Stories have the power to change how we think and how we act -- that's the idea behind Bill and Melinda Gates' latest initiative, ViewChange.org's Online Film Contest.
The project calls out to filmmakers and those working in global development to tell their stories and to change the world by doing so.
This same idea fuels TH!NK ABOUT IT and its sister-site CL!CK. As participants, we share our experiences with a global audience. As viewers, we are changed by what we read, see and learn on these platforms.
The end goal is the same: to create a mosaic of human experience from around the world.
The ViewChange Online Film Contest is looking for short films that examine international development efforts toward achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
ViewChange.org, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is calling on professional and amateur filmmakers to submit short videos that will be used to raise awareness, inspire action, and accelerate the worldwide movement to improve social and economic conditions in the poorest nations around the globe. Entrants will be required to submit films of five minutes or less, in one of six categories, reflecting the progress being made in achieving the MDGs. For more information on the contest (including rules and submission guidelines, click here)
“There are countless beacons of success in eradicating poverty, hunger, and disease in the developing world but those stories rarely get told,” said Danny Glover, actor, humanitarian and Link TV Board Member. “We know that stories have the power to change the world for the better and these films will allow us to clearly show and share the meaningful progress that is happening on a daily basis.”
Big prizes and a panel of celebrity judges (including Glover) add to the appeal of this latest initiative.
The grand prize will allure amateur and professional filmmakers from around the world with its substantial prize: $20,000 is offered to the overall winner. Six other winners, one in each of the competition's categories will receive $5,000 each and will also be included in ViewChange.org, a cutting-edge digital media hub launching in November 2010. Categories include: Sustainability, Innovation, Empowerment, Overcoming Conflict, Leadership & Governance and Local/Global Partnerships.
Online voters will help determine the finalists, with the winners selected by a panel of judges that includes Gael García Bernal, Wim Wenders, Danny Glover, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Angélique Kidjo and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Winners and finalists’ videos will be nationally broadcast on Link TV and showcased at major events in New York City and Washington D.C. for media and for policy makers.
Sound like a pretty awesome opportunity? Definitely. The only catch: you need access to a video camera to participate.
Cue: CL!CK, the latest addition to the TH!NK3 Network, where three video cameras are up for grabs.
CL!CK ends on 28 June, 2010 and soon after that the grand prize winner and two runner ups will be announced. Two FLIP HD Cameras and a Canon Digital Rebel XSi 12.2 MP Digital SLR Camera (or 500 EUR gift certificate to Amazon.com to purchase any similar camera or video camera) will be awarded to the contest winners. CL!CK wraps up with plenty of time for winners to use their cameras to submit to the ViewChange Online Film Contest. Submissions to ViewChange close on 31 August, 2010.
So why not take the opportunity to get seen and heard by joining both contests?