Pell Center

The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina is a multidisciplinary research center focused at the intersection of politics, policies and ideas.

Student filmmakers invited to submit project addressing child poverty and vie for $1,000 prize

NEWPORT, R.I. – High school and undergraduate college students are being challenged to address the pressing issue of childhood poverty in a filmmaking contest. The competition is part of Story in the Public Square, a joint initiative of the Pell Center at Salve Regina University and The Providence Journal.

The maker (or makers) of the winning film will receive $1,000 and two other films will be selected for honorable mention. All three will be honored during this year’s Story Day conference, April 11, 2014, when participants will explore the theme of Moving Images: Public storytelling in film, video, TV and animation. Winning productions will be published online by the Pell Center. For more information about the initiative, please visit

“Nearly a quarter of American children live in poverty today,” said G. Wayne Miller, who directs Story in the Public Square. “In a recent speech in Providence, Marian Wright Edelman, the founder and director of the Children’s Defense Fund, said ‘If we don’t stand for ending poverty in the richest nation on earth, we don’t stand for anything.’ So, we challenge students to tell a story through a short video, film or animation that would enlighten viewers about childhood poverty – and move people to take action individually, collectively or through public policy.”


Contest Rules:

  • All entries must be uploaded to YouTube no later than 11:59:59 p.m. Sunday, March 30, 2014. Early entries are strongly encouraged.
  •  After successful upload, send your YouTube URL/link, along with your name(s), your school’s name(s) and a valid email address, to: [email protected] with “2014 contest” in the subject field.
  • All productions must be the original work of the maker(s). If a team wins, members will divide prize proceeds. By submitting your entry, you agree to have your film published by the Pell Center.
  • Productions must be no longer than 3 minutes (3:00).
  • Productions may be either fiction or non-fiction, but they must address childhood poverty.
  • All contestants must be enrolled as a high school or undergraduate student at an accredited school, college or university at the time of the contest and provide proof of enrollment prior to award.
  • All awards will be decided by a committee of judges. The committee reserves the right in its sole discretion to make no award if judging criteria have not been met. The decisions of the committee are final.

Criteria for Judging

  • Does the production address childhood poverty?
  • Could it inspire action?
  • Is it well done?

In addition to interactive panels with accomplished storytellers, Story Day 2014 will also feature the presentation of the Pell Center Prize for Story in the Public Square to Emmy-winning screenwriter, producer, and actor Danny Strong, whose screenwriting credits include Recount, Game Change, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, and Mockingjay, the two-part Hunger Games finale, set for release later this year and in 2015.

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The hashtag for the April 11 conference is #publicstory.


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