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Mental Health Film Competition

Voices With Impact &
Sidney R. Baer, Jr. Foundation present...

Serious Mental Illness Short Film Competition

Voices With Impact's Serious Mental Illness Short Film Competition is an open call for short films that explore issues related to diagnoses of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder. These conditions can result in impairments that interfere with a person's life and ability to function.

The Competition is supported by the Sidney Baer Jr. Foundation.
sidney baer.jpeg

Competition is now closed winners will be announced at the Voices With Impact festival in June.

In 2024 we are shining on a light on serious mental illness. This competition is inspired by the life and legacy of Sidney R. Baer, Jr. and is focused on stories of those living with Serious Mental Illness.


How does it work?

We invite filmmakers to submit short films (5 Minutes or under) on the topic of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and/or bipolar disorder. The winning films will receive a $2000 cash prize and be inducted into our mental health film library for distribution across the US & Canada.


What are we looking for?
We're looking for short films that explore stories of people living with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and/or bipolar disorder that will spark conversations. We will also accept films that define Serious Mental Illness as a mental illness that considerably impacts someone's ability to function day to day. The winning films will compassionately portray mental health experiences.



We accept films up to 5 minutes in in length, of any genre, using Serious Mental Illness as the point of interest. Film topics may either be interpretive of Serious Mental Illness, or address it directly. We do not place any formal restrictions on submissions, and will consider all genres and types of short films, including submissions utilizing original footage, shared footage, photo stills, music, essays, screenplays, original art work and more. The film must however be your own original work and you must have the correct license for any materials used within the film. There is no fee for submissions.

The Mental Health Film Competition is now closed. 


Winners will be announced at our
Voices With Impact Festival in June 2024.


Sidney's Story

Real mental health impact...
Sidney R. Baer, Jr. was a member of a prominent Midwestern family, described by those who knew him as a private person with an incredible intellect. Diagnosed with Schizophrenia as a young adult, Sidney left an incredible legacy supporting those living with Serious Mental Illness. Despite facing many mental health challenges through his life he continually sought to alleviate the suffering of those living with Serious Mental Illness. It was to this end that, with the help of George Handran, he established The Sidney R. Baer, Jr. Foundation in 1999 for the benefit of mental health. George was able to work with Sidney on creating a lasting impact for the community he cared about most. The foundation supports projects benefiting the lives of those living with Serious Mental Illness, to this day.
"One of the impacts we’ve seen is the impact mental illness has on families and children and young adults, Sidney was diagnosed as a young adult and there wasn’t really anywhere for him to turn and he'd be happy that the
foundation does a lot for young people."

Rosemary Fairhead (Past Investment Advisor for the Baer Foundation)
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