Directing Change

Entry Process


Entry Process

The following provides a step by step overview of the entry process.  Adult advisors, we recommend that you download the Getting Started Guide with useful tips to help your participants submit winning entries!  Youth participants, check out our Directing Change Prezi– it provides an overview of the rules and tips to succeed!

1. “Like” Directing Change on Facebook. This way you will receive notifications, tips and announcements about the contest, and you can post questions to the Directing Change Team.

2. Read the contest rules and FAQ!

3. Identify an adult advisor at your school or organization. All participants that are associated with either a  middle school, high school, college, university, community-based organization, program, club or other entity must select an adult advisor for their team. The adult advisor is someone who is not on the film submission team. This is required so we can connect your school, club or organization with free prevention programs and resources and they also qualify for cash prizes. The adult advisor does not need to have knowledge of or expertise in film making or the subject matter (suicide prevention and mental health).

4. Select a submission category and review the content guidelines carefully.  There are six submission categories.

  • Suicide Prevention (60-second PSA):  This category asks for a 60-second film that educates young people about the warning signs for suicide and how to offer support to a friend.
  • Animated Short (30-second PSA):  This category asks for a 30-second, animated film about suicide prevention.
  • Mental Health Matters (60-second PSA):  This category asks for a 60-second film that encourages young people to get help and support friends with mental health challenges.
  • SanaMente (30-second PSA):  This category asks for a 30-second film in Spanish (with English captioning) that promotes mental health and encourages people to visit the website.
  • Walk In Our Shoes (60-second PSA): This category asks for a 60-second film that encourages the viewer to “walk in someone else’s shoes” and learn more about mental health or suicide prevention. This category is only open to middle school students.
  • Through the Lens of Culture (60-second PSA): This category still requires participants to choose mental health or suicide prevention as a focus, with additional requirements including adding captioning and exploring these topics through the lens of different cultures.

5. Submit an Intent to Direct Form to let us know that you are planning to submit a film and in which category. Submitting the form does not obligate you to submit an entry, just as not submitting the form does not disqualify entries, but it helps us with the planning process. Only one per film team please!

6. We have developed several resources to assist with content such as educational films, fact sheets, and a Prezi presentation. Visit the “For Youth” page or “For Schools” page for assistance. Here are a few resources:

Also, be sure to check out the Submission Toolbox for every category which includes tools (such as the logo end slate and the title slide template) that are required with your film submission, and resources to help you with the content of your film.

7. Sign Release Forms and provide them to the adult advisor.  Filmmaking requires discipline and dedication to the craft. Youth filmmakers and participants are honor-bound to acquire all necessary permissions and signatures, including parent/guardian signatures if they are under the age of 18, and accept the liabilities for copyright violations. Please review the forms and copyrights page for more information and to download the appropriate forms.  It is best to provide original music, art and images!  (When obtaining permission, you are not just seeking to use permission for submission into the contest, but for all mediums that the film will be used in including online and broadcast).

The release form is now available as one page, and includes release of intellectual rights, and image and voice rights. All applicable release forms need to be kept on file by the adult advisor. The Directing Change team will request release forms from the winning film teams and any other films that we anticipate may be used to support local awareness efforts, therefore it is important to keep all forms on file. If release forms cannot be provided upon request, the film may be disqualified.

8. Upload your Entry Form and Film. This entry form is due by midnight on Sunday, March 1, 2020*. *Due to this year’s deadline falling on a weekend, we will accept entries through Monday, March 2nd for this year only. This year every submission category has its own entry form; please be sure to submit to the correct entry form. You can begin and save this form for up to 30 days.  At the bottom of the form you can click Save and Continue Later.  Once you click this you will be presented with a link that you need to bookmark and with an option to enter your email to receive the link via email.  We strongly recommend doing both, as there is no way for the Directing Change Team to provide you with your link. You will also need the Vimeo URL to your film.  Every person that worked on the film (crew) or acted in the film (cast) or whose voice can be heard in the film (cast) needs to provide contact information, their T-shirt size and accept the Directing Change Terms and Conditions.

As part of the entry form you will be asked to upload your film to the Directing Change Vimeo Channel. Upon successful upload you will cut and paste the Vimeo link into the entry form.  Your film is not automatically submitted just by uploading it to the Vimeo channel- you have to copy and paste the link into the entry form and submit the entry form.  Also don’t be concerned if the link doesn’t work for you. It is unlisted and the film can only be viewed by the Directing Change team.

You are no longer required to upload release forms to your entry form before you can submit your film. However, the advisor should keep a release form on file for every person that worked on the film (crew), is heard in the film or is acting in the film (cast).

Troubleshooting tips:

  • Try a different browser (e.g. if you are using Google Chrome, try Internet Explorer).
  • Try uploading the film from a different computer (e.g. instead of your school’s computer, try your home computer).
  • Try uploading the film using a different internet source: we receive many phone calls from students and teachers trying to upload the films while at school, but if your school’s internet blocks, you will not be able to upload. Either try uploading the film at home/the library/another location, or use a personal hotspot or mobile wifi to upload.
  • Contact us– we have never disqualified a film as a result of technical problems!

If technical problems persist, please contact us and include your internet browser and a description of the problem you are experiencing. Please be assured that we will not disqualify any entries that did make the deadline as a result of a technical problem with uploading the film.

8. Sit back, relax and think about what you will wear when you walk down the red carpet!  Check out footage and pictures from past events here!

If you are experiencing an emotional crisis, are thinking about suicide or are concerned about a friend call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline immediately: 1-800-273-8255This is a free 24-hour hotline.
The contest is part of Each Mind Matters: California's Mental Health Movement and statewide efforts to prevent suicide, reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental illness, and to promote the mental health and wellness of students. These initiatives are funded by counties through the Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63) and administered by the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities. The program is implemented by Your Social Marketer, Inc.
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