2012 film contest theme: You're Reading What?!?

Join us for a free afternoon of films and discussions with the winners of our 2012 Youth Free Expression Film Contest! We’ll also feature youth-made films from partners, and a special live performance!

FREE. Saturday, March 30th
1pm-4pm. Doors open at 12:45pm.
New York Film Academy Screening Room
100 East 17th Street in Manhattan
N, Q, R, W, 4, 5, 6, L Trains to Union Square

RSVP on our Facebook event page.


Congratulations To Our Contest Winners!

We were overwhelmed with the talent and passion for free expression shown in this year’s submissions. Thanks to everyone who participated, and our brilliant judges who gave their time to support this contest! Now, without further ado, our 2012 Youth Free Expression Project Film Contest Winners!

1st Place – "Waking", by Eden Taylor Ames

Eden will receive a $1,000 cash prize, a free one-week course at the New York Film Academy, and $5000 toward a NYFA program.

2nd Place – "Banned" by Naomi Clements

Naomi will receive a $500 cash prize.

3rd Place – "You Do Not Speak For Me" by Alexis Opper

Alexis will receive a $250 cash prize.

And each of our top three winners will be flown with a guest to New York City for a Youth Voices Uncensored Film Screening at the New York Film Academy on Saturday, March 30!

And Congratulations to Our First-Ever People’s Choice Award Winner, Chosen By YOU, The Viewers!

"Excluded" by Daniel Pritchard

We appreciate everyone who voted and spread the word about the People’s Choice Vote. Daniel will receive a one-of-a kind certificate of Internet Fame and Free Expression Awesomeness.


2012 Contest Rules

Books get pulled from library shelves and school curricula all the time because someone complains about the language they contain or the topics they address. Tell us about a time when parents, a teacher or some other adult was distressed at what you or someone you know were reading — and wanted to take it away. You can also submit a film about or inspired by a book censorship incident from the news that involves students or other young people.

Entries can be videos of any kind, including documentary, animation, experimental, satire, fictional narrative, or music video. The winning film won’t just speak to the topic — it will tell a creative, engaging story about it. A great film will utilize film-making tools (even modest and simple ones!) to produce a flim that shares your voice in a way that is fresh, unique and compelling. Films must be under 4 minutes long to qualify.

Applications must be submitted (and films uploaded to YouTube) no later than Saturday, December 15, 2012. All films must be produced in 2012 and address the contest theme. Contestants must be either living in the U.S. or its territories (but need not be citizens), and must be age 19 or younger on the day the film is submitted. Films will be judged on content, artistic and technical merit, and creativity. Judges will be drawn from a panel of renowned writers, actors, and filmmakers.

The top three winners receive:

  1. Cash prizes of $1,000, $500, and $250.
  2. A trip with a guest to New York City to attend the Youth Voices Uncensored event in the spring.
  3. A one-year complimentary student membership to the Rubin Museum of Art.
  4. The first place winner will received a free one-week digital fillmmaking course at the New York Film Academy, plus a $5,000 scholarship toward any one-, two-, or three-year NYFA program .

For more information: visit contest rules and frequently asked questions. You can also check out the previous years’ winners.  Submit your application online here.

If you need more inspiration about book censorship, check out the following issues ripped from the headlines of NCAC’s recent news:

  • Earlier this year students staged read-ins after the Tucson Unified School District dismantled its Mexican-American Studies program and banned a number of related books
  • Students voted to read John Green’s “Looking for Alaska” as their pre-summer vacation book in Sumner County, TN, but were left with no post-exam text after the district yanked the book from all classrooms. 
  • For three years running, an AP English teacher in Fremont, CA has attempted to teach her students relevant contemporary issues through texts like “Angels in America” and “Bastard out of Carolina,” but the school board has denied students the opportunity to read these books in class. 
  • Other books have been challenged and kept, but the objections show what issues and ideas are at stake in school districts across the nation: