The No Malice Film Contest creates a platform for Illinois youth and young adults, ages 11-21, to explore the topic of racial healing using the medium of film. We believe youth and young adults have the capacity and desire to use their words and actions to promote fairness, heal the wounds within their communities, and participate in social change for the benefit of all. The No Malice Film Contest encourages entrants to take a creative and thoughtful approach to these aspirations through the creation of short films.

Winning films will premiere at Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum's No Malice Film Contest on July 31, 2021. They will be screened again at EbertFest at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in Fall 2021. Winning films will also be offered to Illinois educators as part of an online curriculum that uses peer films to address topics of racial healing with youth.

To enter the contest, please create a 3- to 7-minute film addressing the topic of racial healing. Animations of at least 45 seconds in length will also be accepted. Entrants will also submit a Director's Statement and sign an Oath and Permission Form to complete their submission.

Entrants may complete submissions individually or with a group. Submissions will be judged in the following age-related categories: 11-14, 15-18, and 19-21. In mixed age groups, submissions should be entered using the age of the oldest participant.

The No Malice Film Contest is co-hosted by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, The Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation. The Contest is funded by a grant from Healing Illinois, a racial healing initiative of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) in partnership with The Chicago Community Trust.

The banner photo was taken by Kelly Lacy and made available for use via Pexels.

There will be one (1) 1st place winner, one (1) 2nd place winner, and one (1) 3rd place winner in each of the contest age brackets.
• 11-14
• 15-18
• 19-21

All winners will receive the following prizes:

1. Screening of their film at ALPLM's No Malice Film Contest, at EbertFest at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and at other related and subsequent educational and non-profit events hosted (or co-hosted) by Sponsor. These screenings may occur in person and/or online (recorded or streamed).

2. Posting of their film on the No Malice Film Contest website. A curriculum that includes their film will also be developed for use in the classroom and posted to the website. (Note: Sponsor reserves the right to utilize submitted films for any promotional materials and online media, at its sole discretion.)

3. Cash prize: All winning submissions will receive a cash prize. The awards for each place in each age bracket are as follows:
• First (1st) Place: $2,000 cash prize
• Second (2nd) Place: $1,000 cash prize
• Third (3rd) Place: $500 cash prize

NOTE: In the case of group submissions, the prize amount will be divided among members of the group.

Latest Generation Film Contest
Rules 2024

Latest Generation Film Contest submissions, from Midwest filmmakers ages 14-22, must be received by December 31, 2024, by 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time. There are no submission fees. All winning films will be showcased at the Latest Generation Film Contest Chicago Premiere in or around the month of April 2025.

