Citizen Filmmakers: GO!


It’s that time again to make a 2 minute or under short video, get your community to vote, and then screen the winners!  This time, we are giving you a theme to work with: What inspires you to be creative?

Using that theme, make a 2-minute documentary, fictional, or experimental video on your mobile device camera such as a cell phone, iPad, webcam or any “point and shoot” camera with an on/off button but no other settings.
Email using WeTransfer the .mov or .mp4 files to swamp@swamp.org  

No profanity, nudity, on-screen violence, or vulgar/explicit acts please!

DEADLINE: Sunday, April 14th at 11:59pm.

Videos will then be posted (BY SWAMP, please don’t post yourself) on the Citizen Filmmaker Facebook page for VOTING!  Get your friends and family to “like” your video by 11:59pm Thursday, April 18th.

The top 5 videos will be screened during the Menil Fest Saturday, April 20th between 12:15 and 3:15pm at the Byzantine Chapel!

In 1977, through the vision of the internationally acclaimed filmmaker and educator James Blue, with founding director Ed Hugetz and initial financial support of Houston philanthropists John and Dominique de Menil, SWAMP became the first Texas independent nonprofit organization for the “citizen filmmaker.”  James Blue dreamt of a future when cameras as a tool for expression would be as available to everyone as a pencil or pen.  With the invention of the camera phone and other mobile devices, the democratization of camera equipment is a reality!  Now it is YOUR TURN to make a movie.

The Citizen Filmmaker Contest is the opportunity to engage in your community, create a dialogue through videos, and support one another.  You have up to 2 minutes to tell a story that is about something important to you that you want to share with your community.


  • You, the filmmaker, retain ALL rights to the video you create and you have the right to exhibit it without restriction.
  • You, the filmmaker, agree that SWAMP has the non-exclusive right to exhibit the film, in whole or in part, in perpetuity in any and all media for SWAMP-related activities, programs, and/or promotional material.
  • You, the filmmaker, assume all responsibility for obtaining any releases for people appearing in the film, the licensing for music and/or other copyrighted material that appears or is included in your film.
  • You, the filmmaker, assume all liability if there is any infringement or dispute regarding your submission.
  • You, the filmmaker, will make the video available for SWAMP a DVD copy, if requested.


  • Any pornographic images
  • Vulgar Language
  • On-screen violence


December 2012 Winning Film BE STILL by Yossuana Aguilar

SEPTEMBER 2012 Winning Films:

1st place “Why Should YOU Support Young Artists” with 738 LIKES! Directed by Chris Spisak and his student filmmakers from Sartartia Middle School in Sugar Land!

2nd place “Ollin” with 122!  Directed by Yunuen Perez Vertti

3rd place “Why Me” with 106!  Directed by Aneela Qureshi

Thanks to everyone who submitted.  You are all Citizen Filmmakers!