If you’ve never heard of Musicbed, then you either know what a TPS report is or live under a rock. 

For the latter, we welcome you back to civilization with some news to get your creative juices (and careers) flowing with inspiration from the filmmaking industry’s premium music licensing platform.

The Musicbed Challenge, an annual short-film competition, is now open once again to give creatives an opportunity to show off their talent. But this year will be one to remember. 

Create, Compete, Celebrate

Beginning today, March 1st, 2023, filmmakers will have 30 days to create a film using music from a pre-selected Musicbed playlist that fits into one of three categories: Narrative, Spec Ad, or Documentary. Do you have a film that you've been dying to make? This is your sign to go out and make it.

You can get the starter kit right now, or read on to see who will judge this year's competition and what you can win.

The Musicbed Challenge 2023 awardsCredit: Musicbed

For each category, the top winners will receive a $10K grant and the tools necessary to succeed on their next project. Awards will be given for Best Narrative, Best Spec Ad, and Best Documentary. 


  • A $10,000 Grant
  • Freefly Camera
    • Narrative/Documentary: Wave Freefly Camera
    • Spec-ad: Ember Freefly Camera
  • BOOM ONE Annual Subscription
  • Assemble Annual Subscription
  • ACIDBITE Complete Acid Collection
  • AbelCine $1K in Certifications
  • Small HD $500 Credit
  • Teradek $500 Credit
  • Wooden Camera $500 Credit
  • Musicbed $500 License Credit
  • Filmsupply $500 License Credit

But as with all art, the people will also have a say! A People’s Choice winner will also be selected from the submissions.


  •     BOOM ONE Annual Subscription
  •     Assemble Annual Subscription
  •     ACIDBITE Complete Acid Collection
  •     AbelCine $1K in Certifications
  •     Musicbed $500 License Credit
  •     Filmsupply $500 License Credit

Industry-Leading Judges

This year, filmmakers will have to focus on not only creativity and craft but storytelling and song. And impressing these judges won’t be an easy task. 

Musicbed Challenge 2023 JudgesSome of the Judges for this year's competitionCredit: Musicbed

These creatives have spearheaded projects like Avatar and Black Bird, as well as commercials for Apple and Nike, making them some of the most innovative directors, cinematographers, executives, and reps in the industry.


  • Rob Legato, ASC
    • VFX Supervisor/Director of Photography—Titanic, Avatar, The Jungle Book, Hugo
  • Rayka Zehtabchi
    • Director—Period, A Woman’s Place
  • Donnie Bauer
    • Director/Creative Director—Starbucks, AT&T, McDonald’s
  • Natalie Kingston
    • Cinematographer—Black Bird, The Wolf of Snow Hollow
  • Camila Cornelsen
    • Director/Cinematographer—Nike, Taco Bell, Apple
  • Aisha Jamal
    • Documentary Filmmaker/Film Programmer—How We Die, A Kandahar Away
  • Lloyd Lee Choi 
    • Director—Closing Dynasty, Google, Chevy
  • Marley Hansen
    • Directors Representative
  • Rand Getlin
    • Director/Executive Producer—Nike, Adidas, EA FIFA
  • Tamer Shaaban
    • Director—Microsoft, Audi, Dove
  • Samantha Stamler
    • Executive Producer—CNN, ABC, Fuse, CBS, The Brave
  • Dumas Haddad
    • Director—Fathers, Flowers, The Gift
  • Sam Davis
    • Cinematographer—Yoruga, A Woman's Place, Long Line of Ladies
  • Victor Velasco
    • Writer/Director—2022 Narrative Winner
  • Melle Branson
    • Director—2022 Spec-ad Winner
  • Jiakai Lou
    • Filmmaker—2022 Documentary Winner

Empowering the Creative Community

The creative community is all about giving. We create not only entertainment but stories that bring us all together. Giving back to this community so that it may continue to flourish is fundamental to the growth of our medium, which is why The Musicbed Challenge is such a unique event. Filmmakers are asked to think on their feet and create from the heart while also receiving the tools they need to succeed in the future. 

So what are you waiting for? Your next creative breakthrough could be around the bend. Get the starter kit right now and prepare to make the project that will change your life. 

2023 submissions for The Musicbed Challenge open today, March 1st, and close on March 31st, 2023. Finalists will be published on the Musicbed Challenge website, and voting for People’s Choice will run from April 11 until April 21. All category winners will be announced on April 28.

Last year’s challenge received over 900 submissions and brought about some of the coolest projects we’ve ever seen. Will you be one of these projects come next April?