Frequently Asked Questions

(Uploading FAQ’s scroll to the bottom)

When can I enter?

Each year the Festival is open for entries from November 15th – December 15th.

What are the specific rules to enter the Festival?

All specifics are listed under the Student Rules and Faculty Rules

What are the award competitions?

At present, there are two general awards competitions: faculty and student awards. The faculty awards are limited to professors and professional academics. These are individuals working full-time within a teaching unit of a university or college. The student awards are limited to individuals who are full-time students enrolled at a university or college at the time the entry was produced. The Committee has just approved a graduate student category, which we hope to launch within a few years.

What specific competitions exist?

These specific competitions are traditionally defined along Interest Division lines, and the Festival Committee basically follows the patterns set in the past by the Division activities. The faculty competitions are: Audio, Documentary, Interactive Multimedia, Film & Video, Scriptwriting, and News. Student Competitions are in: Audio, Documentary, Interactive Multimedia, Film & Video, Scriptwriting, and News, and 2-Year Colleges.

Can you give some examples of what’s appropriate within these competitions?

Yes, the entrance categories are defined by the individual competition. For example, the Faculty Audio competition has content categories in: station image promo, public service announcement, radio documentary, short-form production, and long-form production. News has television hard news reporting, television feature reporting, radio hard news reporting, and radio feature reporting. The specific categories, in which you would enter your creative works, are clearly defined in the “Rules and Regulations” on the Festival website. There are also specific rules of eligibility and submission. Follow those entry R&Rs carefully; otherwise, your entry may be disqualified before it is even considered.

What’s in this for me as a faculty member?

The Festival is an activity of BEA conducted as a major showcase for the creative works of full-time faculty. It helps you build a stronger tenure and promotion portfolio while offering recognition, accolades, feedback, networking, and an abundance of reward opportunities for your creative work products. The student awards provide accolades for your student’s work, your program and your school. Faculty and Student “Best of the Festival” winners receive $1,000 through BEA’s endowed Diane King Memorial Fund.

How is my faculty entry going to be judged?

Faculty entries are evaluated in a blind review process, similar to published research articles. A festival Competition Chair, who coordinates each specific competition category, works with faculty and professionals across the nation to “jury” your work. The Festival Review Board has been organized and operates like an editorial board for a scholarly refereed journal. People making up the review board constitute a large group of nationally recognized professionals and professors, who may be organized into panels, for judging individual faculty entries. Individual entries are sent to the judges, by the co-chair, much like research articles are sent to the reviewers. The Best of the Festival award acceptance rate for 2017 was 4.1%. The overall award rate averaged 23.1% for that same year.

What are the criteria for judging faculty work?

The judging focuses on the following criteria: professionalism, the use of aesthetic and/or creative elements, sense of structure and timing, production values, technical merit and the overall contributions to the discipline in both form and substance.

What awards are presented?

Isn’t a juried publication acceptance a little different than a “first place award”? In the faculty competition, there are three award titles: BEA Award of Excellence, the BEA Best of Competition and the Best of the BEA Festival. The awards of excellence connote superior quality works, parallel in idea to the research acceptance for publication in a refereed journal. There are no first, second, third place awards in faculty competition. The “best of competition” awards are selected from within each competitive category by the judges. The “Best of Bestival” awards are selected from among the “best of the competition.”

Finalists will be announced on February 15th and winners will be announced in live virtual sessions on Feb. 28th and March 1st.

Diversity & Inclusion Awards

The BEA D&I committee seeks to promote research and creative work that addresses issues of diversity and inclusion in areas of race, ethnicity, gender, disability, country of origin, political affiliation, veteran status, field of research, socioeconomic status, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Learn More…

What are my chances of winning?

To quote the lottery campaign slogan, “You can’t win, if you don’t play.” Seriously, the number of entries varies greatly from year to year and, thus, the competition itself. For people who’ve not entered before you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. If you want to learn more about BEA and the Festival competition attend the festival sessions at the BEA Convention and watch the work of you colleagues, measure your own against what you see. Then, try and enter each year. The more formal response to the question is that each competition chair targets an overall acceptance rate of below 20%. This is generally parallel with the better acceptance rate of our leading journals.

What about judging the student categories?

