Church Philanthropies extends Student Video Contest deadline

While on her mission, Savannah Cobb films parts of her video for the Student Video Contest. Church Philanthropies offers a 30-minute session with a professional consultant for students interested in getting video-related advice. (Savannah Cobb)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Philanthropies department extended the deadline for the “Student Video Contest: What is the Abundant Life?” to July 2.

While the original deadline for video submissions was set for June 18, Church Philanthropies decided to extend the deadline to allow more students the chance to submit their videos.

“We want as many students as possible to participate,” Tom Denton, manager of Philanthropies’ marketing and communications team, said. “We hope that they have a good experience.”

The focus for this year’s competition is on the abundant life. Students may submit videos that portray them answering the question “What is the Abundant Life?” The videos can have a variety of genres, styles and imagery, but should also focus on the blessings that come from giving.

“Too many people think that abundance is about money, but in truth, abundance is about joy,” Denton said.

Russell M. Nelson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke on the subject of joy in our lives in October of 2016.

“My dear brothers and sisters, the joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives,” he said.

Students interested in the contest must create videos specifically for this contest instead of using previously submitted work, and each video must be less than two minutes long. According to the Philanthropies website, winners of the competition will receive a cash prize of up to $2,500, with the potential for multiple entrants to receive that amount “depending upon the number and quality of submissions.”

The website also gives suggestions to applicants on how they can best showcase their answer to the prompt. Videos can include scenes that showcase living the gospel of Jesus Christ, caring for those in need, inviting all to receive the gospel and uniting families for eternity.

Students interested in getting advice about their projects can contact Jim Rutherford, Philanthropies publishing services producer, if they want any help with ideas. Rutherford is one of the judges who will look through the student submissions to choose the winner.

“We’re not expecting people to submit a Hollywood video. It doesn’t need to be perfect, just something simple,” Rutherford said.

BYU junior Savannah Cobb said she enjoyed the process of filming her submission. Cobb filmed portions of her daily life as a missionary and included that footage as part of her submission. She said she felt changed by her mission and wanted to show viewers that the abundant life was not just confined to being a missionary.

“I wasn’t getting paid to do it, it was something that I loved doing, and also a bit of missionary work at the same time,” Cobb said.

BYU—Hawaii student Katherine Davis decided to include a song she wrote herself while serving in the Kentucky Louisville Mission. Davis decided to focus her video on her purpose in life, and said after she prayed, she let the Spirit guide her.

“I love video and the gospel so I figured, ‘why not?'” Davis said. “I felt very inspired and it motivated me to pursue my purpose more intentionally.”

Submissions and additional information about the contest can be found at the bottom of the Philanthropies website.

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