there is an opportunity for everyone – students, filmmakers, hydrologists, ecologists, geographers, social scientists, artists, and more – to use the power of film to catalyze change. The suggested audience for submitted films in both categories is the general public, though participants are welcome to create a film that meets a further target audience like policymakers or local officials.

The best films we receive tell a local story that can be applied to a global context. They connect to people, inspiring them to take action for water crises or understand the value of water more deeply.

Water Film Prize

Adults ages 18+


Aspiring filmmakers, scientists, storytellers, and activists around the world are invited to submit a short film (maximum 2 minutes) about water issues.

In part due to the changing situation with the pandemic, the Water Film Prize is taking a break in Spring 2022, but we will have more news on the next iteration in Fall 2022!

Youth Water Film Prize

Students ages 10-18


Students ages 10-18 around the world are invited to submit a short film (maximum 2 minutes) about water issues.

In part due to the changing situation with the pandemic, we decided to postpone our Youth Film Prize until next year. We will have more details in late 2022!

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Why science and films?

Film is a powerful educational and communication tool. It uses storytelling to engage the audience emotionally, stimulate conversation, and make complex information more accessible and visible.

Creating films that connect, even broadly, to water issues heightens audience interest, helps the audience make real world connections, provides common ground for communication, and creates teachable moments that motivate the audience to care about science and take action for water issues.

Why engage?

Connecting a diverse audience to scientific information can be challenging. Scientists and experts often publish their findings in ways that are not easily accessible to audiences outside of their respective communities.

Now more than ever, we need to find new ways to talk about water issues and solutions – and we know that filmmakers help bridge the gap. By creating a film about water, you can help improve communication about water issues by using film as a bridge between scientists and the general public.

Why enter my film?

When you enter your film for the Water Film Prize or Youth Water Film Prize, you get the opportunity to share your film with a global audience. Film submissions that meet the competition guidelines will be featured for public viewing and adjudication by a panel of film and water experts.

You will also have access to our free filmmaking resources to sharpen your filmmaking skills. For teachers, you can tap into our resources with your students an opportunity for an applied learning project, while connecting with the local community and environment.

Whether you’re a student, aspiring filmmaker or well-established researcher in the field, the Water Film Prize and Youth Water Film Prize offer you the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to our collective, and global wellbeing.