Free Our People Film Contest

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Purple banner with Free Our People Film Contest logo including film strip on right. In bottom left is a white square of similar logo with purple film strip.

About:

Welcome to the 2018 Free Our People Film Contest. Our contest was not only developed as a way to get more disabled people involved in making films but also as a means of educating the world on the concept of institutional bias. Disabled people do best when they have the opportunity to live, interact, and engage with their own communities. Unfortunately, over 1 million people live in nursing homes and other institutional settings across the United States. By educating people, we hope to encourage them to support legislation like the Disability Integration Act, DIA, and help us FREE OUR PEOPLE!   

Contest:

The Free Our People Film Contest is now accepting entries on Film Freeway (starting February 1, 2018). You will have until March 31st, 2018 to upload your film and submit it. 

Instructions:

Please read the following instructions to enter the contest!

To participate:
1. Put together your team. 
2. Check our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/FreeOurPeopleFilmContest/) on February 1 with specific instructions on how to make your film. 
3. Shoot, edit, and complete your film between February 1 and March 31. 
4. Come back to this page and hit the submit now button on the upper right side.
5. Follow the prompts to create or log in to your account. 
6. Upload and add your film submission to submit it to us by March 31 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Requirements: 

Please read the requirements carefully. You will instantly be disqualified if you break any of the following rules!

  1. You must use both of the following items within your film, for it to qualify for inclusion in the contest!
    • ITEM 1: candy
    • ITEM 2: cat
    • These must be visible somewhere, and just don’t add them because you have to include them. You can add these items in any creative way you want! Feel free to be creative with how you incorporate them into your film. You can use them in a straightforward and literal way, or find a more obscure way to incorporate them. Anything goes!

      This is just to make sure that you did not make your film before February 1, when we revealed these items. Films without them will be disqualified.

  2. Films can be documentary style, animated, narrative fiction, mixed-media, or experimental.
  3. Your film must be between 5-7 minutes. Anything longer or shorter will be disqualified.
  4. Institutional bias is our theme, so each film must address the institutional bias in relation to long-term care services and community living for the disabled community.
  5. Filmmakers will have exactly two months to make a well-made, compelling film. You must turn your film in by March 31, 2018, at 11:59 PM ET.
  6. A panel of judges will determine which film is the best based on both content and quality. Our judges this year are Teal Sherer, Jennifer Brea, CJ Jones, and Alice Wong.
  7. Please include English subtitles/captioning. This is a requirement to enter. If you need help with this, let us know. We will also help you make an audio described version if you don’t know how, and are one of the winners.
  8. At least one member of the main crew (writer, director, editor, or cinematographer) must have a disability. We encourage films with multiple disabled people in crew roles. We also encourage nondisabled filmmakers to work with disabled filmmakers.
  9. Any character that is written to be disabled must be cast by someone actually disabled. Disabled mimicry is not allowed and will disqualify your film. If your film is animated, any characters with disabilities must be voiced by disabled people. We encourage you to cast disabled people in roles not specifically written as disabled, as well.
  10. There is a $5 entry fee, to prevent unrelated films from being submitted. If you are a disabled person who cannot afford the fee, email devans@cdrnys.org for a code to waive the fee. We do not want a fee to prevent you from entering.

Prizes

1st Place:

  • Mentoring session with Wendy Calhoun, co-executive producer and writer of EMPIRE
  • $1000 cash prize
  • Hotel and airline accommodations for one person to the festival in Rochester (this prize is available to U.S. residents only)
  • Film to be shown at all festivals
  • StoryBoard Quick (Mac/Win)
  • Scrivener Writing Software
  • Mariner Software Story & Character Development Bundle (Persona and Contour)

2nd Place:

  • $500 cash prize
  • Hotel and airline accommodations for one person to the festival in Rochester (this prize is available to U.S. residents only)
  • Film to be shown at all festivals
  • StoryBoard Quick (Mac/Win)
  • Scrivener Writing Software
  • Choice of either Persona or Contour from Mariner Software

3rd Place:

  • Hotel and airline accommodations for one person to the festival in Rochester (this prize is available to U.S. residents only)
  • Film to be shown at all festivals
  • StoryBoard Quick (Mac/Win)
  • Scrivener Writing Software
  • Choice of either Persona or Contour from Mariner Software

*hotel and airline prizes only available to winners in the United States

 

2017 Film Winners:

1st Place Winner: In my Home by Cheryl Green

In My Home is a short hybrid documentary exploring home, color, movement, confinement, rules, and freedom. The film talks to disabled people about why they deserve to live in the community, and the problems with being institutionalized.

To view the video with audio description, please click here.

2nd Place Winner: Crip(perelli) Life: Home is Where the Hat is by Virginia and Emily Munson

Crip(perelli) Life: Home is Where the Hat is uses humor and mob movie metaphors to depict the problems with institutional bias. The “Cripperelli family must take action when one of the family is institutionalized, so they work to break him out.

3rd Place Winner: The View From Outside by Sarah Mathis

The View From Outside uses two different scenarios, one documentary style, to show the difference between living in the community. In the first, Christopher, a person with multiple disabilities is imagined being institutionalized and is considered barely a person. In the second Christopher is allowed to live his life with his family, in the community.

Sponsors:

The Free Our People Film Contest program would not be made possible without our sponsors supporting our mission in educating the community and helping to FREE OUR PEOPLE.

 

  Logo of Scrivner with the letter S in center of a curved edge square, one side black and other side white. Commas symbol in the letter S to show style of ying yang

Mariner Software logo in purple and silver. The letter M is in a curved edge square.    

 Jungle Software logo in green, all caps. On left is an abstract figure of gorilla with face and tall grass looking forward.

Logo of Dramatica, left vector image of colorful parts in a circle with black square background. On right read, "Dramatica" in all caps and red. Below the name is the tagline in black, "The Ultimate Creative Writing Partner"