The selection committee consisted of film professionals as well as academics working in film departments. The main selection criteria used to select the winning films were:
- Success in creatively exploring the themes of the Hope and Optimism Project, including, but not limited to, questions like the following: What do you hope for? Why is hope important? For individuals? For society? Is hope always a good thing? Is hope ever irrational? Harmful?
- Artistic merit
- Accessibility and appeal for a broad audience.
- Adherence to Terms and Conditions