GENIUS Short Film

Rich with a variety of stories and purposes, sequential imagery has been used for over 200 years to capture and hold the public’s attention. Short films and animations have been a popular choice for the artist with a vision best shared as a sequence. With the arrival of short digital video, this art form has exploded and gone viral, thanks to online sites such as YouTube.

Whether informative, expressive, or affirmative, GENIUS Olympiad is seeking animated, live action, or documentary short films shorter than six minutes that transport the viewer into the scene, create an emotional change with the scene, and motivates and informs the viewer towards any global or local environmental issue. Here is an example of award-winning GENIUS Short Film:  "2017" "2017-2" "2016", or for professional short films


Any movie that tells a fictional story. This category might include such movie types as drama, action, science fiction. Please search for "short film narrative" on Google for award-winning professional short films to get inspired. As an example, see these or these or this or these. 


Any movie about a real-life person, event, your community or culture, personal experiences, or even yourself related to issues of environment, its impact on us. Please search for "short film documentary" on Google for award-winning professional short films to get inspired. As an example, see these or these or these


Any movie uses computer animation, hand-drawn, clay-animation, or frame animation to tell a story. Please search for "short film animation" on Google for award-winning professional short films to get inspired. Here are some professional examples



  • Short Film projects can be prepared and submitted by two students
  • Short films should be 2-6 minutes in length, and animated, live-action, or documentary in style. Short Films which are non-English must include English Subtitles.
  • Short film projects must be uploaded on YouTube with the following title: "GENIUS Olympiad 2020: Title of the project". The YouTube link must be submitted during the application process within MEDIA LINK. Please Do NOT upload the video itself into the application site, we will watch your video on Youtube for initial evaluation.
  • All work shown in short film projects MUST be your own work, including imagery used in documentaries. Short films consist of a collage of images from the internet is not accepted. 
  • File names must be in English characters.

SHORT FILM  |  What to expect at the Fair?

  • Short Film projects will be judged on a large screen where other participants can watch films.
  • You must bring your movie on a flash drive. It is advised for you to bring your movie in multiple formats, such as Windows Media Player, Flv, or mp4.
  • Students are allowed to make changes and improve their projects between application and fair presentation.
  • Students are allowed a maximum of 1-2 minutes of verbal presentation regarding their short films. 



1. Creativity (original, captivating, and imaginative writing and creation)
2. Story Flow (strong, original, compelling, attention attracting, seamlessly flowing)
3. Production Design (casting, location, costumes, sets, etc)
4. Emotional Impact/Audience Appeal (Affects the audience through eliciting an emotional response and creates a lasting impression)  
5. Technical Quality  (quality of visuals, audio, lighting, angles, shots, editing)
7. The relevance of theme of the environment (including human environment)


GENIUS Music heightens public concern for environmental problems and offers solutions by pulling at the auditory heartstrings through performance (as a performer). GENIUS Music allows the student artists to influence public at the level of the heart. From the time of Homer until the present day, musical creators have presented ideas to the public in new ways, reaching them in ways that no others could, and calling people to action. 

Performances may be in any style, but must exhibit a high degree of performance acumen, rehearsal, care, and thought. All projects must include a tie-in to the environment. 

Performers may use an already-written composition that was created with reference to the environment. EXAMPLE: Perform Maurice Ravel’s Jeux D’eau (Water Games) on the piano. You will read your Artist Statement prior to the performance, which will allow the audience to understand why you chose this piece. Alternatively, a performer may use a composition that does not contain an overt reference to the environment. In this case, your Artist statement read to audience will help them discover how this piece relates to the environment for the artist.

Music | Solo Performance

GENIUS Music Solo Performance combines the puppetry of the composer with the talent of a single artist to offer a unique blend of inspiration. The human voice and musical instruments have special a power to touch the soul in direct and indirect ways. Solo performance projects can be prepared by only one student. Student artist may either "play an instrument live" or "play an instrument and sing live at the same time". For an example, check this out (GENIUS 2014 Finalist) or this 2016 Finalist.

Music | Group Performance

GENIUS Music Group Performance combines the puppetry of the composer with the talent of a group of artists to offer a unique blend of inspiration. Group performance (band) projects can be prepared by up to three students. For example, check this out (GENIUS 2014 Gold Award)


Music | Singer

GENIUS Music Singe provides their exceptional voice to influence others.  Singer projects can be prepared by only one student. Student artist will sing a song either with or without playback. The student must bring a high-quality playback music at the competition. For an example, check this out (GENIUS 2014 Finalist) or this 2016 Finalist


  • Music Group Performance projects can be prepared and submitted by maximum of three students. Solo Performance and Singer projects can be prepared and submitted by only one student.
  • The application requires an artist statement, the score, and the video of the performance.
  • A well-produced and well-rehearsed video of the performance (for all subcategories) must be uploaded to YouTube with the title: "GENIUS Olympiad 2017: TITLE". The YouTube link must be provided as part of the application within Media Link.
  • The artist statement should be less than 500 words and should describe the connection of the composition or the performance to the environment. The artist statement should be written in English and will be read to a live audience. The statement should be saved as a PDF or Word file with file name as follows: Country_projectname_statement. The statement must be uploaded to the application site.
  •  Your file names must be in English characters.

