The National Coalition Against Censorship let us know that the Youth Free Expression Film Contest 2013 Semifinalists are now online, featuring the work of teen filmmakers that explore video games, gamer culture, and censorship. Judges will select the top three winners on February 25.
YouTube viewers can also participate by "liking" their favorite video, with the "most liked" video being honored with a People's Choice Award.
This year's theme, "Video Games in the Crosshairs," challenged teen movie makers to create a video that addresses media and free speech, video games and their alleged effects on young people, and efforts to censor the medium.
The ten semifinalists were selected from nearly 100 entries from students in 25 states and Puerto Rico. Some of this year's entrants were are young as 13, according to organizers.
A panel of judges will select the top three films and the winners will be announced by February 25. Among this year's judges are: John Teti, founder of The Gameological Society and senior editor at The Onion A.V. Club, UC Riverside Associate Professor of Media and Cultural Studies Derek Burrill, author Cecily von Ziegesar (Gossip Girl), and Washington Post consumer tech writer Hayley Tsukayama.
The top three winners will receive cash prizes of $1,000, $500 and $250 and will be flown to New York City to be honored at the Youth Voices Uncensored Event at the New York Film Academy (NYFA) on March 29, 2014. The first place winner will also receive a free one-week digital filmmaking course at NYFA, plus a $5,000 scholarship toward any one-, two-, or three-year NYFA program.