We have a unique project opportunity that we'd like to extend to a select group of students interested in filmmaking around international social issues. The Ninth Annual Media That Matters Film Festival will be held in June, 2009 in NYC. We have a call for submissions that will be answered by students who are participating in the Ningxia Dragon Student Ambassadors educational exchange program.

If you know of students who would like team up with students from China to do a short documentary film on social justice, please have them go to our Ningxia Dragon Student Ambassadors participatory learning social network and sign up. All registered students will be provided an opportunity to join an internationally created filmmaking team.

We currently have over 100 Chinese students who looking to join or make up competing teams. Teams will consist of 10 students each - roughly 5 US students and 5 Chinese students. All teams will submit their own short film. US students must be open to multi-cultural cooperation and share leadership with Chinese students. Some language barriers may need facilitation and support, but we have translation support (a bi-lingual mentor) set for each team.

Media That Matters is the premier showcase for short films with big messages. Film entries must be submitted by January 9th for the chance to be one of the final twelve jury-selected films and become part of an outreach and distribution effort to create social change through film. Following a New York City Premiere, Awards Ceremony and industry networking events in June 2009, winning entries will take part in the Media That Matters international, multi-platform campaign with DVD distribution, broadcasts, streaming and hundreds of screenings across the globe!

Chinese students will be documenting their lives in western China and uploading entries to an open source media editing and production website hosted by New School Curriculum Group. Students will develop a storyboard, edit film, and create their own message through film. This is a student-centered project. It will not be affiliated with any particular school. Students under 18 will need parental permission and all students must sign releases on the work they produce. All finalists will be awarded $1000 to assist in future filmmaking efforts, and competing students will be able to list this international filmmaking collaboration on their personal resumes for future educational opportunities.

What we're looking for:

* Short films: the shorter the better—no longer than 12 minutes max, but 8 and under would be great! If your piece exceeds these time limits, consider submitting a shorter version or a stand-alone excerpt.
* Social issues - Any and all issues will be considered. This year we are seeking out films on Media Literacy, Human Rights, Elections & Democracy, Sustainability & the Environment, Youth Activism and Social Justice. The final films are those that encourage the audience to be engaged in the issue!
* All genres - Documentary, animation, public service announcement, narrative, music videos, drama, comedy. Creativity is encouraged - but the film must focus on a social issue.
* Open to all ages - Youth-produced projects encouraged!

Through our online social media tools, we've created a powerful platform for peer-to-peer participatory learning. Our mentor team has grown to include curriculum design and social media leaders from NYU, Harvard University, Tufts, Champlain College, Worcester State College, and the University of Chicago.

We have a group of Chinese students from northwest China who have been outfitted with video equipment. We are forming teams online now to enter this contest. This opportunity represents a terrific opportunity for talented students to participate in a global educational initiative and demonstrate their ability to address international social issues. The issue of social justice, particularly in northwest China, can be politically sensitive. Participating students will need to understand the context of the issues in order to produce work that is both meaningful and respectful of the personal courage and vulnerabilities of Chinese students living in this highly charged region. Again, all students will need to register on the Ningxia Dragon Student Ambassadors participatory learning social network site in order to participate.

The Ningxia Dragon Student Ambassadors Team.

Tags: International, china, education, exchange, filmmaking, global, student-centered

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