The Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation is joining the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation in presenting the inaugural No Malice Film Contest for Illinois youth and young adults. Young filmmakers between the ages of 11 and 21 are invited to create short films that explore and promote racial healing. The Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation will help run the contest and select winners in three age groups. The project is funded through the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation with a grant from Healing Illinois, a racial healing initiative of the Illinois Department of Human Services in partnership with The Chicago Community Trust.
Students will compete as individuals or in groups in three age brackets: 11-14, 15-18, and 19-21. Entries are due by Friday, April 30th. Live action films must be between three minutes and seven minutes long. The minimum length for animated films is 45 seconds. Cash prizes will be awarded at a red-carpet debut to be held at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois on July 31st of this year. First place winners in each age bracket will receive $2,000; second place winners in each age bracket will receive $1,000; and third place winners in each age bracket will receive $500. The winning films will also be shown at the Ebertfest Film Festival at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Illinois schools will use the films, and supplemental curriculum created by educators, to talk about race and the harmful impact of bias and injustice.
Several virtual events are scheduled over the next two months with professional filmmakers, starting with Creative Cypher founder Troy Osborne Pryor on Saturday, February 6th (you can register for the Zoom session here). For the full schedule of events, click here, and also be sure to visit the official site of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. In the video below, RogerEbert.com publisher Chaz Ebert introduces the No Malice Film Contest along with YouMatter Studios founder & CEO Jewel Ifeguni.