Directing Change

Rules and FAQ

Rules For High School Students

To enter the contest you must agree to these official rules. Submission of an entry constitutes an agreement to these rules. We made some changes to the rules this year, so if you submitted last year, please review them carefully!

Eligibility – This is a student video contest; only student-produced films are eligible. Students must be associated with a high school located in California and in grades 9-12. Student films must be reviewed and approved by an adult advisor at the student’s school (such as but not limited to: the principal, a teacher or a counselor) for content that is suitable for schools and a general public viewing audience. The student may submit the Intent to Direct Form and upload the video as “unlisted” to YouTube, but the advisor must complete and submit the Entry Form, release forms, and copyright forms by the submission deadline. Students can, but do not have to, produce the movie as a school or after school activity.

Notice of Intent to Direct: Submit the Intent to Direct Form to let us know that you are planning to submit a video, 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. In the form we will ask you to include:

  • Student(s) name and school advisor name
  • Name of school
  • Name of county in which your school is located
  • Submission Category

Submit your Intent to Direct Form today! For every Intent to Direct Form we receive (and that turns into a submission), the associated school will be entered into a drawing for a free suicide prevention or mental health program.

Submission Deadline (Midnight PDT March 1, 2014) – Each film must be uploaded as a “unlisted” video to YouTube. An Entry Form including a link to the video on YouTube for EACH film must be completed and submitted by the identified school advisor by March 1, 2014. Be sure that your film name matches the name on the entry form! If you need to make arrangements to submit your submission via mail, please email us at stan@directingchange.org. (Please note that mailed entries need to be postmarked by March 1, 2014.) If you are having technical problems please try the following:

  1. Try a different browser (e.g. if you are using Google Chrome, try Internet Explorer)
  2. Try uploading the video from a different computer (e.g. instead of your school’s computer, try your home computer.)

If technical problems persist, please email: stan@directingchange.org and include your internet browser, if you are a high school or UC student 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 video.

Submission Format – Entries are limited to 60 seconds in length. YouTube is our video services partner and all technical specifications need to be in line with their requirements. YouTube accepts the following file types: MOV, MPEG4, AVI, WMV, MPEGPS, FLV, 3GPP AND WebM. Although not required, we recommend that you compress your video before uploading the file.

Many video editing programs (such as Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro) and encoding software (such as Compressor or Adobe Media Encoder) may include a preset for encoding H.264 files that match the YouTube format requirements. If yours does, we recommend using that preset when encoding your finished video. For more information on exporting your video to meet these requirements, please click on this link and view YouTube’s audio/Video settings –

Fix Upload Problems: https://support.google.com/youtube/settings

Remember each film must be uploaded as an “unlisted” video to YouTube.
Privacy settings: https://support.google.com/youtube/privacy

Judging Process & Prizes – Utilizing the California County Superintendents Educational Services (CCSESA) map 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winners will be selected in each category from each of the eleven regions within the state of California by a regional judging panel. (If not enough submissions are received from any given region, regions will be combined at the discretion of the contest team.) To see which region your school falls into, click here.

Regional Prizes in each category:

  • 1st place: $500 for the winning team and a $500 match to their school
  • 2nd place: $250 for the winning team and a $250 match to their school
  • 3rd place: $250 for the winning team and a $250 match to their school

The winning video from each region in each category (finalists) will move on to a statewide judging round. A new judging panel will review and score the videos and determine the first, second and third place statewide winners.

Statewide (2nd round) prizes in each category:

  • 1st place: $500 for the winning team and a $500 match to their school
  • 2nd place: $250 for the winning team and a $250 match to their school
  • 3rd place: $250 for the winning team and a $250 match to their school

All regional winners will be invited to attend the award ceremony during Mental Health Awareness month in May where the winners will be announced and every film team will be recognized for their achievements.

Judging Panel – The judging panel is composed of suicide prevention and mental health subject matter experts, reporters, editors, community members and industry professionals who have successful experiences with the development of PSAs, film production, film critique, or film promotion.

