Win a One-Week Filmmaking Assignment this Summer to a Location TBD.

 Applications Due April 1, 2019.

Video Project with 2017 Winner

Watch the video we filmed with the 2017 winner during his filmmaking assignment in Nepal.  "The experiences I had not only grew my video production skills but they also helped me grow as a person," Ben, UT Austin student.

film contest

Be Mentored by DAI's Cinematographer/Editor

The winner will receive production and post-production mentoring from DAI's experienced filmmaker.

How It Works

The winner of DAI’s 3rd Annual University Filmmaking Contest will travel with DAI to a location TBD in the summer of 2019 to document how DAI is making an impact on leaders and communities in that country, while being mentored by DAI's cinematographer and editor.

  • 1 Sign-up below to get the latest details about the film contest. This includes updates on the location, tips from professional Henry Ortlip and stories to help you learn more about DAI. Also be sure to check out our FAQ!
  • 2 Make a 3-minute film that tells an engaging, inspirational story. The film must have been completed within the last 12 months.
  • 3 Upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo.
  • 4 Complete your application form by April 1, 2019 – you'll need to 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. You'll also need two reference letters.
  • 5 Video interview with finalists.
  • 6 Winner gets the experience of a lifetime!

Selection Criteria

What the Selection Team is 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
  • Demonstrate strong filmmaking skills
  • Be visually engaging

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

Important Dates

  • April 1: Applications Close at 12am MST
  • April 8: Finalists Notified of Interview Request
  • April 10-12: Video Interviews
  • April 23: Winner Announced
  • June Dates TBD: 7-10 Day Trip to Location TBD


7-10 Day All-Expenses-Paid Trip to Location TBD

We’ll fly you to a developing world country to capture the work of DAI while you hone your cinematography, interviewing and editing skills on location.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply?

Any student above the age of eighteen as of May 1, 2018 who attends a public/private university or film school anywhere in the world. The student must be able to speak fluent english and travel internationally. 

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 the required visa.

Can a pair or team submit and entry?

No.  Submissions must be created soley by the person submitting the application.

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 your picture for us – show us how they made an impact on you, and potentially others. Find out what kind of person they are, what others think of them and why you find them effective or inspirational. Bring the story to life.

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 Henry Ortlip, you will be contributing cinematography and editing to :60 and 3:00 impact videos. The videos will be completed by DAI Marketing. 

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 Henry to review your footage, discuss editing and 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(s) 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.

Be sure to review the application carefully as you will need to provide a short essay and two letters of reference. 

View/Submit Application

Questions? Please email Helen McAllister, DAI Director of Marketing and Communications.

2018 Film Contest Winner

2018 Film Contest Winner - Toshi Jamang, Denver Seminary

"I've always been fascinated with the culture and history of Africa. Having won this filmmaking contest was a dream come true for me - getting to travel to a new country and being immersed in the culture there, doing what I love most - making short films. Seeing what DAI does for the young future leaders of Cameroon was inspiring to me. Hearing the stories of the local students and interacting with them inspired me even more.

Most importantly, what this trip did for me, that I didn't expect, was reignite my zeal and passion for missions. It sparked a renewed love for people, for our differences and a desire to find beauty in it all.  I will remember this trip for the rest of my life." - Toshi Jamang, 2018 Film Winner

Emery Launius Winner of 2018 Photo Contest

2018 Photography Contest Winner - Emery Launius, Texas State

"As a filmmaker and photographer, getting the opportunity to travel to a third world country and capture DAI's work was one of the best experiences I have had. During the workshops I took photographs of the teachers interacting with the students, which was one of my favorite experiences. Because of this trip, I now have a better understanding of what I want to do after college. 

This trip also helped me develop lasting friendships with the DAI staff and another very talented creator, Toshi Jamang. Having another creator on the trip allowed me to grow as a better filmmaker. He mentored me with the right kind of camera gear, settings and editing for videos. This trip was everything I imagined and more. I am so grateful for the amazing opportunity to work with DAI and will remember this experience for the rest of my life." - Emery Launius, 2018 Photography Winner

University Student Filmmaking Contest

2017 Winner - Ben Root, University of Texas at Austin

"I had no idea that this trip would make me dramatically rethink the way I create films in every aspect - from shooting, editing and capturing sound to organization, file management and interacting with clients. I am so grateful to DAI for helping me grow and learn about myself, the world and filmmaking." - Ben Root, 2017 Winner