FirstLink Film Festival and Competition now accepting submissions

The annual event is meant to encourage young people to break the silence about suicide and mental health.

The Fargo Theater hosts Firstlink's first film festival.
Mike McGurran / WDAY-TV

FARGO — FirstLink is returning to the Fargo Theatre in April for the second annual FirstLink Film Festival and Competition, “Silence Speaks Aloud.” The event is meant to encourage young people to learn about the topics of suicide prevention and mental health through storytelling, and is presented by Fargo-based creative agency Tellwell with media sponsor Prairie Public.

Submitted films will premiere in a public screening at the historic Fargo Theatre on Thursday, April 13, and receive scores for their use of script, performance, camera, sound, editing and theme. Select films will be awarded a cash prize of up to $1,000.

“This event is an opportunity for teenagers and young adults to see their work on the big screen, while also making a big difference in their community,” said Jennifer Illich, Executive Director at FirstLink, in a statement. “We were blown away by the talent and creativity of everyone who participated last year, and we can’t wait to see what they create this time!”

The competition is divided into two categories: High School, open to students in grades 9-12 in North Dakota and Minnesota, and College/Young Adult, for individuals between the ages of 18 and 25 and associated with a college, university or technical school in North Dakota or Minnesota.

Films in the High School category must align with one of two themes: “Stand Up to Stress” or “You’re Not Alone.” Participants in the College/Young Adult category may choose from the themes of “Speak Up to Save a Life” or “Watch For the Warnings.”


Submissions will be accepted through April 11. More information about competition rules, theme descriptions and scoring guidelines, as well as the link to submit, can be found at .

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