Gary Gershoff/WireImage; Alex Wong/Getty M Night Shyamalan and Joe Biden
M. Night Shyamalan is calling on filmmakers to encourage everybody to participate in the 2020 presidential election.
In partnership with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ campaign, The Sixth Sense and Signs director has announced the “Future Filmmakers Challenge,” in which creatives can submit short films all about the importance of voting.
“We’re only a few weeks out from the election and we’ve been talking about storytelling and how important it is and how it reminds us of our place in the world. It’s kind of the way our brain takes in information and makes us understand it in our bones,” Shyamalan said in a video, announcing the filmmaking challenge.
In addition to serving as a call to action, the challenge is also an exercise in creativity.
In the short films, which can be up to 90 seconds long, filmmakers can address a number of aspects about voting — including “why they’re voting, how did they vote, who do they want to encourage to vote and who’s stopping them from voting” — in any format.
“You can tell it as a thriller, you can do it as a comedy, a documentary,” Shyamalan explained. “Use your storytelling power to encourage people, and to wake them up to their own agency.”
“We really feel this is an important way that all of us can be a part of this incredible moment in history,” he added.
I’ve been working with the Biden-Harris teams on how we can use the power of storytelling to encourage people to vote. I’m looking for a storyteller to answer this: How and why are you voting this year? Watch and read this thread, then visit https://t.co/q8G3HQD6X2 #VoteByNight pic.twitter.com/qhlYY1YMvp
— M. Night Shyamalan (@MNightShyamalan) September 30, 2020
Out of all the films that are submitted, the top three filmmakers will get the opportunity to have a virtual chat with the Oscar nominee about film and storytelling — as well as the chance to have their creation featured on the Biden-Harris campaign website.
Shyamalan also said that he will share the film he connects the most with on his own social media platform. “I can’t wait to see all this content,” he said. “Let’s make these short films, send them in, and let’s remind people how powerful they are.”
The submission deadline is October 12 and more information can be found online at the filmmaking contest’s website.