Entry Rules and Information

Please read this information carefully before you submit your program.  If you have questions, contact the Hometown Coordinators, Michelle Herr and Jake Reins at (952) 928-4643 or at mherr@allcommunitymedia.org or jreins@allcommunitymedia.org. Please note that we cannot advise participants as to which categories they should enter into.

Winners Receive National Recognition

Each award winner receives a beautiful plaque personalized with the name of the producer, title of the program, and the category for which it won.  Duplicate plaques may be purchased for a fee.

All winning entries and honorable mentions will be listed on the Alliance  for Community Media web site.  Selected entries may be included in sampler tapes and other materials used by ACM to promote community media. If your provide a link to your full entry, ACM will post it on the winning entries page for all visitors to the page to view.


The Hometown Video Awards welcome non-commercial programming from access center professionals, independent producers and students.  Programs entered must have had their first telecast on a local cable access channel or their initial stream/web distribution on or between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015.  Some categories require specific criteria to be met in order for an entry to be eligible. Be sure to read the category descriptions carefully so that your entry will not be disqualified.

Entry Fees

Alliance member = $50 per entry
Non-member = $75 per entry
Students= $40 fee

*A $20 processing fee will be levied for DVD submissions.


Pay by check, money order, purchase order or charge to Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express.  All payments must be received by April 20th for entries to be included in the judging process and must be in U.S. dollars.  Please enclose your payment or copy of your credit card receipt with your entries if you are submitting by mail.  Make your check/money order/purchase order payable in U.S. funds to:

Checks can be mailed to:

Foundation of the Alliance for Community Media
Hometown Media Awards
4248 Park Glen Road
Minneapolis, MN 55416

Entry Deadline

If you are mailing a DVD it must be postmarked by April 14, 2016. Online submissions will close at 11:00PM Eastern on April 21, 2016.

Entry Formats

URL- provide links to Youtube/Vimeo or other permalinked video hosting web service. Make sure your link is to a "public" video or be sure to include any information judges will need to access your video (passwords or other instructions). If judges are unable to view your entry, you may be disqualified.

Self-Service Upload (300MB Size Limit) .wmv, .mpg, .mpeg, .avi, .mov, .mp4, .wma, .wav, .mp3 file formats accepted. (The new Community Impact category will also accept PDF and Word documents up to 25 MB. If you have other supporting documentation to provide that is not an accepted file type- please contact jreins@allcommunitymedia.org). 

DVD (incurs a $20 fee)

Entries must be submitted on a single DVD. We recommend DVD-R format.  Make sure your DVD is properly finalized! Chapters and program menus are NOT permitted. Please send your DVD in a plastic jewel case.  Discs can be damaged when shipped in a paper sleeve. No videotape of any kind will be accepted.

The DVD disc and case must be labeled as follows:

  1. Entry Number – this is generated when you complete the on-line entry process.  If you submit a paper entry form the Hometown management will assign an entry number.
  2. Program title
  3. Category number & name
  4. Division

Send DVD Entries To:

Alliance for Community Media
4248 Park Glen Road
Minneapolis, MN 55416-4758

The Alliance is not responsible for lost or damaged DVDs.  Please do not send the master copy.  ENTRIES WILL NOT BE RETURNED.

Entry Length

Overall Excellence – 20 minute TRT

All other entries – 8 minute TRT (total running time). Some standard categories may have additional time restrictions so please read descriptions carefully. We stongly recommend that you edit your entry to the 8 minute length of time so that judges will view what you consider to be your best 8 minutes. If you do not edit your entry down, judges will view 8 minutes at random.

Standard Category Entries

You may enter your program in as many categories as you wish.  You may NOT enter a program in more than one producer division. For example: you may enter a program as an independent producer in two different categories, but you may NOT enter the same program as a student entry in one category and as an independent producer in another. Select the appropriate producer division on the entry form. 

