Directing Change Canada Program and Film Contest

Start Date
Directing Change Canada Program and Film Contest

Now Accepting 60-Second Film Submissions from young people in Canada!

Directing Change is an evaluated program that engages youth to learn about mental health, suicide prevention and other critical health and social justice topics through film and art.

Submission Category

Enter 60 Second Film Contest: Mental Health Through the Lens of Culture

Films should tell a positive and educational  story that encourages young people to reach  out for support when they need it, show them how to support others, and explore mental health through the lens of their culture.

  • Open to students in middle and high school, and young adults  through age 25
  • Free to participate
  • Mini grants for schools 
  • Cash prizes for youth (up to $1,000)
  • Talk openly about mental health
  • Stand up for others and be supportive
  • Get the facts  
  • Don't wait to get help 
  • Films in English, French, Sign Language and other  Languages welcome! 


Submissions due: May 1, 2021

  • Learn more about mental health and how to get help for a friend or yourself
  • Know why resources are available to help.
  • Have the confidence to help a friend who may be thinking about suicide. 

Lesson plans and educational materials are available.

To Get Started

Step 1:

Review the contest rules and FAQ!

Step 2: 

Visit the "For Schools" page for lesson plans and educational resources. Before proceeding with this contest in your school, or at your organization, be  sure to review the protocol  and procedures in place at  your school or organization for addressing the needs  of youth in an emotional crisis. Chapter 2 in the  Suicide Prevention: A Toolkit for Schools (provided on the website) provides guidance on how to do this.

Step 3: 

Review educational resources on mental health on the website. Participants will submit 60-second  films on mental health  and/or how they are  staying well during the  current pandemic. Example films and  educational videos  are available for viewing. It is recommended to  review the judging  criteria that films will  be scored against!

Step 4: 

Submit entry forms and upload films by April 1, 2021. Every entry needs to include signed release  forms from every participants (cast and  crew). Anyone under the  age of 18 also needs to  have the form signed by  their parent or a legal  guardian. *This way we  can share films broadly, even on TV and in movie  theatres to help prevention efforts across the nation!

If you, or someone you know, is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress help is just a text away. Text TALK to 686 868 to connect with a crisis responder.

Get Involved

The program is based on an evaluated curriculum and free to schools. It can be implemented in the classroom, by a club on campus, or as an after school activity.