The name of the competition is inspired by President Lincoln’s second inaugural address in which he called on Americans to end slavery, rebuild the nation, and heal the nation’s wounds “with wickedness to no one, with charity to all”. But as we learned in 2020 after George Floyd’s death and social justice protests around the world, the wounds still sting. To heal, we must first listen to the expression of pain and the experiences of people. Storytelling through cinema has the power to change hearts and minds. My late husband Roger Ebert said that movies are a machine that generates empathy that allows us to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and emotions. Empathy can lead to more understanding and compassion, acts of kindness and / or forgiveness. It is essential that the next generation that will lead us to a better place has a chance to be heard. Perhaps they can help forge a path to unity and harmony through their art.
We will be giving away cash prizes at an inaugural red carpet to be held at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois on July 31 of this year. First place winners in each age group will receive $ 2,000; second place winners in each age group will receive $ 1,000; and third place winners in each age bracket will receive $ 500. The winning films will also be screened at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Ebertfest Film Festival. Illinois schools will use films and supplemental programs created by educators to talk about race and the damaging impact of prejudice and injustice. Students will compete individually or in groups in three age groups: 11-14 years old, 15-18 years old and 19-21 years old. Live-action movies should be between three and seven minutes long. The minimum length of animated films is 45 seconds.
As part of the No Malice Film Competition, contestants and anyone interested in cinema have access to pre-recorded sessions led by expert writers, producers and directors. Sessions showcase the art of telling powerful stories using film. Guest speakers included Pamela Sherrod Anderson, founder of Graceworks Theater and Film Productions and award-winning writer, filmmaker and playwright; Rita coburn, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning writer, producer and co-director of “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise”; Oscar nominated documentary filmmaker Steve james, who directed the famous film “Hoop Dreams” and “Life Itself”, about Roger Ebert; Troy Osborne Pryor, a Chicago-based producer, host, actor and founder of Creative Cypher; and T. Shawn Taylor, writer, journalist, consultant and documentary maker. You can find all the videos in the official youtube channel of the Presidential Library and Abraham Lincoln Museum.
You can see my appearance this morning on WGN in which I announced the new fidgetcube for the No Malice Film Contest below …
For more information on the No Malice Film Contest, visit the official website of the Presidential Library and Abraham Lincoln Museum.