  1. View the official contest judging form for the Suicide Prevention category
  2. View the official contest judging form for the Ending the Silence of Mental Illness category

Limits: There is no limit on the number of submissions from a student or school.

Music and Copyrights: Entries must meet all copyright standards by obtaining releases for all copyrighted music and materials prior to submission. Entries that include copyrighted materials (such as images, supers or audiovisual materials) or music (such as music purchased from iTunes, on CD or other downloadable services) without the proper permission and signed release forms will be disqualified. Please review the forms and copyrights page for more information and to download the appropriate forms.  All applicable music and copyright forms need to be received for each film by the submission deadline. Signed release forms and applicable copyright forms must be scanned and emailed to forms@directingchange.org, or may be faxed to 858.408.7130.

Release Forms: Every student on the submitting team has to sign a release form. For students under the age of 18 the form also needs to be signed by their parent or a legal guardian. In addition, all individuals who appear (visually or voice) in the video need to sign the Image and Voice Release Form. Please review the forms and copyrights page for more information and other requirements. All applicable release forms need to be received for each film by the submission deadline. Signed release forms and applicable copyright forms must be scanned and emailed to forms@directingchange.org, or may be faxed to 858.408.7130.

Submission Identification: All forms and the submitted film need to have the same identification as specified below. This will allow the Directing Change Team to match up the entry form, submitted film and release forms. Students must send a video link to their advisor and the advisor must include the video link on the entry form.

  •  All forms need to include: Film Title, Submission Category, SchoolAdvisor Name, School Name, County in which School is Located, and Student Name (s)
  • Choose a unique name for your entry. Last year nearly 1 in 5 submissions had the same title. (The two most popular titles were “Suicide Prevention PSA” and “You Are Not Alone”)
  • Every film has to begin with a beginning title slide (not counted in the 60-second limit) that needs to include: The Film Title, the Submission Category, School Advisor Name, School Name, County in which School is Located, and Student Name (s)
  • The film file name must include the category initials (SP for Suicide Prevention and ES for Ending the Silence of Mental Illness), the school’s initials and the name of the county the school is located in. Choose a unique name for your entry. Last year nearly 1 in 5 submissions had the same title. (The two most popular titles were “Suicide Prevention PSA” and “You Are Not Alone”). For example:
    • SP_MHS_Mono_nameoffilm (MHS for Mammoth High School)
    • ES_BSHS_SanDiego_nameoffilm (BSHS for Borrego Springs High School)

Entry Process

  1. Like Directing Change on Facebook and join the event page. This way you will receive notifications and announcements about the contest, and you can post questions to the Directing Change Team.
  2. Read the contest rules!
  3. Select a submission category and review the content guidelines carefully! The Suicide Prevention category has content that needs to be avoided to not be disqualified or lose significant points in the “Safe Messaging” portion of the scoring guide.
  4. Identify an adult advisor at your school (such as but not limited to: the principal, a teacher or a counselor). The role of the advisor is to:

    • Review the video content to ensure the content is appropriate for schools and a general viewing audience. Violence, profanity, sex and drug activity are discouraged and content must be appropriate for school use and adhere to your school’s policies, rules, and guidelines.
    • Submit the entry form, release forms and copyright forms for each film on behalf of the student(s) with the proper identification by the submission deadline.
    • The advisor does not need to have knowledge of or expertise in film making or the subject matter (suicide prevention and mental health). Useful resources to prepare the school advisor and student for this contest have been mailed to each school and can be accessed on the school resource page.

  5. Submit Intent to Direct Form at any time prior to the submission deadline.
  6. Make sure that all release and copyright forms and the film you are submitting have the same identification and include: Film Title, Submission Category, School Advisor Name, School Name, County in which School is Located, and Student Name (s)
    • Every film has to begin with a beginning title slide (not counted in the 60-second limit) that needs to include: the Film Title, the Submission Category, School Advisor Name, School Name, County in which School is Located, and Student Name(s). Refer to the Submission Tool Box for a template.
    • The film file name must include the category initials (SP for Suicide Prevention), the school’s initials and the name of the county the school is located in. For example:
      • SP_MHS_Mono_nameoffilm (MHS for Mammoth High School)
      • ES_BSHS_SanDiego_nameoffilm (BSHS for Borrego Springs High School)

  7. Upload each film (titled as specified above) as an “unlisted” video to YouTube and send your advisor a link to the video to include on the Entry Form. By uploading an entry, the student(s) automatically accept(s) all rules of the contest.
  8. Advisor must submit the online entry form for EACH entry and scan and email all student release forms and applicable copyright forms to forms@directingchange.org by the submission deadline.

Safety: Teen producers – please avoid potentially dangerous production situations that could put crew, actors or the public at risk. Safety during the project is of highest priority. Directing Change sponsors take no responsibility and assume no liability for any acts or damages that may result from preparing the materials to submit to this contest. Further, both of the submission categories are sensitive subjects that need to be addressed with respect and understanding for how they might impact those involved in the project. If at any time, you or someone working on the project experiences an emotional crisis let an adult know immediately or call the national Suicide Prevention Lifeline : 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This is a free 24-hour hotline.

Elimination: Providing false information, not meeting the submission deadline, not obtaining the proper release forms and copyright permissions or any other violation of the contest rules can lead to the elimination of an entry. The Directing Change Team reserves the right to disqualify any entry that they believe at their sole discretion to violate the rights of any third party or that violates U.S. or applicable state or local law. Further, the advisor can refuse to submit an entry that is not suitable for schools and a general public viewing audience. The suicide prevention category has special content that must be included and specific content that must be avoided. Entries that show portrayals of suicide deaths or attempts (such as a person jumping off of a building or bridge, or holding a gun to their head) will be eliminated. View the Official Contest Judging Form for this category for more information. Entries should not be uploaded to YouTube for public viewing or other sites accessible to the public (other than the official contest website) until after 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners have been announced on the regional level; 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners are restricted from uploading their video to YouTube for public viewing or other sites accessible to the public until after the contest award ceremony. (Video entries uploaded as “unlisted” to YouTube as part of the submission process will of course not be disqualified.) (See “Submission to Other Film Festivals” as an exception.) The Directing Change Team reserves the right to suggest entries be revised if they contain disqualifying content or other content not consistent with the official contest judging form or if the entry promotes incorrect data and statistics. If the revised entry is not submitted by the deadline (March 1, 2014) or deadline identified by the Directing Change Team, and the original entry contains disqualifying content, the video will be disqualified.

Submission to Other Film Festivals: Entries submitted must be original work created by the individuals listed on the entry form. Entries can be submitted to other film festivals after the March 1, 2014 submission deadline. For a list of film festivals, visit the Links page. Special note to students in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, and Tulare Counties. Directing Change is partnering with the SlickRock Film Festival. We strongly encourage you to also submit to this festival if your entry is in the suicide prevention category. The entry description and judging guidelines for both contests are aligned.

Rules for University of California Students

UC Deadline Extended to March 21, 2014!!

To enter the contest you must agree to these official rules. Submission of an entry constitutes an agreement to these rules.

Eligibility – This is a student video contest; only student-produced films are eligible. Students must be associated with a University of California campus.

Notice of Intent to Direct: Submit the Intent to Direct Form to let us know that you are planning to submit a video, 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. In the form we will ask you to include:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Name of school
  • Submission Category

Submission Deadline (Midnight PDT March 21, 2014) – Each film must be uploaded as a “unlisted” video to YouTube. An Entry Form including a link to the video on YouTube for EACH film must be completed and submitted by March 21, 2014. Be sure that your film name matches the name on the entry form! If you need to make arrangements to submit your submission via mail, please email us at stan@directingchange.org. (Please note that mailed entries need to be postmarked by March 21, 2014.) If you are having technical problems please try the following:

  1. Try a different browser (e.g. if you are using Google Chrome, try Internet Explorer)
  2. Try uploading the video from a different computer (e.g. instead of your school’s computer, try your home computer.)

If technical problems persist, please email: stan@directingchange.org and include your internet browser, your school 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 video.

Submission Format – Entries are limited to 60 seconds in length. YouTube is our video services partner and all technical specifications need to be in line with their requirements: YouTube accepts the following file types: MOV, MPEG4, AVI, WMV, MPEGPS, FLV, 3GPP AND WebM. Although not required, we recommend that you compress your video before uploading the file.

Many video editing programs (such as Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro) and encoding software (such as Compressor or Adobe Media Encoder) may include a preset for encoding H.264 files that match the YouTube format requirements. If yours does, we recommend using that preset when encoding your finished video. For more information on exporting your video to meet these requirements, please click on this link and view YouTube’s audio/Video settings –

Fix Upload Problems: https://support.google.com/youtube/settings

Remember each film must be uploaded as an “unlisted” video to YouTube.
Privacy settings: https://support.google.com/youtube/privacy

Judging Process & Prizes – One first place and one honorable mention winner will be selected in each category from each UC campus within the state of California by a judging panel. (If not enough submissions are received from any given campus, campuses will be combined at the discretion of the contest team.)

  1. View the official contest judging form for the Suicide Prevention category
  2. View the official contest judging form for the Ending the Silence of Mental Illness category

Campuses Round Prizes in each category:

  • 1st place: $500
  • Honorable mention: $300

The winning video from each campus in each category (finalists) will move on to a statewide judging round. A new judging panel will review and score the videos and determine a first winner and one honorable mention in each category.

Statewide (2nd round) prizes in each category:

  • 1st place: $1,000
  • Honorable mention: $500

The statewide winners in each category will be invited to attend the award ceremony during Mental Health Awareness month in May.

Judging Panel – The judging panel is composed of suicide prevention and mental health subject matter experts, UC students, faculty & staff, as well as other community members.

Limits: There is no limit on the number of submissions from a student or school.

Music and Copyrights: Entries must meet all copyright standards by obtaining releases for all copyrighted music and materials prior to submission. Entries that include copyrighted materials (such as images, supers or audiovisual materials) or music (such as music purchased from iTunes, on CD or other downloadable services) without the proper permission and signed release forms will be disqualified. Please review the forms and copyrights page for more information and to download the appropriate forms.  All applicable music and copyright forms need to be received for each film by the submission deadline.

Release Forms: Every student on the submitting team has to sign a release form. UC students do not need to identify a campus advisor and may leave this section blank. However, if the student is under the age of 18 the form also needs to be signed by their parent or a legal guardian using the under 18 release form. In addition, all individuals who appear (visually or voice) in the video need to sign the Image and Voice Release Form. Please review the forms and copyrights page for more information and other requirements. All applicable release forms need to be received for each film by the submission deadline.

Submission Identification: All forms and the submitted film need to have the same identification as specified below. This will allow the Directing Change Team to match up the entry form, submitted film and release forms.

  •  All forms need to include: Film Title, Submission Category, School Name, and Student Name (s)
  • Every film has to begin with a beginning title slide (not counted in the 60-second limit) that needs to include: The Film Title, the Submission Category, School Name, and Student Name (s)
  • The film file name must include the category initials (SP for Suicide Prevention and ES for Ending the Silence of Mental Illness) and the campus initials. Choose a unique name for your entry. For example:
    • SP_UCSD_nameoffilm
    • ES_UCDavis_nameoffilm

Entry Process

  1. Like Directing Change on Facebook and join the event page. This way you will receive notifications and announcements about the contest, and you can post questions to the Directing Change Team.
  2. Read the contest rules!
  3. Select a submission category and review the content guidelines carefully! The Suicide Prevention category has content that needs to be avoided to not be disqualified or lose significant points in the “Safe Messaging” portion of the scoring guide.
  4. Submit Intent to Direct Form at any time prior to the submission deadline.
  5. Make sure that all release and copyright forms and the film you are submitting have the same identification and include: Film Title, Submission Category, School Name, and Student Name (s)
    • Every film has to begin with a beginning title slide (not counted in the 60-second limit) that needs to include: the Film Title, the Submission Category, School Name, and Student Name(s). Refer to the Submission Tool Box for a template.
    • The film file name must include the category initials (SP for Suicide Prevention) and the campus initials. For example:
      • SP_UCSD_nameoffilm
      • ES_UCDavis_nameoffilm
  6. Upload each film (titled as specified above) as an “unlisted” video to YouTube and send your advisor a link to the video to include on the Entry Form. By uploading an entry, the student(s) automatically accept(s) all rules of the contest.
  7. Submit the online entry form for EACH entry and scan and email all student release forms and applicable copyright forms to forms@directingchange.org by the submission deadline.

Safety: Teen and young adult producers – please avoid potentially dangerous production situations that could put crew, actors or the public at risk. Safety during the project is of highest priority. Directing Change sponsors take no responsibility and assume no liability for any acts or damages that may result from preparing the materials to submit to this contest. Further, both of the submission categories are sensitive subjects that need to be addressed with respect and understanding for how they might impact those involved in the project. If at any time, you or someone working on the project experiences an emotional crisis let an adult know immediately or call the national Suicide Prevention Lifeline : 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This is a free 24-hour hotline.

Elimination: Providing false information, not meeting the submission deadline, not obtaining the proper release forms and copyright permissions or any other violation of the contest rules can lead to the elimination of an entry. The Directing Change Team reserves the right to disqualify any entry that they believe at their sole discretion to violate the rights of any third party or that violates U.S. or applicable state or local law. Further, the advisor can refuse to submit an entry that is not suitable for schools and a general public viewing audience. The suicide prevention category has special content that must be included and specific content that must be avoided. Entries that show portrayals of suicide deaths or attempts (such as a person jumping off of a building or bridge, or holding a gun to their head) will be eliminated. View the Official Contest Judging Form for this category for more information. Entries should not be uploaded to YouTube for public viewing or other sites accessible to the public (other than the official contest website) until after 1st and honorable mention place winners have been announced on the UC level; 1st and honorable mention place winners are restricted from uploading their video to YouTube for public viewing or other sites accessible to the public until after the contest award ceremony. (Video entries uploaded as “unlisted” to YouTube as part of the submission process will of course not be disqualified.) (See “Submission to Other Film Festivals” as an exception.) The Directing Change Team reserves the right to suggest entries be revised if they contain disqualifying content or other content not consistent with the official contest judging form or if the entry promotes incorrect data and statistics. If the revised entry is not submitted by the deadline (March 21, 2014) or deadline identified by the Directing Change Team, and the original entry contains disqualifying content, the video will be disqualified.

Submission to Other Film Festivals: Entries submitted must be original work created by the individuals listed on the entry form. Entries can be submitted to other film festivals after the March 21, 2014 submission deadline.

FAQ

1. Where can I turn for help if I am in a crisis or concerned about a friend?

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-TALK (8255). This is a free 24-hour hotline. You can also visit their website at http://suicidepreventionlifeline.com

2. Is my school eligible?

Any high school in California is eligible, including but not limited to: public, private, charter, alternative and home schools. Any UC campus student is eligible.

3. How many entries may a student submit?

There is no limit on student participation and they are encouraged to participate with as many teams as they would like.

4. How many entries may a school submit?

There is no limit on school submissions to the contest.

5. My school doesn’t even have a film or media class. Can I still enter?

Yes. Many students have embraced filmmaking even when their school does not offer a formal program. The only requirement for a student to enter is that the video must be submitted under a school’s authority. For high school students this means that the student must find an adult advisor (e.g.: teacher) to review the entry and deem it appropriate. Only the advisor may submit an entry form. UC students do not have to identify an advisor and can submit the entry form themselves.

6. What happens if my entry is longer than the specified time limit?

Videos will be judged only on what is presented within the 60-second time specification of the category. Any videos which run longer than 60 seconds will not be judged upon their full content and will be at a disadvantage.  (Note:  The title slide required at the beginning of each video does not count toward the 60-second limit.)

