Campus UnLonely StoryFest: Upload Your Story!
For many college students, campus life stirs up a wide range of emotions, perspectives, ideas, and experiences. From fun and exciting to thought-provoking and eye-opening. And then sometimes in the middle of all that, feelings of isolation and loneliness can raise their head. It’s no wonder why. In what often feels like a tsunami of diversity and differences that can wash over day-to-day experiences, many struggle with where they belong and how to fit in.
That’s your starting place for “Difference & Belonging,” the theme of this UnLonely StoryFest. As a college student, here’s where you can step onto the digital storytelling stage to share how campus life can illuminate or magnify our differences and what struggles and successes shake out along the way.
Groups this is sure to especially resonate with include:
- Those with disabilities
- Students of color
- International students
- Religious minorities
- First-generation college students
- Different political persuasions
How to Participate
Click the button below to submit a video that is under 2 minutes, shot on your smartphone, or any device.
There’s no charge to submit your videos to this festival! You retain ownership of your work, simply giving the UnLonely Project permission to stream and screen what you submit for educational purposes, such as in group programming or talks in campus settings, and to post on our website and social media platforms, with proper attribution to you as the filmmaker.
A panel of judges, including Mike Paseornek, longtime president for production of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group and currently heading his own production company, will be selecting one of the entries to be screened at our 4th Annual UnLonely Film Festival Evening Celebration in New York City on June 9, 2020. The videomaker will receive a $500 cash prize. We’ll also be awarding $250 to two honorable mentions.
Deadline: March 31, 2020!
Why are we doing this?
There’s a growing sense of urgency to address loneliness on college campuses. Research has indicated that 18-22 year-olds are the loneliest adult age group in the US, and college campuses are seeing first-hand the troubling effects. Loneliness among college students is attributed to many factors: the false sense of connection offered by social media (having many “friends” on-line and few in-person), fallout from mounting polarization in the country where difference is not always celebrated, and a sense of hopelessness due to external forces (climate change or the rise in automation leading to a weaker job market).
The increase in loneliness among college-age adults is a significant area of concern. Not only does it lead to mental health risks for anxiety, depression, and suicide, but there are clear links between loneliness and physical health concerns, increasing the risk of early mortality by as much as 30%. Students at particular risk for social isolation and loneliness, are those with circumstances that increase the likelihood of marginalization and non-inclusion.
We believe that everyone is better equipped to manage feelings of loneliness if they have outlets to share their experiences and learn from the experiences of others. We’ve seen how video is an accessible and powerful way to share stories that explore circumstances and scenarios often associated with loneliness, or that make us feel excluded or unheard. We hope this opportunity will create a space in which you and other students can experience the positive benefits of creative expression.