"Education That Makes A Difference"

University Student Filmmaking Contest

  • Applications Closed

  • New Assignment To Be Announced November 2017

    Date and Location TBD

    Photo by Sean Sheridan for Water Mission, used by permission

    • How it works
    • Judging Criteria
    • Important Dates
    • Prizes
    • About Mentors
    • FAQ
    • 2017 Winner


    Aspiring filmmakers, this is your chance to capture a story of a leader and community impacted by the work of DAI in the developing world! Plus be mentored by a professional filmmaker and editor.


    Step 1. Make a 3-minute film about a course or teacher that positively impacted your life. Maybe it caused a change in your career choice, or gave you the skills to accomplish something greater than you imagined. Our challenge to you is to bring to life how this course or teacher made a difference in your life.

    Step 2. Upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo.


    Step 3. Complete your application form – tell us what the winning scholarship would mean to you and why we should choose you. Your answer will provide considerable weight in the judging process.



    Judging Criteria

    What The Judges Are Looking For

    A good entry should:

    • Convey a strong narrative within a 3-minute timeframe
    • Show us your interviewing skills and ability to coax a good story from your subject
    • Show originality
    • Focus on an individual person with a specific leadership story
    • Demonstrate strong filmmaking skills
    • Be visually engaging

    Films compiled solely of still shots will not be considered, you need to demonstrate your skill with the moving image.

    Important Dates

    New contest information will be available November 2017.

    Submissions will be due April 1, 2018.


    7-Day All-Expenses-Paid Trip to ??? TBA November 2017

    We’ll fly you to Location TBD to capture the work of DAI with professional filmmaker Sean Sheridan, owner of 4:Minute Media.

    From revealing the dignity of the world’s vulnerable to demystifying the leaders of our time, Sean Sheridan and 4:Minute Media capture stories that inspire and unite mankind.


    1-Day Post Production Workshop in Colorado Springs, CO

    Once you’ve filmed your story you’ll continue your mentorship with Sean Sheridan and Zach Fowler, of 4:Minute Media,  with a 1-day workshop in Colorado Springs, CO where you will edit and polish your film.

    About Mentors

    About 4:Minute Media 

    From revealing the dignity of the world’s vulnerable to demystifying the leaders of our time, 4MM captures stories that inspire and unite mankind. 4MM brings together experiential designers, award-winning filmmakers and a Pulitzer-prize winning photojournalist to help clients tell stories of transformation in the world’s most difficult places. To date, the company’s projects have been leveraged to help nonprofits raise hundreds of millions of dollars to support life-giving interventions around the world.


    About Sean Sheridan

    Sean Sheridan is a photojournalist, filmmaker, author and speaker who has spent nearly two decades elevating people and brands through storytelling. Sheridan is known for capturing the untold stories of transformation that inspire and unite mankind. His work has taken him to more than 70 countries, and his live shows and written works have captivated audiences within mainstream media, sports, politics, Fortune 500 companies and countless cause-minded organizations. Sheridan’s work has been featured on CNN, in USA Today, SMITHSONIAN magazine, The Seattle Times, GOOD, and The Daily Beast, on the cover of The Washington Times, in numerous books including best-sellers The Locust Effect and UNthink, on the main stage at TED and other leading conferences, and in countless development agencies and gallery exhibitions. While shooting in Liberia in 2015 with various courageous nonprofit organizations to capture stories of hope and impact, he joined the ranks of the “Ebola Fighters” who received Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” accolade.



    • Frequently Asked Questions
    Who can apply?

    Any student above the age of 18 as of July 1, 2017 who attends a public/private university or film school in the United States.

    Do I need a current passport? What about visa requirements?

    You need a current passport with at least eight months left before expiry. We’ll assist the winner in acquiring a visa and reimburse all associated costs, however the applicant must be eligible to obtain a Nepal visa.

    Can a pair or team submit and entry?

    No, each film must be submitted by an individual filmmaker.

    Can I enter more than once?

    No, you can only submit one entry.

    Can I include animation in my film?

    Yes, you may have some animation, but you must still adhere to the brief.

    Can I include music in my film?

    Yes, but you must have permission/copyrights.

    Do I have to interview someone in the film?

    Being able to interview a subject is an important skill in documentary making. Your film should showcase your ability to coax a good story out of your subject. Your brief is to paint their picture for us – show us how their leadership style is making a difference to those around them. Find out why they lead this way, who were their mentors, what kind of person they are, and why you find them effective or inspirational. Bring to life their compelling leadership story.

    Do I need to appear in the film?

    You don’t need to appear in the film. However, you can film yourself or narrate the story if you wish.

    What will I have to produce from my trip?

    Under the mentorship of Sean Sheridan, you will be shooting a 3-minute impact story. You will then attend a post-production workshop in Colorado Springs, CO to commence your editing work. If the video is not completed, you will then work with DAI’s Director of Marketing to complete the video within one month of your return.

    You will also keep a daily diary about your time on the trip and upload this plus pictures to DAI’s Marketing Director to share on social media.

    How will the finished film be used?

    DAI will share the film on social media, on their website and with potential donors.

    Are the trip dates final or could they be altered a little?

    These dates are final.

    What will the mentorship entail?

    Every day on assignment you’ll catch up with Sean to review your footage, discuss your story direction and ask him your filmmaking questions.

    Will I need to bring my own gear? If so, what gear do I need to bring?

    Yes, you will need to bring your own gear. You will need to have a camera capable of capturing reasonably good quality video and audio. DSLR’s and camcorders are preferable. However, if you are able to demonstrate you have an excellent eye for a story and an excellent grasp of visual language, we will look past gear limitations.

    Can I bring a travel companion or my partner along for the trip?

    Only the winner will be allowed on assignment.

    Is there any other way to get into the program besides the scholarship? Can I pay for my room & board myself and take part in the program?

    Unfortunately not.

    2017 Winner

    The 2017 winner of the one-week Nepal filmmaking assignment is Ben Root of Austin, Texas.

    Ben is currently studying film and media production at the University of Texas at Austin.Ben Root

    “I believe that a good film accounts for the nuanced parts of life that we can’t always definitely answer, and I understand the delicacy of some of the issues we touch on as filmmakers. The responsibility of a filmmaker goes beyond production, beyond just crafting a good story–it is also to be responsible about the stories you tell, and to be sure to do justice to who you represent.”


    The Winning Film Submission:

    The Archer Hadley Story

    Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to learn more about Ben’s trip to Nepal this July.

    DAI leadership programs

    DAI focuses on developing a leader’s spiritual growth and effectiveness at managing people, money and organizations, using biblical servant leadership as the core principle. As leaders are transformed they positively impact communities, ministries, government and the future of their nation.

    DAI now serves more than 28,000 Christian leaders in 74 countries annually, including many of the most difficult places to live and work in our world. They meet the needs of these leaders through multi-session workshops, a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program in partnership with local universities, free online learning, mentoring and consulting.