Link TV’s Launches Online Film Contest for Powerful Stories about Progress towards UN Millennium Development Goals

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Wenders, Glover, Sen. Inouye, and other celebrity judges to select finalists; $20,000 grand prize award

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Link TV’s, a next generation multi-media website launching this fall, today kicks off an online short film contest, with a Grand Prize of $20,000. The ViewChange Online Film Contest aims to find meaningful stories showing how international development efforts are impacting and improving the lives of the world’s poorest people and making progress towards achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These eight international development goals, adopted by United Nations member countries, aim to improve the social and economic conditions in the world’s poorest countries.

Online voters will help select the film contest finalists and a celebrity panel of judges will select the winners. The judges’ panel includes:

  •     Gael García Bernal, actor and director;
  •     Wim Wenders, director;
  •     Danny Glover, actor, director, and UN Ambassador;
  •     Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Chair of the Committee on Appropriations;
  •     Angélique Kidjo, Grammy Award–winning musician and UN Ambassador; and
  •     Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of “Purple Hibiscus” and a MacArthur Fellow.

“There are countless beacons of success in eradicating poverty, hunger, and disease in the developing world but those stories rarely get told,” said Danny Glover, actor, humanitarian and Link TV Board Member. “We know that stories have the power to change the world for the better and these films will allow us to clearly show and share the meaningful progress that is happening on a daily basis.”, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is calling on professional and amateur filmmakers to submit short videos that will be used to raise awareness, inspire action, and accelerate the worldwide movement to spur social development and poverty reduction in the poorest nations around the globe. Entrants will be required to submit films of five minutes or less, in one of six categories, reflecting the progress being made in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. In addition to the Grand Prize, a winner will be selected in each category and will receive a $5,000 prize. The categories include:

  •     Sustainability: Solutions that last. Growth and development with a plan. Programs that will continue when the foreign aid ends.
  •     Innovation: New solutions to old problems. Creative ideas for otherwise stagnant or persistent issues. Emerging technologies in health, agriculture, education, and environmental sustainability.
  •     Overcoming Conflict: Stories of success in the face of conflict—anything from cultural barriers to war or oppression. Grassroots efforts to overcome overwhelming obstacles.
  •     Empowerment: Stories of initiative, of people improving their own lives and the lives of those like them. Transcending barriers like gender.
  •     Leadership & Governance: Steps forward in accountability, freedom, or citizen engagement in government. Advances in civil/human rights; progress toward reforming broken systems.
  •     Local/Global Partnerships: Teamwork between on-the-ground efforts and governments, NGOs, social entrepreneurs, and private initiatives.

In addition to cash prizes, the videos of winners and finalists in the film contest will be broadcast nationally on Link TV and other television channels worldwide. The short films will also be available for high-quality streaming at The contest launches April 30. Final film submissions are due August 31, with voting beginning September 1 and closing September 15. The online voting community will determine two of the five finalists; Link TV will select the other three. The celebrity panel of judges will review only the finalists’ entries (six categories, five finalists in each category) and choose Category Winners and the Grand Prize Winner. Finalists will be announced in mid-September. Winners will be announced in mid-October. Contestants can upload their short film submissions at: and download the film contest rules and regulations here:

Link TV is launching—a new multimedia website that uses the power of stories to improve the lives of people in developing countries. The site is expected to go live at the end of October. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the site combines powerful video stories with the latest articles, blogs, and actions and makes them easily shared. uses new semantic technology to pinpoint the most relevant information when you need it, with unrivaled search accuracy. Users will save time and increase impact, by using the rich media to change attitudes and inspire citizens to action.

Engage with ViewChange:

Link TV is the nation’s largest independent television broadcaster, and is devoted to providing diverse global perspectives on news, current events, and world culture not typically available on other U.S. networks. Link TV regularly airs a robust selection of award-winning films and documentaries that explore the human condition from diverse multi-cultural perspectives. Link TV is available as basic service on DIRECTV channel 375 and DISH Network channel 9410 and on more than 50 urban cable systems, reaching a total of more than 47 million U.S. homes. For complete background information, program schedule, and internet streaming of Link TV’s original programs, music videos, documentary clips, and artist interviews, visit

Join the Link TV community on Facebook.

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Abby Parr
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