challenge · Education · Videos · World Prematurity Day

The NICU Filmmakers’ Challenge: UPDATE!


UPDATE: New deadline!  We have had many queries about this opportunity, and many have asked us for a bit more time … March Break seems to be getting in the way 🙂

So we are happy to announce we have extended the deadline until March 31st.  You can submit your proposal via email to


We get questions from NICU families every day, and we are looking to you help answer them.  More specifically, we are asking you to create educational videos to address some of these important questions.

What are the questions?

Out of all the questions parents ask us, these are the ten that come up most often.

  1. What do I need to know before having a preemie?
  2. How can I make milk for my baby?
  3. How can I be involved in my baby’s care?
  4. What are all these machines and why do they make these sounds?
  5. How can I get ready for going home from the hospital?
  6. What should I expect after going home from the NICU?
  7. What can I do to help my baby grow and develop?
  8. How can I keep my baby safe from infections or illness?
  9. I find this all so stressful! What can I do to help myself and my partner?
  10. If I’ve had one preemie, how likely am I to have another?


What do you need to do?

First, you need to be part of a team.  If you are a graduate NICU parent and would like to make a video for us, you will need to work with a clinical expert.  If you are a clinical expert (like a doctor, nurse, respiratory therapist or social worker), you’ll need to find a graduate NICU parent to work with.

Once you have your team, and you’ve picked one of our questions to answer, you’ll need to draw up a proposal.  Your proposal should identify what question you are answering, who is on your team, how to contact you, and give a rough outline of what your video will look like.  You should include a script that outlines the key points your video will make.  You do need to make sure all rights issues are covered, meaning that you’ve obtained permission for all photos, clips or music that will be in your video.

Here are some examples of videos that we think are excellent. You’ll see that all of these videos are quite short, easy to understand and not fancy – but they get the job done!

Proposals are due March 31, 2017. (REVISED DEADLINE)

What happens then?

FIRST: We will choose 5 proposals from all that are submitted.  If your proposal is chosen, we will give you $2,000.00 for you to use to make your video.  You can use that money to buy equipment, cover costs associated with filming, or cover any costs incurred by participants (i.e. covering parking or child care costs for participating families).  You probably can’t hire Ryan Reynolds to star in it, or license Beyoncé’s  music, but you can do some good educating with $2,000.00.  You are also free to find matching funds from a charity, hospital or medical institution if you like; please let us know where additional funds are coming from in your proposal.  We cannot accept proposals that are funded by corporations or businesses.

SECOND: We will notify the successful applicants by April 30, 2017.  You will have until August 31 to make your video.  We will be available to you along the way for help and support.  We will share information with you about making good videos and creating useful educational content. You and your organization will retain the rights to your video; all we ask is for the right to post it on our YouTube channel and share it via our network.

THIRD:  We will celebrate all the new videos with a NICU Film Festival on World Prematurity Day 2017!

Questions?  Email the project coordinator at

We can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

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