ARLINGTON, Va., March 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Following a year of international disasters and urgent calls for help from the victims, the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) today launched its first-ever public service announcement (PSA) contest targeting U.S.-based university students, seeking their help in creating an educational 30-second television PSA that will raise the level of awareness of and rally support for international disaster relief efforts. "I am very excited to announce this contest. I encourage all university students to enter and take advantage of this unique opportunity to showcase their creative abilities," said Suzanne Brooks, director of CIDI, who with more than 20 years experience in disaster assistance founded the organization in 1988. "This is an excellent way for students to encourage appropriate international disaster relief while educating Americans about why cash is the best form of donation to help the victims of international disasters." Chris Palmer, an award-winning environmental film producer, is the official spokesperson for the contest. He will spearhead a team of judges from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and CIDI who will choose the five PSAs that will be posted on CIDI's Web site for public voting and selection of official contest winners. Throughout his 20 years in the film industry, Palmer has produced films for prime time television that were aired on Disney Channel, Animal Planet, TBS Superstation and The Travel Channel. He has also produced six IMAX(R) films and received an Academy Award nomination for his work on the IMAX(R) film Dolphins. Currently, Palmer is a professor at the School of Communications at American University and is the director and founder of the Center of Environmental Filmmaking also at American University. "When CIDI asked me to be the contest spokesperson, I eagerly accepted because it involved three things that are very important to me -- students, filmmaking and international donor giving," said Chris Palmer. "Following a year marked by devastating international disasters, I think this contest is a great way to remind everyone about the importance of giving and that we all play a vital role in making a difference in the lives of international disaster victims." The theme of the contest is "Lights, Camera, Action: Future Filmmakers for International Aid," and videos can be about anything related to international aid and international disaster relief. The first-place winner will receive $7,500 in cash and the chance for the winning PSA to be seen nationally. The second- and third-place winners will receive $2,500 and $500 in cash, respectively. A complete set of contest rules and regulations, as well as additional contest information, is available at http://www.cidi.org. CIDI is based in Arlington, VA, and was created in 1988. 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.
SOURCE Center for International Disaster Information