Missed this contest?
Would you like compete in a similar contest?
Then, the Looking@Democracy national contest
for creative media pieces about strengthening American democracy is for you!
The Public Square, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council; Independent Television Service (ITVS); Kartemquin Films; Independent Feature Project Chicago; Columbia College Television & Film Departments, Chicago Access Network Television; Chicago Short Film Brigade; Critical Encounters: Fact & Faith; and Reeltime Independent Film and Video Forum present…
Looking for Democracy: How to Make It, How to Sustain It 2nd Film & Video Contest
Join us as our Looking for Democracy Film Contest winners are unveiled. Are you a teacher interested in bringing your group of students to this important intergenerational event? Send an email to email@example.com with your phone, email, school name, and number of students that will be attending.
The winning films are:
- American Flag by Theophilus Jamal
- Hungry for Change by Free Spirit Media & Umoja Student Development Corporation
- Democracy 2 by The Theatre of Social Justice Project, a collaboration between students from Francis W. Parker High School and Rudy Lozano Leadership Academy
About our Judging Committee
Ron Falzone is an award-winning screenwriter and tenured member of the full-time faculty of the Film and Video Department of Columbia College Chicago.
Ryan Jewell, Executive Director of IFP Chicago.
Anton Seals is the District Programs Coordinator in the office of Congressman Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) and is a graduate of the film department at Columbia College.
Eric Scholl is an Associate Professor of Television at Columbia College Chicago, where he teaches documentary, producing, directing, and post production.
Jon Siskel, Director/ Producer, is a co-founder of Siskel/Jacobs Productions, a Chicago-based documentary film production company.
Alicia Sams is an independent director/producer with almost 20 years of experience in film and television. Her most recent film is By the People: The Election of Barack Obama, which premiered on HBO in November 2009.
Ines Sommer is a Chicago-based independent filmmaker with a foot in both the curatorial and film production worlds. She is currently at work co-directing the documentary-in-progress Beneath the Blindfold, which movingly tells the stories of four international torture survivors who live in the United States.
Naomi Walker worked as outreach director for Cinema/Chicago for seven years, expanding their education program in 2002 to include a monthly film screening series for Chicago public high schools.
About the contest
In this historical moment abuzz with potential, many are grappling with the possibilities for change. As we face economic crisis and calls for racial, environmental, and human justice, how are we creating and sustaining democracy? Do you have an idea for a provocative remix that challenges the concept of ownership or a thought-provoking public service announcement that describes what it means to be green in your ‘hood? Where do you see democracy in your life, where you work, go to school, or in your community? Now is your chance to be radically creative and show the world what democracy, making it and sustaining it, means to you!
The deadline has passed and submissions are no longer being accepted for this contest.
Information on prizes, rules, and filmmaking resources is available below or by download.
Also be sure to watch the winners of the 2008 "Looking for Democracy" Short Film Contest for inspiration!
Finalists: All finalists will be offered free membership to IFP Chicago and acknowledged publicly. All finalists will also receive a copy of Vachel Lindsay’s book on film criticism and a gift certificate to ROTI restaurant.
Winners: In addition to the above, select winners will be posted to Independent Lens’ Vote Democracy website and as part of The Public Square's "Civic Cinema" series, select winning films will be screened in a special program. Films will serve as a springboard for discussion about issues related to democracy.
Grand prize: One grand prize winner will receive all of the aforementioned prizes as well as a private consultation with Gordon Quinn (award-winning filmmaker and president and founding member of Kartemquin Films), a selection of Kartmequin’s award-winning films, a Flip video camera, and have their film shown at an upcoming Illinois Humanities Council’s “Civic Cinema” event. Select winners will also receive a free membership to the Gene Siskel Film Center, valued at $80.00 and a gift certificate to Reckless Records, valued at $30.00. And one winner will receive a free slot in an upcoming Community Film Workshop of Chicago video production or screenwriting course.
Thanks to the following local organizations and businesses who have made charitable donations to the Looking for Democracy 2nd Annual Film & Video Contest!
- Community Film Workshop of Chicago
- Gene Siskel Film Center
- IFP Chicago
- Independent Lens, Independent Television Service
- Kartemquin Films
- Old State Capitol
- Reckless Records
- ROTI Mediterranean Grill
- This is a regional event, and all entrants must reside in Illinois. Producers of winning films (and all entrants) are encouraged to attend the Looking for Democracy: How to Make It, How to Sustain It Film Festival in the Spring of 2010.
- The films to be included in the screening & in web-based & mobile showcases will be selected by the Contest programmers, and will be at the discretion of the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC). All decisions are final.
- Appropriate entry formats:
- Quicktime (.mov file) or AVI file, uploaded via www.yousendit.com or www.megaupload.com and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Make sure to submit your contact info, synopsis, and bio under the same title as your film.
- Mail to the IHC offices at 17 N. State Street, Suite 1400 Chicago, IL 60602. All mailed submissions must be on DVD format only.
- Video entries must be under five minutes in length. There is no minimum length.
- Video entries can be of any media genre: narrative, documentary, experimental, remix, music video, etc.
- Video entries must address in some way the idea of democracy in our society and how individuals and/ or groups make or sustain democracy. This can relate to sustainability, green movements, human rights, animal rights, the economy, media issues, grass roots activism, or other places that producers choose to look for ways we make and sustain democracy.
- All video entries must be POSTMARKED by Friday, January 8, 2010.
- Entry in this competition grants the IHC the non-exclusive right to use clips (up to the full length of the entry), photographs, and biographical data for publicity and promotional purposes for this event, and for potential display on the IHC website, IHC podcasts, and mobile feeds, as well as websites of the IHC’s partners, media sponsors, and web aggregators. Entrants also grant the IHC right to feature all works on CAN TV and the Independent Lens Vote Democracy web page.
- Entrants warrant that this is their work and they have the legal right to enter work in the Festival.
- All entries must include a short SYNOPSIS (3-4 sentences) and brief BIO. If selected, entrants may be required to provide publicity stills and other materials for promotion.
- Entries that do not meet all requirements will not be considered for judging.
Resources for Filmmakers
- Copyright and Fair Use in Documentary Film - Center for Social Media
- Documentary Filmmakers' Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use (PDF) - Center for Social Media
- CAN TV - provides orientation and classes in videography in Chicago. Equipment use also potentially available.
- Community Film Workshop of Chicago -provides film and digital media education to groups with limited access to media
Film Contest Partners
- The Public Square, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council
- Independent Television Service (ITVS)
- Independent Lens
- Kartemquin Films
- Independent Feature Project Chicago
- Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV)
- Columbia College Television Department
- Columbia College Film Department
- Chicago Short Film Brigade
- Reeltime Independent Film & Video Forum
- Critical Encounters: Fact & Faith
This event is part of The Public Square's “Looking for Democracy” series, which is designed to launch a conversation about the kind of world we want to build together by creating forums for intelligent discussion of politics in America through art and dialogue. The “Looking for Democracy” series is supported in part by a grant from the Woods Fund of Chicago.
Image courtesy Guillermo Bert, from “Greed, Power and Democracy, A Dangerous Liaison (Triptych).” For more information on the artist, visit www.gbert.com.