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Media Arts Festival

CSU Summer Arts established the Media Arts Festival in 1991 to give talented students studying film, broadcasting, video, screenwriting, and new media within the 23-campus California State University system an opportunity to present their work for critical review. 

A panel of distinguished faculty and industry leaders selects each year’s finalists and winners, and all finalist selections are screened at the festival. Cash prizes and the CSU Media Arts Festival Award are bestowed on award-winning works.

In 2022, the CSU Media Arts Festival had a wonderful opportunity to host an interview with recent Academy Award-winning documentarian Ben Proudfoot, director of The Queen of Basketball. View the interview on our YouTube channel: BEN PROUDFOOT INTERVIEW

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to submit a project to the Media Arts Festival competition?
Current or recent former students of any California State University campus or department whose projects meet all other submission requirements as outlined on the SUBMIT page (project created between May 2023 and May 2024 while the student was enrolled). Non-CSU students are not eligible to submit, nor can projects be submitted by faculty or others on behalf of otherwise eligible CSU students. 

My project may contain copyright-protected material. Is it eligible for this competition?
The Media Arts Festival does not accept projects that contain copyright-protected material unless the entrant has submitted all appropriate permission documents from the copyright owner. If you are unsure whether or not the content is copyright-protected, either don't include the content or secure the permissions prior to submission. 

I've used copyright-protected material in my academic assignments and have just provided credit. Isn't that good enough?
The MAF cannot accept projects for the competition that are not properly credited and permitted. 

When will I learn the status of my submitted project?
Projects are submitted by May and are reviewed over the summer months. Students will be notified of their status by September. The presentation is in October. Entrants will receive reviewer comments in November after the MAF presentation.  

​Are there any suggestions for submitters? What kind of feedback have you received from judges about projects?

  • View your project all the way through in real time. Make sure that your playback works (or that your screenplay does not have typos) and has all of the elements that it is supposed to have. Audio and video are clear and in sync.
  • Capture your audience early in the piece. Don’t make people wait for the good part that may be buried in the middle of the project. Pacing is important.
  • A longer piece with lots of bells and whistles is not necessarily a better piece. Keep your work tight, authentic, and genuine.