The Winners have been Announced! Check out the 2021 Desert Light Film Festival Awards Ceremony! Congratulations to all the students who participated and the teachers who supported them.  You excelled in these difficult times!

2021 Desert Light Film Festival Awards Ceremony

Desert Light Film Festival is a low-cost, high-impact event. The cost is very low for students as there is no cost to students to attend.  The cost for each entry is still only $5.00.  We have never raised the submission fee.  Located in Alamogordo, with a start time of 9 AM, many schools can drive to the festival in the morning and drive home that evening.  Schools have generated a wonderful sense of pride in their efforts, and many school groups now design and wear special T-shirts on festival day.  Because we can now include students via the internet, more students can participate without having to travel to Alamogordo.

TDS Donation Group Photo

Organizations represented in the above photo include New Mexico State University Alamogordo, TDS, the City of Alamogordo, the Flickinger Center for Performing Arts, and Otero County Economic Development. *Photo was taken in 2019.

Thank you, TDS for continuing to sponsor the Desert Light Film Festival.  We couldn’t have this amazing competition for New Mexican Middle School and High Schoolers without you!

Call for Entries 2021

Special 2021 Category "Life in a Pandemic" Learn more below

This year’s festival will be a “Celebration of Creativity.” All the usual film categories will be accepting submissions, but we will also have a special category, “Life in a Pandemic.” Films in this category must deal with some aspect of life during the pandemic, and can be from any of the other categories (Drama, Comedy, Documentary, Music Video, Experimental, etc.), and can be submitted both in this “Pandemic” category as well as another category. All films in this category must be made using only “phone camera(s)” and editing/production software that can be downloaded for free off the internet. This will allow students who might not have access to the sophisticated equipment to compete on an even basis with others who might otherwise have technological advantages. The usual criteria for judgment will apply, and include an area concerning the “creative presentation of an aspect of life during the pandemic.”

2019 Desert Light Film Festival - Best of Festival


2021 Forms, Rules & Judging Criteria

Download the rules and entry forms below!

Rules for Entry: Entry Rules 2021

Entry Form: Entry Form 2021

Judge Criteria for Commercials: DL21 Judges Sheet Television Commercials

Judge Criteria for Music Videos: DL21 Judges Form Music Video

Judge Criteria for Experimental: DL21 Judges Form Experimental

Judge Criteria for Drama/Comedy: DL21 Judges Form Drama.Comedy

Judge Criteria for Animation: DL21 Judges Form Animation

Judge Criteria for Documentary: DL21 Judges Form Documentary

2019 Desert Light Film Festival

Keynote Speaker Ryan Turri

Keynote Speaker Ryan Turri

In 2019 we had the pleasure of welcoming Producer, Director, and Writer Ryan Turri as our keynote speaker.  Ryan Turri is an independent director, writer and producer best known for his films Abe Makes a Movie and The Bigfoot Election. Ryan is well-loved as a director for the spontaneous and fun working environment he creates on set. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife and 3 young children, and is the owner of Turri Productions.

2019 was the 16th year for the Desert Light Film Festival and as always, was a fantastic success.  With nearly 400 students in attendance from across the state of New Mexico, incredible workshop leaders, and an amazing keynote speaker, we had a wonderful day.  Entries were some of the best we have ever seen and they just keep getting better!  We are proud to support the growth and development of young filmmakers here in the state of New Mexico.  Check out last year’s schedule here!


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