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Share a conservation success story on video with Earth Optimism Summit - you could win a cash award

Fern Davies

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Call for Entries


          On behalf of the Smithsonian Institution, we would like to invite undergraduate and graduate students to participate in a short video (2 minute) competition on "sustainability/conservation success" for our three day Earth Optimism Summit, April 21-23, Washington DC.  Over 100 speakers and more than 1200 thought leaders, scientists, artists, environmentalists, civic leaders, and other conservation-minded citizens will gather to share and celebrate stories of conservation success and discuss solutions for addressing climate change and biodiversity sustainability. We will be joined by many sister events in US and internationally. The power of media, including video shorts, is an important part of this storytelling celebration. We urge you to join Earth Optimism by sharing your success story or highlighting one that needs to be told!


        Several student video competition winners will receive travel/lodging/registration for the full 3 day conference and the grand prize winner will also receive $1000 from American University School of Environmental Filmmaking.  This is a great opportunity for you to share your story with a global audience; all videos will be posted to the Earth Optimism You Tube channel and select videos will be shown at the Summit!  For complete details about the competition please visit http://s.si.edu/2l4Uufe       


        We look forward to watching your videos and enjoying your stories of conservation success!  Good luck!  Please feel free to share this announcement with other relevant programs or institutions. 



        We also invite your program or institution to join Earth Optimism as a partner event.  Please visit the partner registration page for details and suggestions, including live streaming and speaker events http://earthoptimism.si.edu/sister-events/ . Join us!


Please direct questions to 



Conservation Commons

Smithsonian Institution

Washington DC








The Earth Optimism global mission celebrates a focus-shift in the dialogue about conservation and sustainability, from problems and losses to hope and solutions. To spread this message we are highlighting examples of conservation success at the first Earth Optimism Summit, a three day event,April 21-23, 2017, hosted by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC with partner events across the globe. The Summit will be a gathering of 100 speakers and over 1000 thought leaders, practitioners, pioneering scientists, artists, environmentalists, civic leaders, media, and other conservation-minded citizens. We will convene to discuss and share stories of what is working in conservation and discuss solutions for addressing climate change and biodiversity sustainability.

The power of media, including video shorts, is an important part of this storytelling celebration. A panel of industrial professionals will select up to three contest winners who:
∞    Effectively communicate a story of conservation success.
∞    Showcase a compelling and engaging narrative
∞    Produce a video no longer than 2 minutes, including titles and credits
∞    Are at the undergraduate or graduate level
∞    Create original work, produced and narrated in English
∞    Submit video to filmfreeway.com by March 3, 2017, 11:59pm US EST

The Smithsonian Institution reserves the right to post videos to websites and social media. No Submissions accepted after March 3, 2017. Winners will be announced in early March. Questions about video contest may be addressed to EOSummitContest@si.edu

Rules and Guidelines

*Explanation of Video Competition: *The theme of this competition is “Conservation Success.” We are asking students to share a success story that involves them personally or highlight a story that needs to be told through a compelling two-minute video. Examples with real outcomes will be most competitive.

Submissions may be posted on the Earth Optimism YouTube site and select videos will also be shown at the Summit.

*Video Competition Rules and Guidelines: *
1. Videos must be the original work of the entrant. Entrants must hold the rights to any music, graphics, or stock footage used in their productions. In other words, entrants may use any graphics, footage or music that they create themselves, but entrants should NOT use music, graphics, or footage that was created by others without obtaining rights (a license) to use it.
2. The contest is open to any undergraduate or graduate student at an accredited institution.
3. Videos must be produced and narrated in English.
4. Any factual claims or references to research must be credited.
5. Only one entrant can be named per video, although you can include other people in your video.
6. Videos must be no longer than 2 minutes, including titles and credits.
7. Videos must begin with “Earth Optimism” followed by an opening title. Display credits of those involved in the production at the end of the video.

8. Videos must not directly advertise a product, service, logo, or name of any non-profit

organization, government agency, or private company.
9. See conditions of entry below.

Please email any questions about the video contest to EOSummitContest@si.edu

*Entry Deadline: *The competition opens February 1st, and ends March 3rd, at 11:59 PM Eastern Time. By submitting an entry, each entrant agrees to the rules of the contest and states that he or she is currently enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student.

*How to Submit Video Entries:* Upload your video tohttps://filmfreeway.com/festival/EarthOptimismVideoContest
at “Earth Optimism Video Contest” before 11:59 PM Eastern Time, March 3, 2017. You will need to create a user account and log in – very simple. Make sure to include your email and contact information, your full name, address, age, name of the school or institution you attend and program of study. We will review videos to make sure they conform to rules, then post them on the Earth Optimism Summit You Tube channel. Contestants will receive notification when videos are posted.

*Judging:* A panel of judges drawn from competition sponsors will decide the winners based on content, story telling ability, production quality, creativity, and overall impact. *Students with limited resources, technical skill and experience with film production should not feel discouraged from entering the video competition. While we look forward to enjoying creative, well-prepared submissions, the most important aspect is your ability to communicate an important story in a compelling and effective video.*

Winners will be notified via the contact information provided at the time of entry; the Smithsonian may disqualify anyone who fails to respond to the notification within five business days. Arrangements for travel will be made immediately following notification. Winners will also be announced on the Earth Optimism website and social media channels. Please do not contact us about the status of entries or judging.

The Smithsonian will determine winners’ eligibility in its sole discretion.

*Prizes:* Up to three winners will receive roundtrip coach air transportation (between a major metropolitan airport near the winner's residence), two nights’ lodging, meals, and registration to the three day Earth Optimism Summit at the International Trade Center (Ronald Reagan Building) in Washington DC, April 21-23. Each winner will also have an opportunity to give a short talk at the Summit and be matched for a one on one meeting with a leader in conservation.

*Grand Prize: *The student with the best video will receive $1000! The Grand Prize is generously donated by the American University Center for Environmental Filmmaking.

Winners may not transfer, modify, or substitute the prizes. Any taxes related to the prizes are the responsibility of the winners.

*Sponsors:* Smithsonian Institution, Earth Optimism Summit, American University Center for Environmental Filmmaking, Skyline Indie Film Fest 


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