Jobberman/Mastercard Foundation 2023 Short Film Competition

The Multi-Million Naira Jobberman/Mastercard Foundation 2023 Short Film Competition – Your Chance to Win Big and Make an Impact

Filmmaking has the power to move people, spark important conversations, and drive social change. That’s why Jobberman, Nigeria’s number one jobs site, has partnered with the Mastercard Foundation to launch their biggest short film competition yet – with a grand prize of NGN 2 million up for grabs.

This unique annual competition gives Nigerian filmmakers and storytellers a platform to shine a light on important issues through the creative medium of short films. Past winners have tackled subjects like unemployment, gender equality, and youth empowerment. This year’s competition is set to be even bigger, with more prizes on offer and an opportunity to make films that can truly make an impact.

In this in-depth blog post, we’ll break down everything you need to know about the 2023 Jobberman/Mastercard Foundation Short Film Competition. We’ll outline the key details, prizes, eligibility criteria, film submission requirements, important deadlines, and judging process.

We’ll also share tips and insights from past winners on how to craft a compelling short film entry that stands out from the competition. By the end, you’ll have a complete framework and understanding of this major opportunity to advance your filmmaking career while creating socially impactful films.

Overview of the Jobberman/Mastercard Foundation 2023 Short Film Competition

Let’s start with the basics. The Jobberman/Mastercard Foundation Short Film Competition is an annual program seeking short film submissions (7-12 minutes in length) that explore themes of youth employment, empowerment, and inclusion in Nigeria. Submissions are open to all Nigerian filmmakers and production companies.

The competition aims to spotlight important issues impacting the Nigerian youth through the creative medium of short films. It also gives emerging filmmakers a chance to showcase their talents on a national stage while competing for cash prizes of up to NGN 2 million.

Some key details about the 2023 competition:

  • Grand Prize: NGN 2,000,000 (approx. $4,600 USD)
  • 1st Runner Up: NGN 1,000,000 (approx. $2,300 USD)
  • 2nd Runner Up: NGN 500,000 (approx. $1,150 USD)
  • Additional “Special Recognition” prizes worth NGN 100,000 each
  • Open submissions period runs from January 15th to March 15th, 2023
  • Finalist films screened and winners announced in June 2023
  • Theme must relate to youth employment, empowerment, inclusion
  • Films can be in any major Nigerian language with English subtitles
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So in summary, this major competition gives talented Nigerian filmmakers funding of up to NGN 2 million to create impactful short films that shine a light on important social issues facing Nigerian youth. Let’s dive deeper into the specifics.

Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for the 2023 Jobberman/Mastercard Foundation Short Film Competition, submissions must meet the following eligibility criteria:


  • Must be Nigerian citizens currently residing in Nigeria
  • No age limit to enter, but films must be appropriate for general audiences


  • Runtime between 7-12 minutes (no longer or shorter)
  • Completed and submitted between January 15th – March 15th, 2023
  • Relate to themes of youth employment, empowerment, or inclusion in Nigeria
  • Can be in any major Nigerian language with English subtitles
  • Must be an original, unpublished work and not entered in any other competition

Production Companies:

  • Must be registered in Nigeria with Nigerian employees/creatives as lead roles
  • Subject to same language, theme and eligibility rules as individual filmmakers

Following these eligibility guidelines ensures submissions are relevant to the competition goals while allowing for a diversity of voices, languages and production backgrounds. Proposals or films outside these criteria will be deemed ineligible.

Film Submission Requirements

Once you’ve confirmed your project or film meets the eligibility guidelines, it’s time to formally submit your entry. Here are the key submission requirements:

Online Application Form:

  • Includes filmmaker/production company information and film synopsis/treatment.

Film File:

  • Upload high resolution digital file of completed film (MP4, MOV or similar format).

Subtitles File:

  • Provide external English subtitles file if film is not primarily in English.

Supporting Materials (optional):

  • Short filmmaker biography, film stills, links to completed films.

