OK, here’s the pitch:
It’s the mid-1990s and rates of HIV infection in women are climbing. Condoms can help protect everyone from the virus, but in a lot of cases, only the men control who uses them. So, a couple of young scientists—we’re thinking Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Lawrence—decide to improve a tool that could benefit all of humankind. Cut to the lab, where they’re tirelessly working out ways to make the tool better. Pan to the attractive couples they recruit to test it out. Close-up to reveal their great idea…it’s a unique kind of condom! For women!
It’s MacGyver meets Sleepless in Seattle! It’s a mashup of Friends with Benefits and Bill Nye, the Science Guy!
It’s your next film—possibly—if you enter the Female Condoms Are _____ film contest.
Got a condom…story?
The idea is to tell compelling stories about a technology that offers protection from unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, says Kimberly Whipkey, one of the contest’s organizers. “We want to hear the voices of women and men who have used female condoms or maybe who want to learn more about them,” explains Kim. “Those kinds of stories aren’t getting out there, and we thought a film contest would be an innovative way for people to share their thoughts.”
Innovative sharing, yes, but there are some rules. Your film’s title has to include the words “female condoms are.” The film itself has to be between one and five minutes long. It’s got to address one of the questions about female condoms listed in the rules. It must be appropriate for all audiences. And you have to enter by March 1.
Otherwise, you’re pretty much free to use your artistic license.
Condoms out of the box
The film contest is new territory for PATH and our partners, the Universal Access to Female Condoms Joint Programme, the Center for Health and Gender Equity, and the National Female Condom Coalition. “We’re stepping out of our health box and reaching out to people all over the world,” says Kim. “And then, the cash prize helps.”
The first place winner will receive US$5,000. Second place is $2,000 and third place is $500. Best of all, we’ll show all three prize-winning short films in May at the Women Deliver 2013 Conference, the largest global meeting this decade focusing on the health and well-being of girls and women.
Could that open doors in Hollywood?
“I would love to think that we’re the preeminent female condom film festival,” says Kim. “But you know, I think what’s interesting is the effort to get more people with a creative arts background interested in global health issues.”
Scorsese, we’re talking to you.