EmPower Silicon Valley Short-Film Competition
Our climate is changing, but a clean energy future is on the horizon. By working together, we can help ensure that our future is a clean and climate-friendly one. We gathered student stories to energize positive change.
The 2023 EmPower Silicon Valley Short-Film Competition
SVCE is proud to announce our third annual EmPowerSV Short-film competition! Local middle school and high school students can participate in creating their clean energy-themed short films and win up to $3,000.
Silicon Valley Clean Energy invites students to share their stories and solutions to climate change for scholarship awards. Students have two months to create and submit a film that captures their vision of a clean energy future.
See below for more information and last year’s winning films.
What should my film be about?
This year, our competition has two prompts for competitors to consider:
Go Electric is the SVCE campaign to help our communities transition from fossil fuel use to electric technologies powered by clean energy. There are many ways to support the Go Electric movement, from driving an electric vehicle to finding ways to improve your home energy efficiency and conservation.
Why is going electric important, and how can we do it? Every action contributes to our mission of reducing carbon emissions and accelerating the clean energy transition, and you can explore the possibilities and benefits of going electric in your short film. You can create a mini-documentary on innovative new electric technology, music video about gas-powered cars vs. EVs, or a short social media skit that shows how easy it is to make energy-efficient choices at home.
The Power of Community
SVCE is a Community Choice Aggregator (CCA) – also known as a Community Choice Energy agency – dedicated to serving our 13 member communities with clean energy and innovative customer programs. As your electricity provider and friendly neighborhood CCA, SVCE is helping our region to reduce use of fossil fuels to fight climate change. SVCE also reinvests into our service territory by supporting local events and organizations, providing scholarships, and funding student projects.
The Power of Community is central to our agency formation and mission, so create a short film about how communities can come together to meet the challenges of climate change. Think about community solutions in your neighborhood like local energy resilience projects, school climate action planning, and more. Think about what community means to you, and how it inspires you to take action!
How to Participate in EmPower Silicon Valley
- Read the EmPower Silicon Valley prompt
- Review the competition rules
- Attend/watch the Empower Silicon Valley kick-off webinar. Register for the March 23 kick-off webinar here.
- Sign Up
- Register and fill out an application form for the competition here. If participating in EmpowerSV as a team, your team will register together under your team name. All team members must submit an application form on their registration. If you are under 18 years old, an adult must also sign the application.
- Watch last year’s winners for inspiration
- Ensure that all short-film participants sign the EmPower Silicon Valley release waiver
- Develop, record, and edit your short-film
- Once you complete your registration form, instructions on how to submit your short-film will be sent to you
- The deadline to submit is May 19, 2023
Rules and Guidelines
- May compete as an individual or in a team of up to four participants
- Each individual or team of participants must complete the registration form
- For teams of participants, each team member must upload an application form to their registration
- Films must be submitted by the deadline to qualify. No late submissions will be accepted.
- Must be currently enrolled in middle/junior high school or high school
- Must live in a household/residence that receives electric service from SVCE or attend a school in Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Saratoga, Sunnyvale, or unincorporated Santa Clara County communities
- The film must be no longer than four minutes in duration.
- Submission is in a digital format (live-action or animated)
- Does not include copyrighted images, video, or music
- PowerPoint presentations will not be accepted
A panel of judges will award scholarship funds across four award categories. Award amounts will be divided equally between team members.
Energy Innovation Award ($3,000)
Best short film showing an innovative approach to clean energy.
Energy Impact Award ($3,000)
Best short film depicting a solution likely to have a high impact in clean energy adoption at the community level. An emphasis will be placed on solutions that are both implementable and replicable.
Community Enthusiasm Award ($3,000)
Best short film showcasing widespread and meaningful community participation.
Creative Presentation Awards (Five at $2,000):
These short films demonstrate strong solutions and visions of a clean energy future and/or creative communications. We will give creative presentation awards to each of these categories:
- Music video/musical
- Social media short
- Comedy skit
Check out these opportunities to learn more about regional sustainability, youth climate action, and developing a short-film.
- Watch last year’s winners for inspiration
- Check out local community events in your area that are celebrating Earth Day!
- United Nations Youth in Action, youth voices and their climate action stories from around the world
- There are several international youth organizations working to fight climate change, like Climate Cardinals and Youth4Nature
- Acterra is a local Bay Area nonprofit dedicated to environmental justice
- Watch Our Climate, Our Future videos for stories from across America about climate change impacts
- Watch this inspiring short film selected by National Geographic
- Yale Climate Connections chose 10 of the best climate change documentaries to watch in 2023