7. How many students can work on a video?

Successful films usually include a large number of dedicated, talented people to produce a video. However, for this contest, only 4 students may be listed on the entry form as the film team and only those four are eligible for award trophies.

8. How do I enter the contest?

High School Students: Easy… choose one of the two categories: 60-Second Video-Suicide Prevention Public Service Announcement or 60-Second Video-Ending the Silence of Mental Illness Public Service Announcement. Identify an adult advisor at your school. Submit the intent to direct form. Upload your video as “unlisted” to YouTube and send your advisor the link to your video to be included on the entry form. Have your advisor submit an entry form and all release and copyright forms by contest deadline. See Rules above for additional details.

UC Students: Easy… choose one of the two categories: 60-Second Video-Suicide Prevention Public Service Announcement or 60-Second Video-Ending the Silence of Mental Illness Public Service Announcement. Submit the intent to direct form. Upload your video as “unlisted” to YouTube and include the link on your entry form. Submit an entry form and all release and copyright forms by contest deadline. See Rules above for additional details.

9. What if I didn’t submit the intent to direct form?

No problem. Submitting the Intent to Direct Form does not obligate you or disqualify you from submitting an entry. It just helps us with our planning process. 

10. What is the role of the advisor? (For High School Students Only)

The role of the adult advisor at your school is to:

1. Review the video to ensure the content is appropriate for schools and a general viewing audience. Violence, profanity, sex and drug activity are discouraged and content must be appropriate for school use and adhere to your school’s policies, rules, and guidelines.

2. Obtain signatures, scan and submit the entry form, release forms and all applicable copyright forms on behalf of the student(s) for EACH video produced/submitted by the student/school. (Include video link in advisor entry form.) Signed release forms and applicable copyright forms must be scanned and emailed to forms@directingchange.org, or may be faxed to 858.408.7130.

3. The advisor does not need to have knowledge of or expertise in film making or the subject matter (suicide prevention and mental health).

11. Do I really need to get all these forms signed?

Yes. Student film-making requires discipline and dedication to the craft. Students are honor bound to acquire all necessary permissions and signatures and accept the liabilities for copyright violations.

12. As a student, how much help can I get from parents, teachers, and other adults?

Teachers, parents, and support people are encouraged to be resources, and may participate as actors, but the project must be student work, this includes scripts, camera work, pre-post production. Outside help must be limited to showing students how to do a task while never actually performing the task for them and offering suggestions while allowing the students to make the final decision.

13. When and how do I know if I win?

High School Students: We will contact the advisor listed on the entry form. We anticipate announcing regional winners in March 2014. Statewide winners will be announced at the award ceremony which will take place during Mental Health Awareness Month in May. Visit the award ceremony page for updates and details.

UC Students: We will contact the student(s) listed on the entry form. We anticipate announcing campus winners in March 2014 and statewide winners in April.

14. What are the prizes for High School Students?

Cash prizes will be awarded for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place video to both the film team as well as the school.

Regional prizes in each category:

1st place: $500 for the winning team and a $500 match to their school

2nd place: $250 for the winning team and a $250 match to their school

3rd place: $250 for the winning team and a $250 match to their school

Statewide (2nd round) prizes in each category:

1st place: $500 for the winning team and a $500 match to their school

2nd place: $250 for the winning team and a $250 match to their school

3rd place: $250 for the winning team and a $250 match to their school

All regional winners will be invited to attend the award ceremony during Mental Health Awareness month in May where the winners will be announced and every film team will be recognized for their achievements.

15. What are the prizes for UC Students?

Cash prizes will be awarded for one winner and one honorable mention in each category.

Campus round prizes in each category:

1st place: $500

Honorable mention: $300

Statewide (2nd round) prizes in each category:

1st place: $1,000

Honorable mention: $500

16. How do I know what region my high school falls under?

To see which region your school falls into, click here.