Questions? Please contact Angela Staron at astaron@lincolnpresidential.org

1. Who is Eligible to Enter?
As detailed at item 3 below, the Latest Generation Film Contest (the “Contest”) is open to all young filmmakers who, as of December 31, 2024, are (a) 14 through 22 years old and (b) live or attend school in the Midwest (as defined by the U.S. Government to include: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin).
No purchase is necessary to enter the Contest, but entrants are responsible for the costs associated with the making of their files, including the securing of any permissions necessary to show the film to public audiences.
Employees of the Lincoln Presidential Foundation (the “Sponsor”) and their family members are not eligible for the Contest, nor are employees (or their family members) of The Better Angels Society.
2. What Must Be the Focus of Submitted Films? Films must focus on a historical subject, issue, or person within a time frame occurring within the United States at least 20 years ago (pre-2004) and must present a variety of perspectives grounded in extensive and thorough research. The majority of the film must be historically focused to qualify. Each film must be 5-8 minutes in length.
This year’s theme is “On This Land.” Entrants are invited to produce short films rooted in the geography around them to foster a deeper understanding of the historical events, figures, and movements that have shaped their local area and beyond.
3. Who Is Responsible for the Contest?
The Contest is sponsored by Lincoln Presidential Foundation and supported by a grant from The Better Angels Society through the Amy Margerum Berg Education Fund.
4. What Are the Contest Rules?
Participation in the Contest constitutes entrants’ full and unconditional agreement to, and acceptance of, the Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which are final and binding. Selection for awards and receipt of prize money are contingent upon entrants’ compliance with the Rules and fulfilling Contest requirements.
A. Eligible Age and Geographic Criteria
To enter the Contest, entrants must either reside or attend school in the Midwest, defined as the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Entrants must be 14-22 years old as of December 31, 2024. Submissions will be grouped and judged according to the following age brackets as of December 31, 2024:
• 14-16
• 17-19
• 20-22
Contest entries may be submitted by an individual or by a group of up to three (3) individuals. For group submissions, the appropriate bracket is determined by the age of the oldest group member. If a group submission is chosen as a winner, one prize will be awarded to the group as a whole.
Group entrants must send an email to astaron@lincolnpresidential.org explaining that they are submitting as a group. Ms. Staron will subsequently send an electronic verification and permission form which each additional entrant (and as appropriate, parent/guardian) to complete.
B. Judging Criteria
Eligible entries will be judged based on the following criteria:
1. Content and Creativity
• Understanding of Historical Topic: To what extent does the film demonstrate a thorough and well-supported understanding of a historical topic through credible research?
• Perspective: To what extent does the film reflect the perspective and understanding of its creator(s)?
• Originality: To what extent does the film present a unique perspective or approach to the historical topic?
• Storytelling: To what extent is the film able to effectively tell a compelling story?
2. Effective Communication
• Historical Accuracy: How accurately does the film represent the historical events, figures, or periods it depicts?
• Depth of Research: Does the film reflect thorough research and a deep understanding of the historical context?
• Message Clarity: How well are the film’s ideas and messages communicated?
• Relevance to the Theme: How closely does the film adhere to and integrate the theme of the contest?

3. Technical Quality
• Production Quality: What is the quality of the cinematography, editing, sound, and special effects?
C. Prizes
There will be one (1) 1st place winner, one (1) 2nd place winner, and one (1) 3rd place winner for each of the age brackets. However, Sponsor reserves the right to add additional or fewer awardees for any given bracket based on the volume and quality of entries.
All winners will receive the following recognition and prizes:
1. Screening of their film at Lincoln Presidential Foundation’s Premiere in Chicago, in or around April 2025, and at other related and subsequent events hosted (or co-hosted) by Sponsor. These screenings may occur in person and/or online (recorded or streamed).

2. Posting of their film on the Lincoln Presidential Foundation website and social media channels. (Note: Sponsor and The Better Angels Society reserve the right to utilize submitted films for any promotional material and online media, at their sole discretion.)

3. Cash prize: All winning submissions will receive a cash prize. The awards for each place in each age bracket are as follows:
• First (1st) Place: $2,000 cash prize
• Second (2nd) Place: $1,000 cash prize
• Third (3rd) Place: $500 cash prize
NOTE: In the case of group submissions, the prize amount will be divided among members of the group.

5. How Do I Enter the Contest?
Entrants will be required to confirm that they have informed and secured the necessary permissions from all involved.
If a prospective winner fails to provide any required documentation, Sponsor reserves the right to award the prize to a substitute winner at Sponsor’s sole discretion.
To enter your film on FilmFreeway click the link below:
(link) and upload your film. Be sure you also complete the online application form and provide the following items to complete your entry:
• Completed verification form
• Completed Annotated Bibliography
• Your Director’s Statement, and
• Permission form for entrants under 18.
The Annotated Bibliography should list primary and secondary sources for your film. Entrants must:
1. List all sources consulted in developing the entry.
2. Separate the bibliography into two sections: one for primary sources and one for secondary sources.
3. Include a brief annotation for each citation.
The purpose of the annotation is to provide information about the research process. Annotations should be two to three sentences that explain how you used the source and how it helped you understand the topic and create your film.
The following sites provide helpful guides to creating an annotated bibliography:
• National History Day Annotated Bibliography Resources
• EasyBib Annotated Bibliography Guide (MLA)
• Purdue OWL Annotated Bibliographies
The Director’s Statement is a short (no more than 500 words) explanation of your vision and intent for the film. In the Director’s Statement, explain the motivation for making the film and your purpose in telling the story.

