What Makes Charm City Charming? Baltimore Urban Design Microfilm Competition 2017

Deadline: Saturday October 7, 2017

The submission portal is open for the 2017 Urban Design Microfilm Contest.

The AIABaltimore Urban Design Committee has launched a competition for a micro-short film exploring Charm City. In a film of no more than two minutes, entrants are challenged to investigate the public spaces that make Baltimore unique and how those spaces shape us. Come explore what makes Baltimore charming!

Selected films will be screened for the public as part of Doors Open Baltimore on Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm at the AIABaltimore Gallery. Films will be available for viewing online as well.

Happy filmmaking and good luck!


The competition is open to college students as well as amateur and professional filmmakers. Architects, urban designers, planners and landscape architecture professionals are also encouraged to submit a film.

AIABaltimore Urban Design Committee members and contest organizers may submit a film, but are ineligible for prizes.


Contestants must complete all the required forms and include a web-link to their submitted film based on the submission requirements.

Rules and Requirements

Download the competition rules and form. Email the completed form to Zevi Thomas at zthomas@aiabalt.com.

Prizes and Acknowledgements

Each micro-short film entered will be pre-screened and judged by the contest organizers. Pre-screened films will be judged on creativity, originality, quality, overall impact and responsiveness to the goals of this competition. The winning pre-screened film will be honored the ‘Judge’s Select Award’ worth $300 at the screening event. Attendees to the screening may participate in popular vote for their favorite film. The winner of the popular vote will be honored the ‘People’s Choice Award’ worth $200.


Debbie headshotDebbie Donaldson Dorsey is the Director of The Baltimore Film Office at the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts. The Baltimore Film Office is the official liaison between production companies and city agencies, providing access to city services and expedited permits. The film office also serves as liaison between production companies and businesses, crew and communities and markets Baltimore as a first-class location for filming.
Debbie was a Location Manager for 20 years before joining the Baltimore Film Office in 2007. Her Location Manager credits include, “Avalon,” “Homicide: Life on the Streets,” “Serial Mom,” “Home for the Holidays” and “Washington Square,” to name just a few.
She is a founding officer on the board of the Maryland Film Industry Coalition and Chair of their Government Relations Committee. The Coalition successfully introduced the Maryland Film Production Employment Act of 2011 which passed unanimously that session. Further enhancements have been made in recent years and the Coalition continues to work with leaders to improve the business conditions for the film industry in Maryland.

Jeremy Kargon HeadshotJeremy Kargon is Associate Professor at Morgan State University’s School of Architecture and Planning and Director of its Graduate Program in Architecture. A licensed architect for 26 years, Kargon transitioned to academia in 2007. Generally, his scholarship has explored architecture’s representation and its depiction in media over time, across changing geographies, and within diverse cultures. Kargon’s recent publications have dealt with images of urban landscapes, the use of graphic notation to represent non-visual experience, and the history of Baltimore’s architecture after World War II.


Questions and inquiries about contest rules can be emailed to Zevi Thomas at zthomas@aiabalt.com.

2016 Winner

HERE from Andersen Woof on Vimeo.

About AIABaltimore

We are third oldest chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and have over 1,100 members creating and advocating for great, sustainable design in Charm City!
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