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NASA invites entries for its CineSpace short-film contest

Whether you’re an experienced filmmaker or an enthusiastic beginner, NASA is inviting one and all to get involved in this year’s CineSpace short-film contest.

Highlighted on Sunday in a post on the International Space Station’s Twitter account, the annual contest encourages creatives around the world to make a short film that includes imagery from NASA’s own archives.

Filmmakers: submissions of @NASA-inspired films are open through July 15 for the 2022 CineSpace short film competition hosted by @cinemaHTX! 🎥 Visit for more details and enter via @Tongal:

— International Space Station (@Space_Station) May 15, 2022

Organized by NASA and the Houston Cinema Arts Society, submissions for the contest are open until July 15, 2022.

Entries can be of any genre and on any topic and you can submit up to five different films. Running time must be no more than 10 minutes, and at least 10% of the film must use NASA archival imagery.

“With over 60 years of space exploration at your fingertips — from the first Apollo flights to the latest rover shots — your mission is to flex your creative muscles and create something truly unique,” the space agency said on the contest’s website.

“Using NASA imagery, we’re looking for films of any type and any format — that means traditional narratives, experimental expressions, documentaries, comedies, dramas, animated pieces, ambient visuals, music videos, re-mixes, VJ sets, even sci-fi or horror stories, and more. The key thing is that your short is based on innovative and artistic storytelling, provokes an emotional response, and showcases a mastery of filmmaking, editing, and/or animation.”

Last year’s winner (below), Waking Dream, tells the story of a 30-year-old woman still living at home with her domineering mother who escapes her oppressive life by creating a fantasy world in which she pretends to be an astronaut.

Its Belgium-based creators, Isil Bengi and Laurens Heijs, picked up a cash prize for their effort, and the movie was subsequently screened at film festivals across the U.S., as well as at schools, museums, and libraries — and even on board the International Space Station.

Waking Dream (CineSpace 2021 First Place Winner) from Houston Cinema Arts Society on Vimeo.

The finalists for NASA’s CineSpace short film contest will be announced in October, with a prize-giving ceremony taking place at the Houston Cinema Arts Festival the following month.

Besides the prize for best film, an additional cash prize will be awarded to the creator of the film that best depicts the theme of diversity and inclusion, and another for an education film that effectively inspires young people to join the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) workforce.

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