Background The Sikh Coalition is holding its first annual Diversity Video Competition. The competition commences July 1, 2010 and ends August 15, 2010. The first place winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize and have his/her film premiered at the Sikh Arts and Film Festival in New York City this October! The deadline for entry is August 15, 2010. This year’s Video Competition will be held in lieu of the Coalition’s Diversity Essay Competition launched in 2004. The purpose of our new competition is to encourage the public to engage in a dialogue on diversity issues through a visual and artistic lens. No film experience is required to participate, and people of all ages are encouraged to submit. Purpose The purpose of the Diversity Video Competition is to provide the public a space in which they may engage in an artistic dialogue on civil rights issues, stereotypes, and myths surrounding minority groups (with a particular anchor in the Sikh experience). It is in this space that submitters may explore, interpret, and express their takes on a specific struggle facing minorities, as highlighted by the prompt. A panel of judges will narrow down all entries to the top two videos (Phase 1). Once this judging period ends, the public will be given the opportunity (and encouraged!) to view both videos and vote for the first-prize winner (Phase 2). It is through this artistic dialogue between submitters, judges, and the public that the Coalition wishes to help dissolve ignorance and spread awareness of discriminated minorities, as well as a desire to embrace their diversity. Topic Today in the United States, especially since the events of 9/11, the turban has been often associated with terrorist groups, including Osama Bin Laden, the Taliban, and others. However, the vast majority of people who wear turbans in the US are not terrorists, but Sikhs – and their appearance, although similar, often marks them for discrimination. Because of this appearance, Sikhs, as well as many minority groups in America have had to struggle to impart the message: you can't judge a book by its cover. Referencing Sikh American and other minority experiences, please create a 5 minute video (or less) that explores the statement, "You can't judge a book by its cover." Submission Deadline All entries must be received by August 15, 2010. Competition Phases Phase 1: Once all entries have been received (August 15, 2010), the judging periodwill begin. A panel of three judges will narrow down all submissions to a first and a second prize winner. The semi-finalists will be announced on August 23, 2010. Phase 2: Once the top-two submissions have been selected, they will be loaded online so that the public may vote for their favorite video. The voting period will occur between August 23rd and September 5th. An email will be sent to the Sikh Coalition listserv once both videos are available for a public vote. The winner will be announced on September 10, 2010. Awards All entries will be eligible for the following awards: First Place: $1000.00 Second Place: $500.00 In addition, the 1st prize winner will: Have his/her film premiered at the Sikh Art and Film Festival in October, an annual NYC-based festival conceived to shed light on the Sikh experience Be awarded one plane ticket to New York City (provided that he/she resides in the United States) Be provided two free passes to the Sikh Art and Film Festival’s Gala and Festival Events More details on the Sikh Art and Film Foundation may be found by clicking here. The festival has been scheduled for October 22-23, 2010. Judging Criteria Creativity and Originality: is the filmmaker conveying a theme, message, and/or experience in a new, exciting, and interesting way? Is the film engaging for the viewer? Message: Is the filmmaker exploring a deeper issue or addressing a problem faced by minority groups? Is the message effectively conveyed? How well does the movie provoke thought in its viewers? Quality: the movie is produced with technical and cinematographic aptitude and is edited well. Versatility: does the filmmaker address discrimination towards multiple minority communities, or focus simply on one? Requirements: submissions meet file length limit and use copyright-free music. Rules and Guidelines There is no age requirement for the competition. All videos must be 2-5 minutes in length. Any entries longer than 5 minutes will not be considered. Submission must address all facets of prompt provided. Video Submissions may use any narrative and technical style, including, but not limited to, documentary, fiction, live action or animation. Competition applicants may consult anyone for advice and feedback on their films prior to submission. However, video submissions must be filmed and edited solely by the applicant. All submissions must be submitted online, through Vimeo.com (see Submission Guidelines). Films are to be submitted with the Application Form. Once the video has been submitted to the Sikh Coalition, applicant may not edit and resubmit his/her film. Films may only use original or copyright free music (meaning music that is written, recorded, and/or produced by the submitter). Any videos containing profane or discriminatory elements will be automatically disqualified. The top two videos that are selected in the Competition become the property of the Sikh Coalition and can be distributed and used for Sikh Coalition purposes. Upon selection, First and Second Place Winners must submit original video files to the Sikh Coalition. At that time, a reminder will be sent requesting these materials. Submission Guidelines All videos must be submitted online, via Vimeo. Vimeo is a free, user-friendly video-hosting site, which we will use to receive submissions. It’s fast, easy to use, and takes away the cost and wait involved with sending in hard-copies of your films. Please read the Instructions and Application Form carefully before submitting your video to Vimeo. Films loaded onto the site cannot exceed 500 MB. Acceptable file-types include: asf, asx, avi, divx, dv, dvx, m4v, mov, mp4, mpeg, mpg, qt, wmv, 3g2, 3gp, 3ivx and 3vx. We recommend but do not require you to use .MP4, simply because it will take less time to load, and the site has been designed to work best with this extension. Eligibility Contestants of all ages may participate in the competition. All entries will be considered without regard to race, sex, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, religious affiliation, or disability.