Film fest - topper

The White House Student Film Festival 2016 Finalists:

"The World I Want to Live in"

This summer, we invited students from all across the country to submit their submissions for the third annual White House Student Film Festival, themed “The World I Want To Live In.” We wanted today’s youth to tell us what they hoped the future would hold for us — Sci-fi lasers? Flying cars? Yourself as President? — in the form of a short film.

We received thousands of nominations — documentaries, animations, and live animation films alike — depicting all kinds of imagined worlds. Strikingly, few submissions envisioned a technology-driven, science-fiction-esque future. Rather, it seems that this generation of youth are inspired by something much more simple: the dream of a more tolerant, more fair, more environmentally-friendly world. One that is widely inclusive, and contains rich opportunities of access for all.

That’s definitely the kind of world we’d want to live in.

Check out a selection of our 15 finalists, which will be screening as part of our South by South Lawn Festival.

Read more about the filmmakers.

Relive the festival


LEGO: “Education For Her”

Directed by William Thomason

A charming, stop-motion Lego animation describing the story of a young woman whose life was changed for the better by Let Girls Learn — and the mission of equal access to education for all.

Watch on YouTube

Takashi Tanemori — The World I Want to Live In

Directed by Jason Cordis

Takashi Tanemori reflects on his experience as a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing — and how it has helped shape his outlook of the world and our future.

Watch on YouTube

The World I Want To Live In

Directed by Breanne Pitt, Kayleigh Hendy, Roxanne Edel, Lydia Hagen, Sierra Wilson

A satirical news broadcast that takes place at an indeterminate point in the future reveals some significant — and humorous — ways our world has changed.

Watch on YouTube

A World That Exists

Directed by Sophia Tomlinson, Sofia Derk

A tough first day at a new school teaches a nine-year-old girl an important lesson about the type of world she wants to live in.

Watch on YouTube

A Dad's Letter

Directed by Catherine McCord

A dad’s letter to his son shares memories of their lives together — and his hopes for how his son will be able to create a better future.

Watch on YouTube

Through My Eyes

Directed by Nurnashrah Hana Mohd Reza, Anissa Safiyya Mohd Reza

A young girl who, quite literally, dreams up the perfect world for herself — one in which she is accepted, without prejudice, by everybody around her.

Watch on YouTube

A Walk

Directed by Sara Hills, Johnathan James Abrolat, Ira Kailen Clark, Christian Aaron Settles

A young man goes for a walk through his hometown neighborhood, reflecting on his hopes for a cleaner, greener world.

Watch on YouTube

The World I Want To Live In

Directed by Xavier James White, Miguel Padilla Quicho

A young boy reflects on the simple changes that could make his life — and the world at large — better for all of us. First on his list: more time with his family.

Watch on YouTube

A World Without Racism

Directed by Mackie Mallison, Finnigan Hawley-Blue, Khiarica Rasheed, Dylan Palmer

A powerful, spoken-word meditation on creating a world without racism.

Watch on YouTube


Directed by Jane Brandt

Two best friends realize on how their conceptions of an ideal world have changed over the course of a lifetime of friendship — and that they will always accept each other.

Watch on YouTube

A World Filled With LOVE

Directed by Ezra Anteneh, Mateos Anteneh, Noelle Anteneh, Ashey Anteneh

A family gathering over pizza turns into a mission to do good.

Watch on YouTube

The Power of a Pen

Directed by Jeeyoon Lee

An animated reflection on the importance of equal education and opportunity.

Watch on YouTube

The World I Want To Live In

Directed by Quinn Holmes

A narrated collage of footage from in-and-around the streets of New York, reflecting on the importance of shaping a more tolerant and friendly world.

Watch on YouTube

Honorable Mentions

Time For Change

Directed by Leanne Elizabeth Caldejon, Angel Marie Velasquez, Jevonne JaLaarl Davis


Directed by Sophie Huang

Wishing For A Different Present 

Directed by Stephanie Dong, Jessie May Chen, Alan Israel Ruiz Cantu

Road To Unity

Directed by Fez Zafar

The World I Want To Live In: Letters & Numbers

Directed by Tony Evans, Dnate McFallo, RangDzin-Elsa Haga-McFallo

Remember The Past, Transform The Future

Directed by Layne Lindroth, Jan Gierlach, Kimberly Kazanowski

Breaking The Glass Ceiling

Directed by Ivy Chan

A Vision

Directed by Isaiah Bernard Ferguson

The Transition

Directed by Qingyu Meng, Brian Meng

Tribe Of One

Directed by Reigna Wren

Don’t Tell Me

Directed by Nayeli Ramirez, Angela Ramirez, Leah Young, Ti’Asia Boner


Directed by Jeremiah Bolder, Ellary Cooper, Xander Wynn

Keona’s Story

Directed by Marco Towain Clark

A Girl’s Right to Education

Directed by Nathalie Cabrera Hernandez, Nicoles Anyelis Rosario Reynoso, Justin Leo Rivera, Matthew Samuel Lennox Smart, Faeyah Muhammad, Samia Uddin

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