2021 Judging Form

  • Dear Judge,

    We encourage you to seek personal support if you become troubled by the content of this category. If you experience an emotional crisis, there are people available to help you at Kids Help Phone: text 686-868.

    The entry you are judging is a 60‐second film in the Through the Lens of Culture ‐ Mental Health Matters category. Mental Health is a complex and sensitive subject which needs to be addressed with compassion and knowledge. This category has special content that must be included and specific content that must be avoided for the safety of and respect for the audience. At any point if you are experiencing technical difficulties with the website, or have questions regarding the category description, please email devin@directingchange.org.

    In advance, we appreciate your time.

  • Title


    Description from the submitter

    In this film, I decided to write for it something i'm currently handling, because i know i am not the only one who has been in this place. During this pandemic, my sense of time has gone quite downhill. I find it hard to remember what day of the week it is, or remember what I had done just days prior. That is still the case. The pandemic has also taken a pretty decent toll on my mental health, as it has with many of my peers. During a significant transition between medications, I decided I'd write on my recent feelings regarding time, as well as my recent experiences with the news of the medication switch. I ended up using this as a opportunity to almost vent a little, but I feel like talking about these things could potentially help others in the sense of... that they really aren't alone. I know maybe saying that is almost cheesy, and I know that sometimes hearing the phrase "you're not alone," isn't so helpful, as my and many others brain(s) have told them that they are... have made them feel so stuck in that loneliness. However, I always hope that by talking openly about my experiences through my life, that maybe someone who feels the way I feel, or felt, will hear it, and maybe bring them a little hope, or some relation that may give them some hope from hearing someone who has gone through similar things. There has been times throughout my life that I look back upon, and feel like hearing that someone else has gone through... felt, the way I felt, at very least it would have been nice to hear, nice to know that what I was feeling was ok. I believe talking about how you feel, if you feel comfortable or with someone you feel comfortable, is so very important. Some people may not have that someone they feel comfortable with, though, or certain feelings or thoughts they don't necessarily want people to know or hear. That's why helplines and crisis lines like yours are so crucial, so important. That's what they're there for. They help so many people, and will continue to do so as long as people share them around, send them to a friend who's feeling alone, or nervous to talk to someone they know about such difficult subjects. Sometimes talking to a stranger about these things is so much easier than talking to someone who knows you. I've felt that way, and I've used them for that reason exactly. And as nervous as I was for this transition of meds, I have hope. I've gotten this far, and I can go further. Some days keeping any sort of optimism is much more difficult than others, but I have hope. I've already made it almost 19 years, and I hope that sharing my story can help others see that there is nothing wrong with theirs.

  • Messaging Scoring Measures

  • Films are encouraged to be submitted in languages other than English, but all films in this category are required to include captioning, even if the film is in English.

    Mark “yes” if the film meets one of these criteria:
    - The film is in English and includes closed captioning in English
    - The film is in a language other than English and includes closed captioning in English

  • The film should have a positive message of support, acceptance, hope, and/or recovery related to mental health challenges. We are looking for stories about getting help, or how to support a friend or family member that is going through tough times. Note: The message does not have to be one of the messages below, as long as the message encourages positive change, support or help-seeking. It does not have to be stated verbatim but could be implied through dialogue or another creative way. This may include interactions in online communities (e.g., Facebook, texts).

    Here are a few examples:

    • - Talk openly: The film can emphasize that it is acceptable to talk about mental health challenges, and to support friends and loved ones with such challenges.
    • - Be Supportive: Show ways in which friend or family members can support someone experiencing a mental health challenge.
    • - Get the facts and understand the issue: The film could illustrate that a diagnosis of mental illness does not define a person and/or debunk the negative misconceptions about mental illness.
    • - Don’t wait to get help: The film can let people know that there is help out there for people living with a mental illness, that treatment and support work, and that most people who experience a mental health challenge can recover, especially if treated early.
    • - Ways to cope with challenges such as the coronavirus, and how to practice self-care. Right now, we are living through history, which can bring on a lot of feelings. What are you experiencing and how are you coping? What helps you get through tough times?
    • - Demonstrate how cultural groups can provide support and strength when dealing with mental health challenges or emotional crises. For example, traditions, healing practices, and other support from your culture can be protective and positively impact our mental health. Your film could dispel myths and misconceptions about mental health that might be prevalent in a particular culture and show that seeking help is not shameful.

    If yes, award up to 25 points

    Please enter a number from 0 to 25.
  • A film should make a connection between its positive message and how it relates to mental health, mental illness, or reducing stigma. Films should send a positive message about the importance of supporting others and how people can play a vital role in ensuring that all young people get the help they need.

  • Think of it this way: After someone watches this film what are they asked to do? Will they film inspire them to feel, act or think differently? We would like the films to be action oriented and encourage change and support. For example, where to get help, how to offer support to someone, how to get involved or learn more information. We have asked our young film makers to be creative: To not just tell someone what to do, but show them how to do this.

    If yes, award up to 10 points.

    Please enter a number from 0 to 10.
  • Person first language respectfully puts the person before the illness and reinforces the idea that those who experience mental health challenges are not defined by their condition. Using person‐first language helps steer clear of stigmatizing language that may lead to discriminatory ideals.


    • I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder
    • She is experiencing a mental health challenge
    • People living with mental health challenges…
    • He has Schizophrenia
    • She experiences symptoms of Depression

    Do not use:

    • I am bipolar
    • She is mentally ill
    • The mentally ill
    • He is Schizophrenic
    • She suffers from depression

    Mark “Yes” if the film uses appropriate “person‐first language” or if this doesn’t apply.

  • Technical and Creative Measures

  • Please enter a number from 0 to 15.
  • Please enter a number from 0 to 10.
  • Please enter a number from 0 to 10.
  • Please enter a number from 0 to 5.