CIDI Announces 2007 PSAid Contest Winners

Student Filmmakers Win Part of $20,000 in Cash Prizes

Apr 25, 2007, 01:00 ET from Center for International Disaster Information

    ARLINGTON, Va., April 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Center for
 International Disaster Information (CIDI) announced today the winners of
 the 2007 PSAid: Public Service Announcements for International Disasters
 contest which asked students to create a 30-second PSA conveying the
 importance of monetary donations following international disasters instead
 of collected items or in-kind donations. The winners are:
     -- First place: Sunny Jain with "You Can Help" from the University of
        Southern California;
     -- Second place: Alejandro Heiber with "Thinking Outside the Box" from the
        University of Southern California; and
     -- Third place: Nico Constantinides, Jeff LaPenna and Brock Alter with
        "Help Floats" from the University of Southern California.
     Last week, seven semifinalists competed for public votes on the Web site. The semifinalists were selected from the 37 entries
 which were submitted from students at colleges and universities nationwide.
     "This year's winners demonstrate immense talent and creativity. These
 students were able to convey the challenge of appropriate international
 disaster relief with great skill, "said Suzanne H. Brooks, director of
 CIDI. Brooks added, "The judges were impressed with the range of the
 entries that included moving image and animation."
     The winning PSAs will serve as valuable tools to educate the public
 about appropriate donations. It is widely recognized that cash donations
 are the most efficient and effective means of response to international
 disasters, a policy supported by CIDI's funding partner, the United States
 Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Center's many allies
 in the international disaster response community. Cash donations are both
 efficient and effective whereas donated goods are often environmentally,
 culturally, or socially inappropriate for a disaster area.
     "This contest was meaningful and important. Just being a part of it
 actually meant that I was making a difference, not just entering another
 contest," said Sunny Jain, the first place winner.
     Jain's entry, "You Can Help", clearly illustrates the importance of
 appropriate disaster response. The PSA professionally and succinctly
 depicts the importance of monetary donations, both large and small, while
 pointing out the numerous problems with collected goods. This creative
 piece impressed both the judges and the public voters who praised the entry
 for its professionalism and clarity in highlighting this particular
 disaster relief challenge.
     Winners are awarded cash prizes in the following denominations: $12,000
 for first place, $5,000 for second place, and $3,000 for third place. In
 addition, the winner may have their entry nationally distributed to major
 television networks and cable channels and for viewing on the CIDI Web
 site. The winners, and all entries, can be viewed on the contest Web site
     This year's panel of judges included Suzanne Brooks of CIDI; Ben
 Mankiewicz, the host of Turner Movie Classics; Evan McNary, the 2006
 contest winner; Chris Palmer, an Emmy award-winning film producer; and
 Nazik Salih of USAID. The judges selected the semifinalist PSAs based on
 overall impact, originality, memorable content and delivery and clear
 message. The national winners were selected based on the highest combined
 votes they received from the judges and the general public.
     About CIDI
     CIDI is based in Arlington, VA, and was created in 1988. This CIDI
 activity is made possible by the generous support of the American people
 through the United States Agency for International Development. CIDI
 provides individuals, groups, embassies and corporations with information
 and guidance in support of international disaster relief efforts. CIDI
 helps to promote activities and donations that will do the most good for
 disaster victims around the world. Visit for more

SOURCE Center for International Disaster Information