All submission materials must be received via the online application portal by 11:59pm on March 15th, 2023. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted or advanced to judging. You can access the portal on the competition page at

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Clearly describe how your film relates to themes in the required synopsis. Well-written synopses that demonstrate thoughtful engagement with theme can help move your project forward in the selection process. Take your time proofreading all materials for errors or confusion before submitting.

Selection Process & Judging Criteria

So what happens after you hit that submit button? Here are the key stages in the selection and judging process:

  1. Eligibility Screening: Applications reviewed for completeness, meeting criteria. Ineligible entries discarded at this stage.
  2. Preliminary Shortlisting: Short film synopses/treatments evaluated by selection panel based on relevance to theme, creativity and potential for impact. Top 40-50 shortlisted to viewing round.
  3. Finalist Screenings: Full films of shortlisted applicants privately screened by judging panel of industry experts and stakeholders.
  4. Final Scoring & Deliberations: Each judge scores finalist films based on criteria. Scores tabulated and judges discuss top entries to determine category winners.
  5. Winners Announced: Grand prize, 1st/2nd runners up and special mentions named at live awards event in June 2023.

The judging panel assesses films based on the following weighted criteria:

  • Relevance to Theme (30%): Clear and thoughtful exploration of youth employment/empowerment issues
  • Quality of Storytelling (30%): Engaging narrative, filmmaking techniques, message conveyance
  • Creativity & Innovation (20%): Original perspective, visuals, storytelling approach
  • Production Value (15%): Camerawork, lighting, sound editing & mixing quality
  • Impact Potential (5%): How film might inspire or inform on issues

Top consideration goes to films that are impactful, thought-provoking and well-executed based on these scoring rubrics. Understanding the criteria can help craft your film submission for success.

Tips from Past Winners

To improve your chances, it’s useful to learn from the experiences of past Jobberman Film Competition winners and finalists. Here are some key tips they shared:

  • Focus tightly on competition themes to resonate with judges. One winner said homing in on themes “made the selection process smoother.”
  • Include relatable characters and universal story elements to engage diverse audiences. A finalist notes her film “tapped into humanity we all share.”
  • Shoot and edit professionally but don’t break the bank. Low budgets don’t have to limit quality if using equipment and crew skillfully.
  • Convey your message succinctly within runtime. “Keeping it tight keeps viewers engaged,” says another winner who came in under 10 minutes.
  • Allow time for revisions after test screenings. Feedback helped one award recipient polish her film’s emotional resonance and pacing.
  • Emphasize local talents and voices in key crew roles if possible. Judges appreciate developing Nigerian filmmaking talent.
  • Enter with an openness to feedback. The winner stresses embracing critiques to further her skills: “Judges saw potentials I didn’t.”
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Following recommendations from successful alumni can heighten your chances of selection and winning big funding too. Work to uplift Nigerian stories and storytellers.

Other Key Tips & Reminders

A few final tips as you prepare your submission to maximize consideration:

  • Double check all formatting requirements, especially subtitles if needed. Sloppy errors will hurt credibility.
  • Craft a thoughtful, well-structured synopsis that excites readers about your concept.
  • Have industry professionals review your work for constructive criticism beforehand if possibilities.
  • Respect all deadlines, especially the March 15th submission cut-off. No late entries accepted under any circumstance.
  • Stay up to date on the competition website and social media for any schedule changes.
  • Make the most of optional material slots to introduce yourself and creative team if wanted.
  • Read competition guidelines inside and out to avoid addressing judge concerns unnecessarily.
  • Have fun exploring the craft and bringing impactful stories to life through your film! Passion shows.

Following submission, be sure to connect on social media using the official hashtag #JobbermanFilmCompetition to engage with the contest community as finalists are announced and winners crowned. Seize this prime chance to uplift important issues.

Wrapping Up

The annual Jobberman/Mastercard Foundation Short Film Competition provides a major platform and incredible funding opportunities for Nigerian filmmakers to flex their creative muscles while addressing essential themes. By crafting compelling, socially impactful short films adhering to guidance laid out here, your work could be honored on a national stage.

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