Each entry must be submitted with a separate entry form (as well as on a separate DVD if submitting via that method).  You must pay an entry fee for each entry submitted.  One check may be sent for the total amount of all required fees. A new feature has been added to allow you to copy entries saving you time if you wish to enter the same video into more than one category. Please be sure to view the instructions on the online entry site.

For Standard Categories, submit a single program. Compilations of multiple programs are not allowed for standard category entries (unless entering into the "series" sub-categories).

Complete the on-line entry form at www.allcommunitymedia.org.

View a list of the categories.

Overall Excellence Entries

Overall Excellence in Community Media entries must be submitted by an access organization, cable company, educational institution, local government, or other institution that provides public, educational, or governmental access services. The Overall Excellence divisions are based on the access organization’s annual operating budget:

(1) Less than $300,000;
(2) $300,001 to $650,000;
(3) $650,001 to $1,000,000;
(4) More than $1,000,000

At a minimum, Overall Excellence entries must include one unedited excerpt from each of at least six different programs that first aired between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015.  The excerpts should be separated by black, a character-generated slate or a video bridge.  The total running time must not exceed 20 minutes.

Complete the on-line entry form and support information questions at www.allcommunitymedia.org Do not send any information or materials other than those required on the entry form.

Please read each category descriptions carefully. Some categories have special requirements.

Producer Division

Entries may be submitted as Access Center Professional, Independent Producer, or Student. Just a reminder that you may enter a submission into several categories but they must be at the same producer division.

Access Center Professional: Programs created by employs of community media or access centers.

Independent Producer: Programs created by producers independent (no compensation) of community media or access centers.

Student Division:  Programs created by current students enrolled in primary, secondary or undergraduate schools. Non-students may supervise the production, but the overall direction, control of the production and all technical tasks (camera, directing, editing, sound, etc.) must be performed by the youth involved.


Entries will be disqualified if:

1.   The DVD or submitted video is not viewable: audio is inaudible, video is unstable, DVD not finalized, judges are unable to access private link, or for any other technical reason. Judging sites will attempt to view on at least 2 machines before disqualifying. Please double check your entries!
2.   An entry clearly violates a specific requirement of the category in which it is entered.
3.   Any portion of the program was taped after December 31, 2015.
4.   First cablecast of the entry was after December 31, 2015.

No refunds will be made for any entry that is disqualified or if any other error is made by the producers or submitters of any entries.  A decision by the judging panel to disqualify an entry is final. 

Decisions and Judging

All decisions made by the judging panels and the Alliance Hometown Coordinator are final. Judging Panels are comprised of volunteer judges and ACM members from across the country that work with and are employed by community media centers. Judges receive a detailed instructions and guidelines and encouraged to leave comments for participants.

Per our past participants request, here is a generic sample of a scoring sheet for a standard category entry.

Return of Judging Forms

The Alliance and Hometown management offers the return of judging feedback as a courtesy to entrants that request it.  However, we cannot guarantee the return of all judging forms.  We will make every effort to return judging scores and comments to those who specifically request them but due to a variety of circumstances beyond our control, we may not be able to fulfill all requests. Interested in becoming a judge? Contact jreins@allcommunitymedia.org


The Alliance is not responsible for lost or damaged DVDs.  Please do not send the master copy.  ENTRIES WILL NOT BE RETURNED.

Non-exclusive rights to entries

The Alliance retains the right to use all or part of the entries for promotional purposes on a non-exclusive basis for ONE year from the Hometown Video Awards Celebration which  is being held on August 19, 2016. The producer is responsible for obtaining all approvals, clearances, licenses, etc., for materials contained in the entry and must provide such clearance upon request.

Awards Ceremony

The 2016 Hometown Video Awards Celebration will be held on Friday, August 19, 2016 during the Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference at the Westin Boston Waterfront in Boston, MA.  The theme for this conference is "Our Town". Click here to learn more!

Winners are responsible for their own travel plans and expenses.


Questions should be directed to:
Michelle Herr 0r Jake Reins
E-mail: mherr@allcommunitymedia.org or jreins@allcommunitymedia.org


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