CIDI Announces 'Lights, Camera, Action: Future Filmmakers for International Aid' Final Contest Winners

Student Competition Highlights Need for Appropriate Disaster Response

May 31, 2006, 01:00 ET from Center for International Disaster Information

    ARLINGTON, Va., May 31 /PRNewswire/ -- The Center for International
 Disaster Information (CIDI) announced today the three national winners of
 its first-ever "Lights, Camera, Action" public service announcement (PSA)
     The winners come from universities across the U.S. and each winning PSA
 demonstrates the student's ability to create an effective and unique
 30-second message for television that will help raise awareness for
 international disaster relief and emphasize the importance of cash
 donations over in-kind gifts. The winners are:
      - First place: Evan McNary of Florida State University - entry "Cans;"
      - Second place: Jared Radtke, Jake Noveck, Jessica Childress, Julie
        Nelson, and Matt Dixon of Oakland University - entry "Monetary
      - Third place: Corey Collins of State University of New York/
        Plattsburgh - entry "Relief;"
      - Honorable mention: Walter Talens of San Jose State University - entry
        "Anna and the World."
     As Americans respond to the earthquake in Indonesia and prepare for the
 start of hurricane season, the winning PSAs will serve as valuable and
 compelling tools in educating the public about international disaster
 relief response and about appropriate donations. It is widely recognized
 that cash donations are the most efficient and effective means of response,
 a policy supported by CIDI's funding partner, the United States Agency for
 International Development, and the Center's many allies in the
 international disaster response community.
     "I am very excited to announce the three winners who came from a pool
 of truly impressive entries. After reviewing the PSAs, it is clear that the
 students put forward their best ideas to convey that cash is the best form
 of donation to help international disaster victims," said Suzanne H.
 Brooks, director of CIDI. "It is impressive that the students understand
 the challenge of appropriate relief, particularly as we face yet another
 devastating disaster in Indonesia."
     The first place entry, "Cans," visually illustrates an original
 approach to communicating the need for appropriate disaster response. The
 PSA depicts what the world would be like if cans were the main source of
 currency and thus demonstrates how difficult it is to transport and use
 cans in a variety of situations, from paying for groceries to helping
 disaster victims. It also depicts that canned foods may not be what
 disaster victims actually need or want. This creative piece impressed both
 the judges and public voters who praised the entry for its unique depiction
 of the disaster relief challenge.
     As the first place winner, "Cans" will be promoted through CIDI's Web
 site ( and in promotional materials. In early June, the
 PSA will premiere on mtvU -- MTV's 24-hour college network, broadcast to
 more than 730 campuses and nearly 7 million college students nationwide --
 as well as broadband channel mtvU Uber at Additionally, all
 winners are awarded cash prizes in the following denominations: $7,500 for
 first place, $2,500 for second place, $500 for third place, and $250 for
 honorable mention. Any or all of the PSAs may be broadcast on local and/or
 cable television across the country.
     Chris Palmer, an award-winning environmental filmmaker and professor at
 American University in Washington, DC, spearheaded a team of four judges,
 including Brooks, and Tony Stitt and Nazik Salih from USAID. The judges
 selected the five finalist PSAs based on overall impact, originality,
 memorable content and delivery and clear message. The five finalists were
 posted on CIDI's Web site for public voting from May 19 to 26, where voters
 chose their favorites based on public appeal and overall impact. 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. The Center is
 funded by the United States Agency for International Development's Office
 of Foreign Disaster Assistance. CIDI provides individuals, groups,
 embassies and corporations with information and guidance in support of
 appropriate international disaster relief efforts. The organization works
 with a variety of partners to channel the public's energy and desire to
 help to achieve maximum impact. By reaching out to the American public and
 the private sector, CIDI helps to promote activities and donations that
 will do the most good for disaster victims around the world. To find more
 information about the contest winners and view their winning PSAs, log on
 to CIDI's Web site at

SOURCE Center for International Disaster Information