The student competitions are significantly different from faculty. Peer review is not necessary for a student’s career. However, student competition demands the same rigor as all other competitions. Panels for these competitions are organized by the Competition Chair who calls upon a panel of recognized professors and/or professionals to evaluate and provide feedback for each student entry. The rules of ethics, fairness, and propriety rest upon the shoulders of the competition chair.

What awards do the students get?

The student competition awards are titled by the specific competition. Traditionally, these have included first, second and third place awards, as well as awards of merit as determined by the judging panel. “Best of the Festival” winners receive $1,000 through BEA’s endowed Diane King Memorial Fund.

Who works with clearances and copyrights?

In both faculty and student competitions, copyright clearances are the responsibility of the individual who enters. The complexities of the law prohibit BEA from entering into any distribution of creative work. The Festival’s focus resides on exhibition. Everyone who enters the competition in any category is required to complete and sign a Festival release form. You’ll find a copy on the web. When you sign that release form, you are providing the legal clearance BEA needs. And, in so doing, you warrant that you have obtained legal clearance and/or relevant license to the materials within your work.

What about the Festival activities?

The festival is conducted in conjunction with the annual BEA Convention in association with the NAB and sponsor exhibitions. The awards sessions are the capstones of the festival. You’ll see them within the Convention program. Each competition conducts award sessions for its student and faculty awards. The Best of the Festival is the general award session where Best of the Festival Awards are given.

Can you simplify the Festival’s organizational structure?

There are three primary units within the Festival structure: the festival committee, Competition Chairs, and the Review Board. (1) The Festival Committee is organized under the direction of the Board of Directors. The Festival Committee functions with a chair, who is appointed by the Board of Directors. It acts on behalf of the board, establishing direction and guidelines for the overall activities (2) Festival Competition Chairs are organized within the general committee and these conduct specific competitions. The names of Competition Chairs normally come from the recommendation of the Division Chairs and they serve for two years. Under general festival guidelines they plan and execute the Festival. (3) The Review Board constitutes a group of scholars and professionals who are a resource pool for the Co-chairs once the judging of entries begins. Assuming that the Competition Chairs are the equivalent of a “journal editor” in the faculty review process, then the review board is the editorial board. BEA statement on the creative work. This can be found in the resource center under Faculty Data. The Board approved the statement in April 2002. Basically, the statement affirms the value of a faculty member’s creative work in relation to promotion and tenure deliberations. It declares that such work should be “recognized as equal to scholarly publication.” Faculty who are preparing portfolios for creative works will find this document especially valuable.

Uploading FAQs

When you submit an entry for the Festival, uploaded file goes into Amazon’s servers and Transcoders. As a quick answer to many of your questions, we would recommend a 1 GB or smaller file in a MP4 format. Below is information from Amazon’s FAQ, but please reach out to us if you have any questions at

Is there a file size limit?

We have discovered the rate of an error increases dramatically above 2 GBs, so there is a 2 GB file limit on all uploads. Additionally, we recommend you try to keep your file size close to or below 1 GB to ensure a smooth viewing experience for the judges, as some file formats require a full download of the entry before streaming begins. You can also cut the entry into up to 4 parts as each entry form has 4 entry upload fields.

What input formats do you support?

We support popular web, consumer and professional media formats.

  • h264
  • h264.hi
  • webm
  • webm.hi
  • ogg
  • ogg.hi
  • hls.variant
  • mp3
  • oga
  • m4a
  • wav
  • wma
  • aac

If there is a format that you’ve found does not work, please let us know.

When creating MP4 files, do you support “fast start”?

We locate the MOOV atom for an MP4 at the start of the file so that your player can start playback immediately without waiting for the entire file to finish downloading.

Do you support Apple ProRes or digital cinematography formats?

We do not support reading Apple ProRes files or raw camera formats like ARRI and RED at this time.

Why do you only support H.264 and WebM video codecs?

We asked customers which formats they are most interested in transcoding to and the majority wanted H.264 and WebM. We also support MPEG-2 TS as an output container for H.264 video and AAC audio.

What audio formats can I transcode into?

We support AAC, MP3 and Vorbis audio codecs. MP3 is usually output as an MP3 file, but can also be output in an MP4 container. AAC is output in an MP4 container. Vorbis is output in a WebM container. AAC and MP3 can also be output in an MPEG-2 TS container and may be segmented for HLS.

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