An opportunity for students of
Jesuit higher education institutions

Learn more and take part!

The story behind
This year marks an important Ignatian Anniversary. It is 500 years since Ignatius of Loyola began his journey of discovery, seeking to find the best way to use his skills and talents in order to make an impact on the world. For Ignatius of Loyola, it was all about serving God and his fellow human beings, whatever their circumstance and wherever they are found.

The Society of Jesus, the religious organization that he founded, has for the past five centuries attempted to walk in the footsteps of this great pilgrim and servant of others. Students in Jesuit colleges and universities throughout the world are invited to do the same. They are invited to become men and women with and for their Creator and others.

Today, students in Jesuit schools are encouraged to join the Jesuits as they seek to promote four “themes” or “preferences.” We call these four themes, “universal apostolic preferences” because they include our whole world (universal) and call us to live our lives in constructive and outward looking ways (apostolic). These “preferences” were arrived at after a lengthy process of reflection and prayer. They were chosen because of their critical importance for building a more just and peaceful world.

Four themes
The Preferences refer to ways of serving both our God and our fellow human beings through

  • showing the way to God through spiritual accompaniment;
  • walking with the poor, the marginalized and those thrown aside in society,
  • journeying with youth in order to discover where they find hope, and
  • caring for our Common Home and helping us become more responsible stewards.

These are meant to inspire in us a deeper commitment to our faith and to our service.

The contest’s focus
We’d like to know WHO, IN YOUR EYES is already making a difference in the world and in the lives of others?

That is, as you look around, who is already a hero, making an impact in one of these four areas? We’d like to challenge you to present that person(s) and the contributions that they are making to improving our lives on this planet in a short film.

important questions and answers

Rule 1. Who is eligible?

This contest is open to students attending Jesuit colleges and universities.  You are encouraged to work together on the film, but the submission must be under one name.

Rule 2. What themes are allowed?

The theme of each film must be centered around one of the four “Universal Apostolic Preferences”, cited above. For more information on the UAP’s see:

Rule 3. What genres are acceptable?

Entries of all genres will be accepted (animation, documentary, comedy, music video, etc.) However, films should be no longer than five minutes. There is no entry fee.

Rule 4. What languages are allowed?

Films can be in any language but must be subtitled in English.

Rule 5. When are entries due?

All films must be submitted BY May 1st, 2022 through the official website (

Rule 6. How should we submit an entry?

Contestants must be prepared to submit a digital copy of their video in either of the following formats: MOV is preferred). HD is the minimum accepted. preferred (1920×1080). NOTE: subtitles should be submitted in SRT format.

Rule 7. What categories of winners will be selected?

There will be one winner from each Universal Apostolic Preference and one overall contest winner…five winners in all.

Rule 8: Are there prizes for the winners?

Winners will receive 250 euros each and their schools will receive a set of communications tools for their film and communications program. Winners are responsible for any state and local taxes. The overall contest winner will receive 500 euros.

Rule 9. Who owns the films that are submitted?

Although you will retain ownership of your submission, the Society of Jesus and its partners will have unlimited access to and the right to display the film, subject to local or international laws.

Rule 10. Can you use dated material?

Your film must have been completed in 2021 or 2022. Nor can you submit films that have been screened on a network or on cable television or distributed to theaters prior to the submission date.

Rule 11. What about copyright permissions?

Applicants are solely responsible for obtaining all necessary rights and permissions for third-party materials included in their films, including but not limited to music, trademarks, logos, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights. The Jesuit 500 Film Contest expressly disclaims all liability or responsibility for any violations of the foregoing.

Rule 12. Who will judge?

Judges will be professionals from the industry, plus others who are either members of the Society of Jesus itself or connected to its mission. The “Four Dreams Jesuit Film Contest” is not obliged to reveal the identities of the screeners or judges, nor their notes, nor information related to the submission, review or selection process.

More questions? Contact person:
Theresa Messmer
[email protected]

Key dates
  • SHOWING OF WINNING FILM: 03 AUGUST 2022 (*IAJU Boston College Assembly)
Take part!