A Primer on the PSA | Beyond the Peaks Film Fest

Public service announcements, also known as PSAs, are a great way to educate, dispel harmful myths, or convince your audience to take positive action toward a common goal. PSAs can help give a voice to a cause you feel passionate about. Whether that’s saving the environment, breaking down societal stereotypes, or promoting health and safety, these short films are a tool for building a better today and tomorrow.

Successful PSAs may employ a mix of images, text, statistics, or offscreen narration, featuring mini interviews or playing out like a short scene or montage. PSAs can be serious but they can also tackle hard topics with a healthy dose of humor. However you decide to craft your appeal, you’ll need to make a lasting impact on your audience, inspiring them to make a difference!

Public service announcement category requirements:

  • Public service announcement must be under 90 seconds in length
  • Pre-production materials including a script and storyboard
  • Promo materials including poster, trailer, synopsis and credits

Students can submit original films in a variety of additional categories including Comedy, Drama, Documentary, and Open.

Discover PSAs That Inspire Action

Get inspired to create your own public service announcement with this selection of student productions and skill building videos. Explore compelling calls to action—from anti-smoking awareness to breaking down stereotypes and labels—there’s lot’s to discover with PSAs.


STEREOTYPES was created in 2016 by Newington High School juniors Samantha Arasimowicz, Aeisha Cirunay, Madeline Camalig and Lauryn Taylor. In this PSA, we hear about how societal stereotypes try to define us—from gender to body type, skin color, social class, and more—while learning that we can defy them to be whoever and whatever we want to be.

Why Does Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” Sound so Sad? | Sound Field

Want to make a big emotional impact with your PSA? Learn about music that pulls at our heartstrings, like Sarah MacLachlan’s “Angel.” MacLachlan’s song plays over the famous advertisement for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals which helped raise over $30 million dollars!

In this video from Sound Field, hosts Nahre Sol and LA Buckner hear from experts and break down the components of sad-sounding music, creating their own somber composition.


AntiSmoking was created in 2016 by Shepaug Valley High School students Tierney Kovaks, Emma Krebs, Avery Serra, and Emma Delvecchio. In this PSA, we learn about the negative long-term impact smoking has on our health, and the health of others.

Enter the “Beyond the Peaks Student Film Festival”!

To get started, create a student or teacher account on Skills21 Launchpad. Explore tutorials, resources, and step-by-step instructions on how to successfully submit your completed film entries!

Documentary | PSA | Drama | Comedy | Open entry

Submissions are due April 30th with winners announced at an end-of-school year Red Carpet Showcase. The top three winners will receive a cash prize and video supplies!

Sign up for Beyond the Peaks!

Register your account today to get started, and receive email updates about the festival.