Join in the Campus UnLonely StoryFest!
Here’s your opportunity to step onto the digital-storytelling stage and share your personal perspectives on loneliness and belonging, with a special focus on our theme of Difference, Disability, and Dignity. Using your smartphone (or any digital camera device) and in two minutes or less, capture your story and share your perspective with us. Let’s see campus life through your eyes.
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 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 with physical and mental disabilities are at particular risk for social isolation and loneliness, as are any others with circumstances that increase the likelihood of marginalization and non-inclusion.
We know 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.
How to Participate
In the form below, 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 Paseornak, 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.