 GENIUS MUSIC What to expect at the Fair?

  • You are highly encouraged to bring your instruments. RIT will provide only Grand Piano.
  • The judging room will have technical capabilities to provide video and sound playback. The judging room (campus auditorium) will be open to the public during the judging process. 
  • We can provide only 110 V outlets. We do NOT provide 220 V.
  • You should come to the competition with pre-printed materials of your artist statement, scores, and a digital copy of your performance video.
  • Students are allowed to take 1-2 minutes of a statement regarding the connection of their piece with the environment. 


GENIUS Music  Judging Criteria

1. Foundations: Accuracy/execution of notes, rhythm, accuracy/polish of ensemble, quality of tonal sound/timbre, fidelity to provided score (tempo, articulation, dynamics, etc.)
2. Artistic: Balance, phrasing, emotional commitment/efficacy
3. Relevance: quality and clarity of the artist’s statement and its connection to the environment   


GENIUS Art raises public awareness to take action on global environmental problems and solutions.

Each GENIUS Art project (except short movie) can be prepared and presented by only one student. 


ART | Photography

Photojournalistic, documentary, experimental, or expressive, photography in all of its machinations can be used to inspire, inform, motivate, and otherwise provide the viewer with a distinct experience related to environmental issues.  GENIUS photography encompasses a wide variety of artwork which uses the environment and all its many aspects, including human impacts on nature, which is a lot more realistic and more in accordance to what we see around us, as their subject.

Turning your lens toward a scene of decay, pollution and photographing it in a way that induces an emotional reaction in the viewer can probably do more to help protect the wilderness than a photograph of a pristine landscape will. By supporting the power of photographic storytelling, we motivate society to make a positive change to raise awareness about endangered cultures, threatened environments and social concerns through photography.

GENIUS photography should (but not limited to) express the way natural systems respond and do not respond with the environmental issues, express a sense of frustration about the world we live in, express changes society made through construction, pollution, and land-management policies, and express actions of moments within cities, human environment, and nature to raise awareness. Sometimes, simple photos, such as green coming out of a concrete wall or road can be an inspiration. For professional examples of environmental photography, please visit these websites for award-wining projects: 2018_photos and 2016 _photos


ART | Poster Design

A GENIUS poster should motivate to think differently about the things that people may be learning or doing about environment, should aim to create a behavioral change regarding environmental problems (local or global) such as global warming, water (pollution or usage), air pollution or quality, waste management (reduce, reuse, and recycle), energy, etc. It can be created digitally or any form of painting (including pencil). 90% or more of the artwork must be created by the student artist.  For professional examples, please visit "Environmental Awareness Posters" or "environment awareness campaign" or "others"


ART | Mixed Media

Mixed media art refers to a visual art form that combines a variety of media in a single artwork. For example, if you draw with ink, then paint over it with watercolors, then add some highlights in colored pencil, and these drawing can be enhanced with addition of collage of photos/recycled papers which can also be colored or penciled over, and cotton balls, and tree branches, or any material including recycled material can be glued to give a 3-D look for the artwork- that's mixed media!

A GENIUS Mixed Media should transform your life experiences to create a unique and quirky artwork to showcase an environmental focus.  GENIUS Mixed Media artwork should be in 3-D form, and including glued colored papercuts incorporated into art would be enough to give a 3-D look for the artwork. Students are highly encouraged to use recycled materials, including paper, old postcards, newspapers, cans, fabric, etc to provide a 3-D mixed media work. Also, make sure that your artwork backing is strong enough to carry your artwork. The depth of the artwork should not be more than 8" (12 cm).  For mixed media art examples, 3D Project ideas, and more 



  • Application: Art projects can be prepared and submitted by only one student. 
  • Application: You will be required to submit your artwork as part of the application process (submitted by uploading a document within the application system) and a one-page artist statement. All projects, including affiliated fair winners, must submit their artwork.
  • Application: Poster art, photography, and satirical illustration projects must submit their artwork in JPEG format with a file size under 5 MB.
  • Application: All imagery and art must be your own work. 
  • Application: File names must be in English characters.

GENIUS ART What to expect at the Fair?

  • Printed artwork (for poster art and photography projects) must be 18 x 24 inches to be displayed at the GENIUS Olympiad. GENIUS will provide a black foam board of 22x28 inches for all artwork display. 
  • Students are allowed to make improvements on their projects between application and fair presentation.
  • Judges may ask questions about the work and how you design, compose and create the work.  
  • Read the Finalist guide for more information.


GENIUS Art | Judging Criteria

1. Creativity 
2. Composition 
3. Expression of Meaning 
4. Expression of Emotion  
5. Relevance 
6. Quality  
7. Overall Expression 





Genius Video