The BYU Ballard Center Changemaker Film Competition invites BYU students and BYU alumni to tell the stories of people solving social problems.
Submissions are due Monday October 1, 2018.
Enlighten us with your creative storytelling about a social problem and solution. We're looking for creative films that feature innovative, impactful, sustainable, scalable solutions that promote self-reliance.
Your film can be any genre or style. We're welcoming mini documentaries, advertisements, marketing pieces, animations, etc.
The BYU Changemaker Film Competition, held in conjunction with the Peery Film Festival, is hosted by the BYU Ballard Center and sponsored by the Peery Social Entrepreneurship program. The best submissions will be screened during the Peery Film festival on October 17, 18 and 19, 2018 in the Wilkinson Center on the BYU Provo campus.
For more information, please call the Ballard Center at 801-422-5283 or email Rose Palmer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Films will be judged based on:
Each film will be reviewed and judged by Ballard Center staff and professional filmmakers.
$8,000 in cash prizes will be awarded for excellent films.
Prize distribution and categories are subject to change, but last year’s prizes were distributed as follows:
You may submit drafts of your film for feedback.
Submit by July 1, 2018 at 11:55pm for feedback on your storyboard. This feedback will be helpful to make sure the problem and solution you have chosen to feature are well developed.
Submit by September 1, 2018 at 11:55pm for feedback on your film draft. Come with your film as finished as possible. Our professional partners will give you advice on storytelling and post-production.
To see student films from the last two seasons of the Changemaker Film Competition, visit the Ballard Center YouTube page.
Please take a few minutes to watch these example films. These films are from both independent and professional creative agencies and advertising agencies.
Nokia, "Slum Ballet": This film tells the story of poverty through the main interviewee. The impact of the school is shown through the lives of the students in the ballet classes and through the emotion of the main interviewee's story. The story develops and builds at a good pace and the cinematography is clean.
Opportunity International Australia, "My Magic Mum": This is probably the most creative approach to social impact storytelling that we've seen. Through the story you learn about the social problem (poverty affects a family's ability to send their children to school and provide for basic needs) and the solution (microgrants enable families to have opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable). All of these ideas are packaged in a creative, engaging, scripted film.
Our Jail's a Zoo!: A really accessible approach to telling the story of social impact at a local community level. The main interviewee explains the problem clearly but briefly: many people in prisons have made mistakes, but they're being locked up with violent criminals instead of being rehabilitated. The impact is told through the story of Mike and the horse named Ghost. The main interviewee shows how her work is making a difference for each inmate and invites others to do the same.
Here are links to even more films to spark your creativity:
Operation Smile--Kiran's Story (by The Good Line)
We're looking for the best films about social impact that feature the following five elements:
Innovation: Express how the solution is novel and unique. Stanford Social Innovation Review defines social innovation as a solution that "is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than existing solutions and for which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than private individuals." (Rediscovering Social Innovation, SSIR)
Impact: Explain the difference this solution is actually having on the social problem. Impact evalution must go beyond outputs of an organizations activities (number of people helped, number of books donated, etc.) by explaining the effect of those activities. Read more about the differences between outputs, outcomes and impacts from Stanford Social Innovation Review.
Scalability: Express how the solution presented can be applied across different cultures and communities. The best solutions leverage universally applicable principles that can be modified slightly for different locations and cultures. (Scaling Up Social Innovation, SSIR)
Sustainability: Explain how the organization you are featuring sustains its work and mission. The solution presented should continue working even with changes of leadership and fluctuations in funding. (Two Keys to Sustainable Social Enterprise, HBR)
Promoting Self-Reliance: The solution you present should promote self-reliance. Self-reliance is "the ability, committment, and effort to provide the spiritual and temporal necessities of life for self and family" (LDS Handbook 2: Administering the Church  6.1.1).
If you have more questions about social innovation and social impact, visit us in the Ballard Center or view these resources:
To connect with organizations with filmmakers, social innovators, and organizations that solve social problems, see this Google Sheet. You may collaborate and enlist talent in any way you choose.