Submissions must be received through FilmFreeway by December 31, 2024, by 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time. No exceptions will be made. Entrants will not receive feedback on their submissions.
6. Winner Selection/Notification
Sponsor will attempt to notify the prospective winning entrants via e-mail or telephone during the week of February 3, 2025. If the prospective winner does not respond by email or phone by 05:00PM Central Time on Friday, February 7th they may forfeit the prize.
To become a confirmed winner, a prospective winner must provide age verification and proof of residency as requested by Sponsor. Prospective winners must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of the Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all Rule requirements.
If a prospective winner is disqualified after the judging process for any reason, Sponsor reserves the right to rescind the award and issue the prize to the next eligible runner-up in the age bracket.
7. Release and Limitations of Liability
In consideration being allowed to participate in the Contest, entrants (together with parent or guardian if entrant is under 18 years of age or under a legal disability) expressly release and hold harmless the Sponsor from and against any and all claims, demands, and causes of action arising out of the entrant’s participation in the Contest. Entrant’s release and agreement to hold Sponsor harmless includes but is not limited to intellectual property disputes, cancellation of the Contest, injury, death, harm or losses of any kind, whether or not caused in whole or in part by the negligence or other fault of the Sponsor or its agents. Entrant (together with parent/guardian if appropriate) waives any right to claim any damages whatsoever, including but not limited to consequential, punitive, direct, or indirect damages, and releases and forever discharges Sponsor, its representatives, employees, officers, agents, and affiliates from all such claims, on behalf of entrants, their heirs, assigns, and any other person claiming by, under or through entrant.
8. General Conditions
In the event that the operation or administration of the Contest is impaired for any reason such as, but not limited to, fraud, legality, technicality, or in the event that the Contest is unable to run as planned for any reason, Sponsor may suspend the Contest temporarily or indefinitely.
In submitting a film and signing the verification form within FilmFreeway, all entrants agree to these terms and conditions of the Contest and that Sponsor is not liable for any unauthorized or inappropriate sharing of films. Note that violence, profanity, or direct attacks on individuals or organizations will not be accepted. Film submissions must not violate any U.S. laws, including laws relating to religion, moral rights, rights of publicity, and/or privacy. All films must adhere to copyright laws. Any film utilizing copyrighted material that is not the creation or property of the entrant will not be considered unless clear evidence of the legal right to use that copyrighted material is provided with the submission by the applicable deadline (ex: permission by the owner of the intellectual property).
By entering this Contest, all entrants agree that their submission is their own original work, does not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of others, and follows all copyright laws.
Entrants retain the intellectual property rights associated with their submissions, including copyright rights. However, as a condition of participation in the Contest, entrants grant Sponsor a non-exclusive, perpetual right to show, display, distribute, and market all film entries, in their entirety, in part (film clips) and still shots, to live audiences, online (recorded and live stream), and in written materials.
When using sources and works that are not your own, entrants agree that those works are part of the public domain, that they have obtained permission to use the work, or that the use of the work does not constitute a substantial portion of the film so as to comply with fair use laws of USC Title 17 Section 107 found at http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html. Where an entrant has obtained permission to use a substantial portion of another’s intellectual property, entrant agrees to submit proof of permission with the film entry. We urge entrants to use their own artistic works or those in the public domain. When using research, please give credit to the owners and authors of scientific, academic, political, and other works. This can be done through the film credits or when the source is identified in the film.
For help finding images that are in the public domain and do not constitute any type of infringement, try starting at the Library of Congress: http://www.loc.gov/pictures. For free or royalty-free sound recordings and music, an artist typically places their work into the public domain. Try doing a search for royalty-free music, and you can find many songs available for a free and legal download to accompany your video.
Entrants agree to not hold Lincoln Presidential Foundation liable for any intellectual property disputes and to comply with these Rules and all copyright laws.
9. Disputes
Except when prohibited by law, entrants agree that any and all disputes will be handled individually. In the case of any dispute, entrants agree to attempt resolution with Sponsor. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation, and enforceability of the Rules, entrants’ rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of the Sponsor in connection to the Contest, shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Illinois, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules, which would cause the laws of any jurisdiction other than Illinois. Any legal fees incurred by Sponsor in the event of a dispute relating in any way to the Contest are the responsibility of the entrant.
Sponsor reserves the right to update these rules at any time.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Azalee Irving

    I enjoyed the festival, I feel it’s a great creative outlet to express yourself.

    August 2021