Here’s the facts: in the 2014 midterm elections, only 36.7% of the voting eligible population actually cast a ballot – and in the younger demographics, that number drops to 16.3% (figures via ElectProject.org). Guys, those numbers suck, and with a pivotal election coming up this November, we’ve all gotta do better.
I work for the Alamo Drafthouse, and both here in Austin and in our locations across the country we’ve got a rich history of partnering with community groups that do great things for the world. One of our longest-standing partnerships, at least in Austin, has been with the League of Women Voters, a non-partisan volunteer organization that sets up shop in our lobbies, registering people to vote in the weeks and months prior to elections.
This year, for this election, we’re not leaving it at that. We want to make sure we’ve done our part to make the turnout in these midterm elections as high as possible. First, our cousins over here at Birth.Movies.Death. are now hosting a voter registration module provided by Rock the Vote. Expect to see that on the site over the next few months.
Secondly, beginning in late August or September, if you see a movie at Alamo Drafthouse, you’re going to be seeing some really, really unusual voter registration ads. That’s because today we launched Filmmaking Frenzy for America, a (very) short film contest from Alamo Drafthouse where we invite writers, actors and filmmakers from all over the United States to collaborate on the most outrageous, entertaining and non-partisan under-30-second PSAs imaginable, all with one goal: to urge your fellow citizens to register to vote and then vote, dammit.
If you've never competed before, Filmmaking Frenzy competitions happen once or twice a year, most frequently as a prelude to Fantastic Fest. For this contest the theme is … voting. Yes, voting is a dry topic, but that’s the whole point of this contest. Feel free to go nuts making these voting PSAs as profound, hilarious, or profoundly and hilariously weird as you like.
The prize? $500 cash, a year of free movies at Alamo Drafthouse, and the opportunity to have your democracy-saving message seen by hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting guests in theaters across the country.
(FYI, Filmmaking Frenzy for America isn’t taking the place of the annual Fantastic Fest bumper contest. Stay tuned to fantasticfest.com for details about this year’s edition, which should kick off roughly around the time this contest wraps up.)
Now, here’s just a few examples of some previous Frenzy entries. Feel free to assume that most of them as NSFW.
Wanna join the Frenzy? We want to see what sorts of madness you guys are capable of. Get your crews together, because submissions are open from now through Sunday, August 12th, 2018 at Noon CDT. Please please please make sure you review all submission specs and content rules at FilmmakingFrenzy.com before starting your projects.
Oh, and while you're here: why not register to vote? It only takes a second.