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The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

Submit to the Coca Cola Refreshing Films contest before it’s too late

Golden Eagles still have time to submit to the Coca Cola Refreshing Films Contest. Photo provided by Katie Pryor, Program Manager of Coca Cola Refreshing Films.

The Coca Cola Refreshing Films contest is a competition that gives college students and recent graduates the opportunity to work with and produce branded content, while receiving mentorship from industry professionals throughout the program and production process. 


Cal State LA and other select universities across the nation are participating in the program.


During an informational session on Zoom, Senior Producer of Coca Cola Refreshing Films, Ed Hellman touched on how the organization has provided a platform for students’ artistic expression for decades. 


“The Coca Cola Refreshing Films program, which started over 25 years ago, is designed to give you a real-world experience working to create branded content while you’re still in school and have that safety net where you can be mentored and supported throughout,” Hellman said.


Interested students and recent graduates must submit a one-page or 20 second script along with the application’s other paperwork, in teams of two. 


According to Hellman, nobody on the team knows the gender, name or school of any of the applicants until the semi-finalist round, they can only see their scripts. The top-scoring 15 teams will be chosen as semi-finalists and narrowed down through another selection process which involves background checks, script revisions, Coca Cola brand integration and portfolio reviews of the crew.  


Bryan Harris, a 2021 finalist of the program and recent graduate of Cal State LA, said there are great benefits to the opportunity of participating in the program and that he made many contacts and friends. He wrote the script for his short “Peace of Mind,” and fellow Cal State LA student Lynn Nguyen was the producer. 


“Don’t fear the failure is something big that I had to learn through this process,” Harris said.

“You never know how each next opportunity in your career is going to help you but it’s still a worthwhile opportunity…if for nothing else, just the experience of it alone is very memorable.” 


This year, up to four scripts will be selected as finalists and the team will be given a production budget of $20,000 to create their Coca Cola branded short. 


In addition to producing a 20 second-spot, finalists must create a 60 to 90 second “Making Of” using behind-the-scenes-footage from their production. 


The grand prize winner’s short will play at “coke-pouring” theaters in the United States and Canada including AMC Theatres, Megaplex Theatres, Cineplex and Landmark Cinemas and select independent theaters. It is the only film guaranteed a theatrical screening. However, every finalist film will be published online on the Coca Cola Refreshing website


Each film also has the chance to win the Cinemark Fan Favorite Award, which depends on moviegoer-voted top picks. The film that receives the most votes will receive an award of $5,000 that is to be split evenly among the film crew. 


The deadline for Golden Eagles to submit their script and paperwork is Sunday, September 17. Specific submission guidelines for Cal State LA students can be found here (and below) and on the Television, Film and Media department’s (TVFM) Canvas page. 


2024 submission guidelines

This year, students must, “In one page or less, write a script about a moment in time that demonstrates the real magic of going to the movies,” according to the program’s 2024 creative brief. 

  • Two students from the same school must submit a script together (as a team).
    • One of the students should be the official producer and the other should take on another “key role” on set such as, director or production designer. 
  • Complete an online application form.
  •  Students may submit more than one script. Each script has its own application and forms to submit.  
    • The names of applicants and the school they attend should not be named on the script. 
  • Students can participate and submit with multiple teams. 
  • Each applicant must sign the program signature page form 
  • Each team should submit a budget template for their script.
  • The script, signature form and budget template should be emailed to [email protected] within 30 minutes of submitting the online application. 


Guidelines for Cal State LA students

  • In order to be eligible to apply, students need to have completed the Television and Film (TVF) 3990 Intermediate Production course. 
  • Those who graduated from Cal State LA in May of 2023 are also eligible to apply. 
  • One of the two student applicants must have experience in or interest in producing. In other words, one of the applicants must be the official producer. 
  • All paperwork (script, budget and signature page) must be submitted to the faculty committee for approval by Sunday, September 17.  
  • Kristina Hackel will sign off as faculty advisor, on the signature forms. Her email is [email protected]

Any questions regarding the application process should be sent to [email protected].

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Tristan Longwell, Digital Editor
Tristan Longwell is the Digital Editor for the University Times (UT). She is a senior majoring in criminal justice, with a minor in journalism. Longwell has an interest in documentary filmmaking, creative and uncreative writing, music, fashion, true crime and all things Los Angeles.
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