Dear School Administrator,

This month marks the launch of the 3rd annual Open Mind Film Festival presented by the Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA.* The festival is open to high school students throughout the United States, whom we invite to submit short films highlighting their experiences and concerns about mental health. 

We are writing to ask you to distribute this announcement to your students, clubs, and faculty to spread the word and encourage participation. The timeline for the 2023 festival is:


March 20: Submission Deadline


April 27: Film Festival event 

Last year we received 120 film submissions, indicating the importance high school students place on the topic of mental health. They expressed their views and told their stories in beautiful, short films, clips from some of which are included in the link below, which we hope you will share with your students:


Films submitted to the festival will be viewed and evaluated by a panel of judges and $1,500 in prize money will be awarded to the top three filmmakers.

Thank you for your help in spreading the word and encouraging participation by the students at your school.


For much more about the Open Mind Film Festival, please visit www.FilmFreeway.com/OpenMindFilmFestival.


If you have questions, please email openmindfilmfest@gmail.com.


Mary Snyder and Mia Silverman

Co-Chairs, Open Mind Film Festival 



*The Friends of Semel is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with mental illness by supporting research for innovative treatments and sponsoring educational programs to raise awareness and erase stigma. In addition to the film festival, The Friends sponsors and produces the Open Mind, a lecture and film series that brings together leaders in science and culture to present programs about mental health either in person on the UCLA campus or via Zoom.