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.

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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:

Earn up to $3,000 for your short film

Go Electric

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

  1. Learn
    • 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.


  2. 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.


  3. Create


  4. Submit
    • 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

Competition Rules
  • 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
Short-Film Guidelines
  • 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

Ready to Share Your Short Film?

EmPower Silicon Valley will accept submissions until May 19, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. Follow the steps below to enter the competition.

Prepare Release Waivers
  1. If your short-film includes the audio and video of people who are not on your team, these individuals must sign the EmPower Silicon Valley release waiver
  2. Have the waiver ready to upload when you submit your short-film
Upload Your Short-Film
  1. Upload your short-film to a video hosting platform
  2. This year, we will accept short films uploaded to TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube
    • Your video submission must comply with the Terms of Service of the platform you are using
Retrieve the Link to Your Short-Film
  1. Save a link to share your short-film
  2. Send the link to a family member or friend to check that it works
Complete the Submission Form
  1. Send the link to your short-film using the submission form
    • You will receive the submission form after registering for the competition
  2. Complete one form per team

Scholarship Awards

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
    • Mini-documentary
    • Comedy skit
    • Narrative/storytelling
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Get Inspired

Check out these opportunities to learn more about regional sustainability, youth climate action, and developing a short-film.


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