Can't wait to create and submit your film? Great! First things first, make sure that you're eligible to participate, and that you follow the rules and guidelines below.

Film Submissions Ended on February 2nd, 2020

1. Are You An International TEFL Academy Student Or Alumni?

  • If your answer is yes, great! The Teach Abroad Film Festival is only open to all current and former ITA students.
  • We encourage ITA alumni from all walks of life, cultures, and backgrounds to enter the Film Festival. With thousands of students teaching in over 80 countries, our ITA community is comprised of individuals from many different backgrounds. The Film Festival's goal is to celebrate the diverse and inclusive community of English teachers overseas by sharing unique and compelling stories regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability or attributes, religious or ethical values system, national origin, and political beliefs.

2. Film Topics & Length

  • Film Length: your film must be between 2 minutes and 8 minutes in length.
Your film submission MUST respect the range provided above. Film submissions that fail to meet the selected time range criteria are subject to disqualification.
  • Film Topic: We'd like you to tell your unique story through the power of film by drawing on the International TEFL Academy slogan for inspiration. Your film must incorporate elements of each of these three topics within it: Teach | Travel | Explore


When you teach, you inspire. Show your daily life as an ESL teacher, your school, your students, the smiles and the triumphs - in other words, share your love and dedication to teaching English abroad.


To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, to gain all while you give. To roam the roads of lands remote, to travel is to live.” Travel is an addiction; a hunger and passion to see the world for all its beauty. Share your travel story.


Travel is more than seeing and doing. You get to completely immerse yourself in a brand new culture and learn to live like a local. You leave each day knowing more than the one before. Share your explorations.

*VERY IMPORTANT* Please keep in mind the following:

  • Do not overlook the teaching aspect of your film. You are showing us your life as an explorer, traveler, or digital nomad but most importantly as an English teacher overseas making an impact on people's lives. If you're struggling to get teaching footage, you could:

    > Film yourself with your students;
    > Film yourself teaching in your classroom or online with your class setup;
    > Ensure you have permission to show your students face(s) in your film (either from them or a parent/guardian). If not, get creative and film them from behind or play with different angles. 

    We are not saying your entire film should be teaching-focused as there are other elements to incorporate, but your focus on teaching should not span a mere 15 seconds, either. Our jury will be scoring you on whether you cover all three topics accordingly.

    NOTE: We understand that not everyone can take a camera into their classroom and film their students - teaching footage does not necessarily have to focus on the classroom and your students. Think outside the box - footage can be something as simple as you getting ready for class, interacting with other teachers, working on lesson planning, grading papers, etc.
  • Be creative! Do not use “Teach. Travel. Explore.” as the title of your film. Be proud of your creation and choose a unique title for your unique video. Any films submitted with this title will be asked to come up with a new title.
  • Your film should flow. Do not break your film up into clear ‘teach’, ‘travel’, and ‘explore’ sections with headings to announce each one. Tells us your story: It’s your teaching experience overseas, told through your own eyes. Storytelling is an important part of our judging criteria.
  • Avoid photomontages/slideshow. Including a few photos in your film is great. Making your whole film a photomontage isn’t!

    All film submissions that do not follow the above guidelines are subject to disqualification.

3. Meet The Format Requirements

Although we want you to be creative, make sure that the image quality of your film is the highest possible. Remember, the finalists' films will be shown on a big theater screen!

  • Shoot horizontally to meet a 16:9 (widescreen) video format.
  • Shoot in HD! Film and edit at a 1920 x 1080 resolution.
  • Don't use blurry, really dark or way-too-bright videos in your film.
  • Someone's speaking a foreign language in your film? Make sure that you add English subtitles.
  • All content of the film must be owned by, or properly licensed to, the Participant, including any music, photographs, animation or video clips. Need music? YouTube has an excellent library of free music and sound effects.
  • Export your video file in .mp4.

4. Mind The Submission Deadline

  • You have until February 2nd,2020 at 11:59pm CST (Central Time in Chicago, USA) to submit your film(s). We will not accept submissions past this deadline. To submit your film, click the button below and follow the instructions.


Video 101 Shooting & Submission Tips

Looking for some filming best practices? You're in luck! Our Media Department put together these 5 tips to help you shoot a video in the best conditions.

Check out this video and start filming!

You'll find below a tutorial on how to upload your video to wetransfer to get the video link that you need to include in your Film Festival submission. We also accept links from google drive, dropbox, etc (but not youtube links as we need to be able to download your video).


Looking for inspiration?

From 49 submissions down to 12 finalists, ITA alumni filmmakers who entered our 2019 Film festival truly inspired all of us with their unique stories and experiences.

Watch their films and be inspired to submit your own video for our 2020 Film Festival!