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Desert Light Film Festival

Submission deadline:  Friday, March 18, 2022

The Desert Light Film Festival organizers announce the 2022 Desert Light Film Festival will be held on Friday, April 29, 2022, in Alamogordo, New Mexico.   Thanks to the financial support of TDS, our local cable, phone, and internet company, Desert Light Film Festival will host its 19th Festival and competition.  This competition gives students an opportunity to showcase their work, compete for prizes, and participate in seminars designed for young filmmakers. Desert Light is open to all New Mexico high school and middle school students, including students who attend public, private or charter schools, or who are home schooled.

Our standard categories include drama/comedy, animation, music video, documentary, experimental film, and 30-second commercial.   The criteria for all categories include production quality, creativity and originality, resourcefulness and entertainment value. Films will be submitted and judged in either the high school or middle school division. 

Thanks to the Otero Hunger Coalition, we also have a specialty category called “Hunger and Homelessness in New Mexico.”  Most of these entries will probably be entered in the Documentary Category, but a few creative souls could wrap the information into a Drama/Comedy, or even an Animation.  There are an astonishing number of people, including high school kids, who are hungry when they go to bed.  It is sad to see the information on Homelessness in our beautiful state.  Learn as much as you can, take your cameras (and releases to be signed by those you interview) and explore this topic.  The winner of this category will win $100 for themselves AND $100 to be given directly to the shelter, food bank, or other helping organization that you choose.  The winning film will be used online and for presentations designed to help others become aware of the problem of Hunger and Homelessness in New Mexico.

On Friday, April 29, 2022 we will have an on-campus festival for students who can attend in person and a VIRTUAL festival for those who cannot. 

Sponsored by TDS, Desert Light offers prizes in every category and division. First Place awards are $100 each. Honorable Mention awards are $50 each. Barbara Mick, local TDS Coordinator of Marketing and Public Relations for TDS, will provide the awards for the winning films.  A category added several years ago, the Experimental Film category, is sponsored by the Alamogordo Optimist Club.  Club representative John Cowart is always excited to provide the prizes in the Experimental category. 

The most valuable prize of $1,000.00 will be awarded to that film judged Best of Festival.  The award come in the form of a scholarship from NMSU Alamogordo which can be used at the Alamogordo campus, or the Las Cruces campus when the winning student attends college.

All student films for Desert Light Film Festival 2022 must be submitted via Vimeo. Information about accessing the Vimeo account will be released later. 

You can submit films anytime from now until Friday, March 18, 2022. Each entry requires a $5 entry fee which should be mailed along with your entry form to the Otero County Economic Development Council office, NMSU Alamogordo, 2400 N. Scenic Dr., Alamogordo, NM 88310. The entry form includes a “Use of Submissions” form to be signed by students over 18. Parents or teachers will sign for students under 18.  All forms, including the form explaining the Entry Rules, information about Judging and Awards, and Description of Categories can be sent separately.  Just email us.  All funds are handled through the Otero County Economic Development Council, the umbrella organization for Desert Light Film Festival. For more information, contact K. Jan Wafful, Otero County Film Liaison at  or Joan Griggs at

Time: Check-in for the Festival at 8:30am for students/teachers at NMSU Alamogordo.  Screenings and Awards Ceremony begin at 12:30 at the Flickinger Center for Performing Arts.

Contact Phone: (575) 491-2596
Film Festival Info

Haydenfilms 1.0 Screenwriting Competition for New Mexico Filmmakers

Haydenfilms Institute (HFI) Announces a Call for Submissions for the $10,000 Haydenfilms 1.0 Screenwriting Competition, featuring pilots and screenplays open to all genres! Plus: HFI will include a short film script competition also open to all genres and subject matter where the top four finalists will receive $1,000 each.

Apply via filmfreeway and use code ERICHFI2020 for %15 off the submission cost.