April 28, 2011

Possible Futures Film Contest Offers Cash and a Trip to the Amazon Jungle for Films that 'Make a Difference'

The Possible Futures Film Contest is now open for submissions of 1-5 minute shorts. I like the sound of this contest, as submitted films should "envision a new, positive, possible future for the world. One that is environmentally sustainable, socially just, peaceful and spiritually fulfilling." The contest is put on by The Pachamama Alliance, located in the Ecuadorian Amazon (where, coincidentally, I shot a short doc several years ago). Here's a video about the positive-themed contest, which runs until June 21st:

It's nice to see a contest specifically looking for meaning and message; to wit, here's the judging criteria.

The contest is about the passion of global voices coming together to share visions of a positive future. An essential factor is your relationship with the subjects of the categories. It isn’t important whether your film is made with a high definition camera or a camera phone – it is simply a matter of the heart of your story and what it represents for humanity.

Awards total $30k and include a $10k and $5k cash prize (each of which comes with a trip to the Amazon), a $2,500 People's Choice award and four $1,000 People's Choice category winners. Check it out:

Link: Possible Futures Film Contest

Your Comment


Interesting. Thanks for the link.

From their website I get the sense that they only want positive visions and that there is no room to express the forces of antagonism. In my humble opinion these kind of story are limited in their ability to engage people.

You could say that because we're swamped with negative news on a daily basis that our culture is steeped in kind of cynicism and that we really more need inspiration.

I just wish the categories invited more balanced expressions of future possibilities. That way they would have the potential to be much more inspiring. Take The Shawshank Redemption for example. Would that have been more or less inspiring if life in prison was all peachy, and hopelessness was never a threat?

April 30, 2011 at 11:25AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Hello Ben.

Thank you for sending this thought-filled comment. We agree with you! As you say, because humanity is swamped with negative news on a daily basis that our culture is on the verge of being steeped in cynicism and that we DO need more inspiration - hence this Contest!

We feel the categories offer participants to present balanced views with positive solutions. We do not tell you what or how to present your film, we are asking for inspirational solutions and viewpoints.

Peace and Freedom - resolution of conflict, without war and oppression, Fair Societies - a world of justice and human rights free of discrimination and fear all address and are calling for a balanced view, as does, Sustainability and Human Fulfillment. Positive solutions must be shared in order to turn the tide of the constant barrage of negativity and destructiveness which is right in front of us not only the news but in the way we often are with one another. Discovering our positive relationships to these topics and to one another is essential to creating complete solutions.

Present a film to the contest - we would love to share your views and solutions. Participate and become a component of the shift! We look forward to your submission.

btw - you love Shawshank Redemption and it's powerful messaging There was, no doubt, a positive view of hope, faith and believe in one another but not without deep struggles. The visions of something more - something more powerful than any single thing- the power of the human spirit - prevailed. Thanks Ben! The Programming Team.

May 6, 2011 at 3:28PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM