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 – Now is your chance to be radically creative and show the world what democracy, making it and sustaining it, means to you!  The entry postmark deadline to submit a short film to our Looking for Democracy: How to Make It, How to Sustain It 2nd Annual Film & Video Contest has been extended to Friday, January 8, 2010, and a variety of new prizes have been added.

Among the prizes available to finalists and select winners will be a free membership to IFP Chicago, a copy of Vachel Lindsay’s book on film criticism, a placement on Independent Lens’ Vote Democracy website and special program placement. This is in addition to the grand prize of a private consultation with award-winning filmmaker and founder/president of Kartemquin Films Gordon Quinn, a Flip video camera, a membership to the Gene Siskel Film Center, and a slot in a Community Film Workshop of Chicago video production or screenwriting course. Winning films will also 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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