APHA Public Health Film Festival: Feature Sessions

Do you have a feature film that you would like to be considered for the film festival? Would you like to join the festival as a panelist to discuss your film, and other related films, in a session with other film makers, subject matter experts, and audience members?

Submit a feature film to the Feature Sessions portion of the APHA Public Health Film Festival! This year, we will only be accepting 80 films for review, so please try to get your films in quickly to be considered.

Note: The APHA Public Health Film Festival will not include short films for the General Film sessions this year. Please consider submitting to the Feature sessions if your film meets the criteria.



This year, we will be considering four themes or focus areas for our feature sessions:

  • Advancing Health Equity: The role of Visual Media
    Film and visual media have always taken viewers on a journey to new worlds and new perspectives, offering a unique opportunity to broaden horizons, build empathy and expand people's understanding of the world. Since its inception in the late 1800s through to this moment, film has provided a medium to reach people's hearts and minds to entertain, engage, and mobilize. As APHA celebrates 150 years as an organization, we seek films or media that have been aiming to advance health equity. Share your films that show the role of visual media in the past, present and future of public health, and more specifically on advancing health equity and social justice.
  • Navigating the pandemic and post-COVID world with a disability or rare disease
    The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare inequities and systemic failures of all kinds, but some of those that have received less attention are related to people living with a disability or rare disease. Twenty-six percent of Americans live with some form of disability both seen and unseen, and their experiences navigating the pandemic have been unique. We also recognize that rare diseases often receive limited funding and attention and that COVID has greatly impacted people experiencing a rare disease as well. We welcome films that showcase the experiences of living with a disability or rare disease, or that describe the potential future impact of the pandemic among these groups or discuss the evolving policy landscape that may affect disability or rare disease outcomes.
  • Racism is a public health issue
    In 2021, Dr. Walensky, Director of the CDC, declared racism "a serious public health threat". While this acknowledgement was not a surprise to those who work in public health and racial justice, it was a much-needed step to begin to address the structural, systemic, and interpersonal racisms that impact the health of our nation and the world. We welcome films that highlight the ways in which racism is a public health issue and help tell this story to move the needle on policies, systems, and environmental change.
  • Showcasing student work
    Are you a student filmmaker? If so, submit your film to this year's APHA public health film festival. We recognize that students and young people in film, public health, and the arts bring a special voice to their work, a space of honesty, cynicism, and hope driven by passion that cannot be rivaled. We welcome submissions on a wide range of public health topics told from the perspective of students. Student films can be short as long as they are designed to tell a story. This is a great opportunity for local Boston area students to showcase their work, but students from around the country are also welcome to submit.
    Note for Students: Students must be able to attend the conference in person to participate on the panel discussion if selected. If you are student who wouldn’t be able to attend the conference for the day of your presentation, consider submitting to the General Short Film Sessions instead.

Please select one of the above thematic areas when you submit your film.



A 20-minute cut version of your film is required to be considered/reviewed as we show multiple films per session if your original movie is more than 20 min long.

Films must be at least 10 minutes long to be considered. We will not accept "PSA type" content, the feature film sessions should include "feature type" films that tell a story or narrative a public health topic on a larger scale.

Films should contain open captions in English upon the time of submission (i.e., captions should be burned into the film so that they are always visible).

Films that are not submitted with a 10-20-minute cut version or that do not have open captions will not be reviewed!

Due to limited capacity, we will only be reviewing the first 80 films submitted. No compensation is provided for showing your film, but you may be eligible for a 1-day pass to present your film and participate in your session and other session taking place in the same day

APHA is planning for the conference and festival to be held in-person in Boston (Nov. 6-9, 2022). You must be able to attend in person in Boston if your film is selected.

Deadline for submissions is May 15, 2022. If you have any questions, please contact us at aphafeaturefilmfestival@gmail.com.