FYI – FILM YOUR ISSUE, an unprecedented “issue film” competition inviting young Americans 18 to 26 – including seven million college and university students on 1200 campuses nationally – to add their voices to the public dialogue on contemporary issues via 30- to 60-second films, announced its Call for Entries for 2006.

The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2006.

The idealism and scope of the competition, now in its second year, has brought together such major partners as Microsoft, MSN Spaces, USA TODAY, mtvU, Entertainment Weekly, The Walt Disney Company, Paramount Pictures, Motorola and Toshiba; national and international organizations like The United Nations and U.N. Millennium Campaign, The Humane Society of the United States, A.S.C.AP. and USC Center for Public Diplomacy; national and international leaders like Walter Cronkite, George Clooney, Senator Barack Obama, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Gillian Sorensen, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Brian Williams, Anderson Cooper, Amy Gross and Shashi Tharoor, as well as the heads of major studios, publishing, broadcasting and music industries.

Cronkite and Clooney have written open letters to young Americans on behalf of FYI, urging their participation in the competition. The letters have been distributed to the media and on hundreds of college campuses in the U.S. (Clooney’s letter attached below).

The short digital films can be live action or animated and about any issue – pollution, animal welfare, gay marriage, healthcare, smoking, abortion, oil prices, religion, equal rights – or any other current political or social concern about which the filmmaker is passionate.

Filmmakers may also choose from five suggested sub-categories, which will offer additional presentation platforms to winners: Global Issues/UN Millennium Development Goals; Animal Welfare; Arts as a Global Diplomat and Cultural Bridge; Music-Driven, featuring solo, band, or music-video-style film in which music presents the issue; and Integration of Film and New Media, involving the creation of an issue-based webpage on MSN Spaces that merges film and internet-based technologies.

Two top finalists will each be offered a paid internship at Paramount Pictures and The Walt Disney Company. MSN Spaces, which sponsored the launch of FYI – FILM YOUR ISSUE during Festival Season 2006 in Park City, Utah, will sponsor the top finalists to attend Festival Season 2007 and present their entries.

The top finalist in each of the six categories will also be broadcast on mtvU, mtvU Über at, MSN Video and, and be invited guests, along with their faculty advisors, to the closing reception at The United Nations headquarters in New York City on June 26, 2006. The top finalists in each category will also receive a Motorola RAZR V3 mobile phone and Toshiba Qosmio notebook, and their entries showcased at the Maui Film Festival in June 2006. The Vail Film Festival in April 2006 will offer the first-look of 2006 entries.

“It’s very exciting that such an idealistic outreach can take flight so quickly among media leaders, academia, the Hollywood community, major corporations and government,” says HeathCliff Rothman, who founded FYI – Film Your Issue in 2004. “I think that change in our society has to come from new paradigms. Visuals and film are the language of this generation. We want to engage young Americans in contemporary issues, invite them to tell us what matters to them.”

MSN Spaces is where the FYI filmmakers will also create personal profile pages, share their current and past projects, progress reports and blogs about the issues being presented. Finalists will be tallied by a combination of public and VIP Jury votes.

The semi-finalist films will be presented on MSN Video, and the public will be able to vote on the semi-finalists by visiting

For more info, visit the Film Your Issue website.

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