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  • West Palm Beach Weather:
  • 75.2 °F
  • Min 77 °F
  • Max 80 °F
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The Documentary category is sponsored by:
Ms. Suzanne L. Niedland
Please review the following information prior to developing your Documentary

The Suzanne L. Niedland Documentary Scholarship

Open to Florida high school and college students
Film must be no shorter than 5 minutes and not to exceed 25 minutes (TRT)
$1,000 Award
Funds will be awarded to the submitting student

Submitted projects will be judged on the following set of criteria:

Message - See details below
Production Design
Special Effects

DESCRIPTION: WATER; Florida hosts some of the most diverse and complex ecosystems on our planet. From our stunningly beautiful fresh-water springs, prolific sea turtle nesting beaches, to our vibrant salt-water coral reefs, we offer residents and tourists from around the world so many great reasons to live, work, or play here in Florida. A healthy environment often equates to healthy animals and ultimately healthy humans. 

APPLICATION PROCESS: To begin the process of submitting your Documentary, complete the Student Showcase of Films Online Application (CLOSED). Our system will guide you through the necessary steps to completion.

The 2021 Suzanne L. Niedland Documentary Award partnered with Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) to ask students to seek out examples of the importance of water within Florida communities and around the world, and to use their storytelling skills to spark conversations. A well-captured story can raise awareness for one individual or one community at a time. As empowered storytellers, you can educate the community on environmental challenges.

As you think about inspiring environmental stories involving water and what that means to you, consider some of the suggestions below:

  1. Conservation Challenges: What issues exist that make conservation / sustainability more difficult to achieve, and how are community members overcoming those barriers (access to fresh clean drinking water, clean ocean water, clean lakes and streams)?
  2. Lifestyle Change: What are individuals doing in the community to improve their personal, professional, and social conservation / sustainability impact? How are people effectively sharing their conservation conversations with others relating to water?
  3. Conservation Initiatives: What are organizations, community groups, and advocates doing throughout Florida, globally and/or in other communities doing to improve the overall well-being of our environment?
  4. Systems and Policy Change: What is being done (NGOs, Foundations, Corporations, legislation, etc.) to make clean water and sustainability a priority of all communities?
  5. Water and Ecosystems: Examine the importance of clean water as pertains to humans, animals, ocean ecosystem, farmers/crops and our environment.


Remember to find compelling and interesting stories to share, as long as it involves water, your film will be accepted for judging. This is a documentary category and should NOT be a PSA. There is a category for PSA entries.

Entries should be a minimum of 5 minutes but not to exceed 25 minutes in length.

NOTE:  In order to participate in the winner’s promotional opportunities, please make sure to have appropriate releases from on-camera participants and any soundtracks that may be used. 

Student information:

This scholarship is open to Florida high school and college students. The winning student will receive a $1000 Cash Award.

In addition, because of the partnership with LMC for this themed documentary category the following promotional opportunities will apply to the winner of this category:

The Loggerhead MarineLife Center Mission Statement:

To promote the conservation of ocean ecosystems with a focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles.

The Suzanne L. Niedland Documentary Scholarship:

This category was created to honor Ms. Suzanne L. Niedland—a champion of student filmmakers and Florida’s production industry. Each year, Ms. Niedland chooses a non-profit to partner with, in order to raise awareness of their mission and give the winning student filmmaker an opportunity to be showcased through that organization.  She is thrilled to partner with Loggerhead Marinelife Center, an important organization with a global footprint through their work with education and environmental issues. Ms. Niedland is passionate about supporting future filmmakers and encouraging excellence in the field of motion picture education.