​This annual event recognizes and celebrates the films and filmmakers that highlight the resilience and strength of children in the face of adversity.

Nominees are selected from an open call of submissions of feature films of any genre that showcase children overcoming challenges, such as poverty, violence, illness, and discrimination, and demonstrate their resilience, courage, and determination. Other categories and prizes are also offered through our partner film festivals.  The awards events began with a film screening series of the nominees. A jury comprised of film industry experts and children’s rights activists select the winner which is announced at an awards ceremony in Los Angeles at Paramount Pictures.

2024 feature film submissions are now open through FilmFreeway:

2024 Key Dates:
March 18, 2024: Call for Entries Opens
March 31, 2024: Earlybird Submission Deadline
April 30, 2024: Regular Submission Deadline
May 31, 2024: Final Submission Deadline
September 9 – October 11: Film Screenings
October 15, 2024: LA Awards Show

Previous Jury Members include:
Jill Burkhart, VP of Unscripted Programming for MGM+
Maria Perez Brown, Head of Kids & Family, TIME Studios
Anita Chandra, VP and Director of Social and Economic Well-Being, RAND Corporation
Tyler Coates, Awards Editor at The Hollywood Reporter
Scott Feinberg, Senior Awards Editor at The Hollywood Reporter
Amy Kennedy, child rights activist and Democratic congressional candidate
Jana Sue Memel, Academy-Award winning producer
Greg Sorvig, Artistic Director of Heartland Film
Kay Wilson Stallings, Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Development and Production Officer for Sesame Workshop Brian Walker, CEO Picture Motion

More about 2023 Awards

More about 2022 Awards

In the Words of Attendees and Filmmakers


“It reminded me why I love being in the [film] industry and how we play a role in positive change… Shine Global did that! So thank you”
– 2023 LA Awards Ceremony Attendee

“In all the years I have been making films and attending festivals, Shine Global’s Awards stands out as one of the greatest experiences I’ve had so far.”
– David Petersen, Director, LIFT

“It was an inspirational experience and reminds me of the bigger things in the world that need help and support… What you do reinvigorates my hope that we can make a difference in children’s’ lives.”
– 2023 LA Awards Ceremony Attendee

Film Festival Partnerships

Shine Global and Heartland Film have partnered to present the Spotlight: Children’s Resilience program at the Indy Shorts International Film Festival and award the $2500 Short Film Prize.

All short film submissions should be submitted directly to Indy Shorts International Film Festival: https://filmfreeway.com/HeartlandFilmIndyShorts

This collaboration establishes a special prize for filmmakers participating in the New York International Children’s Film Festival, with an Unstoppable Kids Prize award of $2,500 to the winning film, intended for youth audiences, that highlights children’s resilience.

Montclair Film and Shine Global are presenting two prizes for student filmmakers participating in Montclair Film Education’s annual Emerging Filmmaker Competition (EFC). An award of $500 will be granted to the winning film in a new filmmaking category focused on resilience, and another cash prize of $500 will be awarded to the EFC’s Grand Prize winning film. Learn more and submit at this link.


Reel Abilities is dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories, and artistic expressions of people with disabilities.  Shine Global is presenting a $2500 pitch prize for a project in development at the 2024 Reel Abilities Film Festival in NYC.


2024 Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Shine Global provides corporations, businesses, and community partners with opportunities to engage with audiences and support Shine Global in our mission of improving children’s lives with powerful storytelling that raises awareness, promotes action, and inspires change!

Please contact Alexandra Blaney at alexandra@shineglobal.org for additional sponsorship information.

Benefits for sponsors include:

  • Branding exposure
  • Marketing outreach
  • Advertising placements
  • Opportunity to co-present an event
  • Film ticket packages and access to special events