First-ever Project Earth Doc Challenge Announced!

August 18, 2016

The Audience Awards partners with FUSION to host first-ever Project Earth Doc Challenge. Winners of the 120-hour, documentary production competition to be showcased across FUSION’s digital and tv platforms, as well as featured at noted film festivals; $20,700 in Cash & Other Prizes

Audience Awards (AudAwards) today announced the first-ever Project Earth Doc Challenge in partnership with FUSION. The challenge, which is hosted by AudAwards, will center on creating a short documentary tied to an assigned environmental theme and specific topic. Filmmakers from around the world are invited to register and participate.

The winning documentaries will be showcased across FUSION’s television and digital platforms, as well as featured at two noted film festivals. Cash and other prizes valued at $17,700 will also be awarded to filmmakers and another $3,000 to a green 501(c)3 non-profit organization designated by the FUSION award winner.

AudAwards provides a stage for short films and engaging stories. Dedicated to celebrating the power of storytelling and building audiences for new talent, it was created by filmmakers for filmmakers to help grow careers and fund dreams.

Commented Paige Williams, founder & CEO of AudAwards and an award-winning documentary filmmaker, “We are excited to provide this opportunity to burgeoning filmmakers to have their work seen on such a broad basis and by prominent people in the film industry. It is our mission to support and mentor the next generation with innovative opportunities like the Project Earth Doc Challenge.”

“We know young people are not only interested in, but care deeply about the world around them—including the need to protect our environment,” said Daniel Eilemberg, co-president and chief content officer for FUSION. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Audience Awards once again to challenge filmmakers to explore compelling ways to elevate important issues through innovative storytelling.”



THE CHALLENGE:  Registrants will choose from two proposed environmental topics and between two competition timeframes (Sept. 9-13, 2016 OR Sept. 12-16, 2016), during which they have 120 hours to shoot, edit and submit their film, which must be 4-7 minutes in length. Filmmakers must be registered for the competition no later than Sept. 12.
JUDGING:  An panel of noted industry judges will choose the top-20 films, which will screen on the FUSION TV network and its online/mobile distribution channels, which reaches 40 million households in the U.S.  From the semi-finalists, 12 finalist films will be selected to premiere at DOC NYC, America’s largest documentary festival (Nov. 10-17, 2016), where the Jury Award winners will be announced, selected by the industry jury and FUSION management.  Finalists will also be recognized during the festival for Doc Challenge Honorable Mention, Best Directing, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Use of Genre and Best Score.

Additional screenings of the 12 finalist films will be held at the premiere International Audience Awards Film Festival, April 1-3, 2017 in Los Angeles at Laemmle Theatres Noho, and at the 40th annual International Wildlife Film Festival, April 15-22, 2017 in Missoula.

Three additional prizes will be awarded by an Audience Awards People’s Choice competition, live from May 2, 2017, 9 a.m. MT (USA) through May 8, 2017, 8 p.m. MT (USA). Those winners will be announced May 9, 2017.  Vote at:


Jury Awards:

  • Doc Challenge Award (Award by a noted industry panel) — $2,500
  • FUSION Award (Award by FUSION) — $3,000 to the winning filmmaker plus a $3,000 donation to winner’s choice of one of the green non-profits designated by FUSION (African Parks, Humane Society International, Jane Goodall Institute, Mission Blue and Sea Shepherd).

Each finalist (12) will receive one all-access pass to the DOC NYC Festival (a $750 value), which admits one filmmaker.

Audience Awards:

  • 1st Place — $1,000
  • 2nd Place — $700 
  • 3rd Place — $300 

Each finalist (12) will win a $100 Audience Awards site credit for future contests & challenges. 

ENTRY DEADLINES: Aug. 16, 2016, 12 p.m. MT (USA), entry fee: $125. Late Deadline: Aug. 24, 2016, 12 p.m. MT (USA), entry Fee: $150. Extended Deadline: Sept. 12, 2016, 12 p.m. MT (USA), entry fee: $199.

For more information, full rules & regulations or to register, visit:

The premiere Project Earth Doc Challenge is an outgrowth of the enormous success of AudAwards’ International Documentary Challenge, launched in 2005.  This ongoing program sponsors a variety of themed competitions throughout the year in which filmmakers have a limited timeframe to make a short documentary (4-7 minutes) based

on a designated topic.  Over the years, a number of Doc Challenge films – which all receive prominent film festival exposure, in addition to other prizes – have received Emmy nominations and been eligible for Academy Award consideration. Doc Challenge festival premieres and sponsors have included Silverdocs, Hot Docs, Slamdance, DOC NYC, POV, Documentary Educational Resources and FUSION.


FUSION is a multi-platform media company that serves ​​​a​ young, diverse and inclusive ​​millennial generation across its television and digital platforms​. FUSION delivers a unique mix of news, pop culture and comedy content that is both smart and irreverent​. ​ FUSION’s cable network was launched as a joint venture between Univision Communications Inc. and the Disney/ABC Television Network on Oct. 28, 2013; FUSION launched a new website in February 2015. FUSION has agreements with several major distributors to carry the cable network including DirecTV, Dish, Cablevision, Charter, Cox, AT&T U-Verse, Verizon FiOS and Google Fiber, as well as OTT providers including Apple TV.  Visit us online at:

About DOC NYC:

DOC NYC, America’s largest documentary festival, takes place over eight days in November; the seventh edition will be held Nov. 10-17, 2016, at New York’s IFC Center, SVA Theatre and Cinepolis, Chelsea. The 2015 festival showcased over 150 films and events with more than 200 filmmakers and special guests appearing in person. In addition to premiering feature-length and short documentaries, the festival’s highlights also include DOC NYC Pro – a week-long series of in-depth panels and master classes – and the Visionaries Tribute awards ceremony that honors major figures in the field of nonfiction film. Visit us online at:

About the International Wildlife Film Festival:

In its 40th year, the International Wildlife Film Festival (IWFF) continues its tradition of promoting awareness and understanding of wildlife and nature through visual media. Each year, IWFF presents dozens of nature, wildlife, conservation and environmental films alongside a robust slate of hands-on, expert-led workshops focused on facilitating deep, collaborative relationships between scientists, filmmakers and students; and an immersive creator track to engage our delegates, attendees and community. The casual, intimate event creates dozens of opportunities for exploration, discussion and insight, welcoming filmmakers, industry executives, scientists, conservationists and enthusiasts from around the world to participate in screenings, Q&As and other events around town. Nurtured by the enthusiasm of Missoula’s local community – known for its progressive, engaged and environmentally conscious intelligentsia – IWFF brings a world of issues and ideas to a cozy little mountain town. Visit us online at:

About the Audience Awards:

Launched in 2013, Audience Awards (AudAwards) is an innovative, online, video contest platform, with a rapidly growing community that is 100,000-members strong. AudAwards competitions are an organic opportunity to cross-promote brands, projects, products, services, causes and the work of emerging filmmakers on a broad scale.  We understand what it means to be an independent filmmaker, struggling to be heard and seen – usually on a shoestring budget – and AudAwards is a unique stage for advancing careers. Top brands like Hilton, Kodak and Fusion, among numerous others, call upon our member filmmakers to produce and submit videos (following specific criteria) for people’s choice voting, allowing audiences to come together to support outstanding  talent. Winners receive a variety of cash awards ranging as high as $50,000 and other in-kind prizes. Competitions have provided opportunities to be presented at prestigious film festivals and land distribution deals with major networks.  Corporations and other organizations gain unique perspectives into consumer tastes, as well as rights to valuable assets.  It’s a win-win!  Visit us online at:

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