60 Seconds to Impact Voter Turnout

June 10 is the deadline to submit films for Palm Springs International ShortFest-UC Riverside competition

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — The Palm Springs International ShortFest and the University of California, Riverside are collaborating on a unique film competition aimed to improving voter turnout.

The competition, 60 Seconds to Impact, was born from the idea that everyone has a voice in our democracy, and that every vote can make a difference, said Tod Goldberg, director of the Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts at UCR’s Palm Desert Center. The goal of the competition is to register 1 million new voters before the 2016 presidential election.

“We’re asking people from around the world to create a short, nonpartisan film of 60 seconds or less, explaining why they vote,” he explained. “Films can be live action, documentary, animation, interviews – anything goes, as long as it’s original work. Upload the film and inspire others to get registered to vote.”

Cash prizes will be awarded to the finalists, who will be announced during the 2016 Palm Springs International ShortFest, held in Palm Springs June 21-27.

“The real payoff is motivating young people and first-time voters to play a role in the November 2016 election, Goldberg said. “We are seeking bold and compelling short that inspire people to head to the polls, explain why voting matters, and engage others in the voting process.”

60 seconds logoAdditional partners include Rock the Vote, the largest nonprofit and nonpartisan organization in the United States to engage the political  power of young people; The Casting Society of America, which is partnering with UCR and Palm Springs International ShortFest to invite its 600-plus worldwide membership of actors and filmmakers to create videos and lend a voice to the campaign; and Pocial, a new social polling company based in Palm Springs, which is co-creating the technology to enable public voting and data analysis.

To submit a video or to find out more, visit www.60secondstoimpact.com. Spread the news on social media with #whyivote and #60secondimpact. Throughout the monthlong campaign, the public is encouraged to view videos and vote for their favorites at www.60secondstoimpact.com.

The ShortFest Forum, which features industry leaders discussing emerging trends and new practices in the film community June 23-25, kicks off with Tech Day – in partnership with UC Riverside – on June 23. Sessions will focus on VR, online streaming, video game development and more. One hundred free tickets have been reserved for Inland Empire students. Email Nikki Gordon at nikki@psfilmfest.org to request tickets and receive pick-up instructions.

About the University of California, Riverside: The University of California, Riverside is one of 10 universities within the prestigious University of California system and is widely recognized as one of the most ethnically and economically diverse research universities in the nation.

About the Palm Springs International ShortFest: The Palm Springs International ShortFest, now in its 22nd year, is one of the largest showcases of short films in North America. The seven-day competitive festival screens approximately 330 films from 47 countries in a series of 90-minute programs.

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-7847
E-mail: bettye.miller@ucr.edu
Twitter: bettyemiller

Additional Contacts

Maggie Downs
Tel: (760) 834-0800
E-mail: maggie.downs@ucr.edu

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