Press Release


The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council and its partners challenge local filmmakers to find democracy in creative and unusual places.

CHICAGO – In this historical moment abuzz with potential, many are grappling with the possibilities for change. As we face economic crisis and calls for racial, environmental, and human justice, how are we creating and sustaining democracy? Where do you see democracy in your life, where you work, go to school, or in your community? Now is your chance to be radically creative and show the world what democracy, making it and sustaining it, means to you!  Submit a short film to our Looking for Democracy: How to Make It, How to Sustain It 2nd Annual Film & Video Contest for a chance to win a private consultation with award-winning filmmaker and founder/president of Kartemquin Films Gordon Quinn, along with a Flip camera.

The postmark deadline for film entries is Tuesday, December 1, 2009.  Winning films will be screened at the Looking for Democracy: How to Make It, How to Sustain It 2nd Annual Film & Video Contest Screening, in the Spring of 2010.

Entries must address the idea of democracy within society, and how individuals or groups make of sustain that democracy. Films can be of any genre/style, but must be under five minutes in length. All entrants must reside in the state of Illinois. For a complete listing of rules and prizes, visit or contact Charlotte King at The Public Square at 312.422.5585 x232 or at  

This contest is co-sponsored by The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council, Independent Television Service (ITVS), Kartemquin Films, Independent Feature Project (IFP) Chicago, Columbia College Television and Film Departments, Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV), Chicago Short Film Brigade, and the Reeltime Independent Film and Video Forum.


The Public Square, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council, fosters debate, dialogue, and exchange of ideas about cultural, social and political issues with an emphasis on social justice. Programs promote participatory democracy by creating space for public conversations. This event is part of The Public Square’s “Looking for Democracy” series, which is designed to launch a conversation about the kind of world we want to build together by creating forums for intelligent discussion of politics in America through art and dialogue. The “Looking for Democracy” series is supported in part by a grant from the Woods Fund of Chicago.  More information about The Public Square is available at

The Illinois Humanities Council is a nonprofit educational organization [501 (c) 3] dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Organized in 1973 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds.

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