17. For high school students, what is the difference between the regional and the statewide contest?

Based on the California County Superintendents Educational Services (CCSESA) map, the state has been divided into eleven regions. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will be selected from each of the eleven regions in each category. (Depending on the number of entries received from each region, regions might be combined at the discretion of the contest organizers.) The 1st place winning video from each region in each category (finalists) will move on to a statewide judging round. A new judging panel will review and score the videos and determine the first, second and third place statewide winners.

18. What if I don’t have access to film making equipment?

As a first step we encourage you to explore resources that might be available through your school or local library. Quality films can be developed utilizing basic digital cameras and video editing software available on most computers. However, if you are not able to access the technology you need, please contact us at stan@directingchange.org

19. I don’t know anything about film making, can I still enter?

Yes! This contest is about developing a public service announcement related to suicide prevention and reducing stigma about mental illness and we feel that everyone with a good dose of enthusiasm and creativity can come up with something amazing. Review these tips to get started.

20. How much violence can my film have? Can I use profanity?

This question addresses the topic of “appropriate content. This is a school-related contest and, as such, content, violence, profanity, sex and drug activity must be appropriate for school use and adhere to your school’s policies, rules, and guidelines.

A few tips: Do not glorify illegal, dangerous, or potentially harmful behavior. Instead, make your video about the decisions made, the relationships gained or lost, the life opportunities won or lost. In short … make the video about the people not about the act. The formula for most movies focuses on why the characters are going to do what they do, the internal struggle of the decision and a resolution. Focusing on the causes and effects allows you to work with serious topics in a realistic, mature way while adhering to school standards.

In particular, the suicide prevention category has special content that must be included and specific content that must be avoided. Check out the submission category page for more information.

21. Is there an award ceremony?

Yes, an award ceremony to honor the winners in each category and to reveal the winners of the statewide competition will take place in May 2014. The award ceremony promises to be an amazing evening and the program will include a screening of the winning entries. Visit the award ceremony page to stay up to date about the award event. View a video clip from last year’s event!

22. Can I use popular music in my video?

Original music or music that is in the public domain (royalty free) may be used in your film if the source is cited in the credits. You will need written permission from the copyright holder to use all copyrighted materials such as popular songs, so you will not be able to just download or purchase your favorite song on iTunes and include it in your video. For more information visit the Forms and Copyright page and for a list of websites that offer “free” music or tips to create your own visit the Links page.

23. I have limited internet access. Is there another way to download forms and submit my entry?

Yes, we can mail you copies of all forms and you can mail us a hard copy of your entry postmarked by the submission deadline. To make arrangements please email us at stan@directingchange.org.

24. Will my video be shown on TV?

The winning public service announcements will be compiled on a DVD and made available to schools and mental health agencies throughout California. In addition, the winning PSAs will be integrated into the statewide mental illness stigma reduction and suicide prevention social marketing campaigns. In addition, the videos will be available for use by organizations throughout the state and may end up being shown on TV- you never know! To learn more about these efforts click here.

25. Who do I contact if I am interested in becoming a contest judge?

To learn more about becoming a judge, visit the Judge page for more information.

Note: High school and UC students and individuals who attend, work at, or are affiliated with a high school are not eligible to participate as judges. (If you work at, or are affiliated with a UC campus, you are eligible to be a judge).

26. Is it possible to make a submission made by students from multiple schools?

High school students can submit as a team from different schools, but since the school is eligible to win a cash prize and a suicide prevention program, the team needs to identify one adult advisor from one of the schools. That is the school that will go on record and receive the prize should the entry win. The team could always submit in each of the categories and submit one through one school and the other through another other school.

UC students have to submit under a specific campus.

27. Who is this contest funded by?

Directing Change is part of 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 the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities. CalMHSA administers programs funded by the Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63) on a statewide, regional and local basis. For more information on CalMHSA visit: www.calmhsa.org

28. What if my school does not allow access to YouTube?

As a first step, upload your video outside of your school. If this is not an option, please email stan@directingchange.org to discuss alternative submission options.

29. What if I have other questions not in this FAQ list?

Email your questions to stan@directingchange.org

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 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 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.
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