Drone enthusiasts and videographers are invited to help promote the safe and responsible use of unmanned aircraft systems by creating videos to compete in the 2016 Bay Area Drone Film Festival.

The Bay Area Drone Film Festival and the Know Before You Fly education campaign have teamed up to establish a special category, allowing the growing community of drone enthusiasts to get involved in airspace safety by producing  short, creative videos that promote keeping the skies safe for all users. The winning video will be featured as part of the Know Before You Fly campaign.

“Drones have opened the door to views and perspectives that we've only dreamed of before,” says Clay Coleman, director of the Bay Area Drone Film Festival. “We are promoting drone education and entertainment to the public by showcasing videos that shed light on the diverse views and nature we often take for granted or have never imagined.”

Videos entered into the competition must feature the basic tenets of drone safety. They include reminding prospective users to fly below 400 feet; stay away from emergency responders, people and other aircraft; keep at least five miles away from an airport unless permitted by air traffic control and airport authorities; and operate within visual line of sight.

Coleman, who is also an air traffic control supervisor at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), says the contest will help teach drone users the importance of safety.

“This can be a great way to contribute to the overall safety of UAS operations, and to promote your name as a filmmaker. It really fits with our mission for the festival to reinforce how responsible and enlightening this community can be,” Coleman says.

Submissions will be accepted through the festival’s FilmFreeway site until Jan. 24, 2016. The screening and awards event will be held at the AMC Mercado 20 in Santa Clara, Calif., on Feb. 28, 2016.

About Know Before You Fly

Know Before You Fly is an education campaign founded by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to educate prospective users about the safe and responsible operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

About Bay Area Drone Film Festival

​The Bay Area Drone Film Festival was created to showcase some of the positive aspects of drone use. A lot of the focus on drones has been negative, but educating the public on the positive ways drones are being used in society will hopefully change the negative perception. One of the best ways to reduce unsafe drone operations and misuse is to increase awareness of safety guidelines and airspace rules ​that have been in place for a long time.