There's still time for aspiring young local filmmakers with an anti-drug message to share to enter a submission into the Council for Drug Free Youth's third annual video contest.
Entries are due at 5 p.m. Friday.
All ninth- through 12th-graders in Mid-Missouri are eligible to enter a short video no more than two minutes long. Full rules are available at jccdfy.org/video-contest.
The top 10 submissions as determined by CDFY staff will be judged live by "celebrity judges" and winners will be announced at 6 p.m. Monday at Capitol City Cinema in Jefferson City.
"We want them to demonstrate to us in these videos what being drug free means to them," CDFY Executive Director Joy Sweeney said of the theme for this year's contest.
Sweeney said the best way for a child to stay drug free is to have a friend or peer group who is also drug free, and she and her staff want to empower students to be able to share that message.
"We have had some extravagant submissions in the past," she said, adding, "That's not always the message we're looking for or that wins."
Instead, she said judges often are compelled by a heartfelt connection with an audience.
The local celebrity judges who will evaluate videos based on a rubric will be "local people that have some theater background" or others who have an understanding of media. Mayor Carrie Tergin, City Council members and someone from the Missouri River Regional Library have been invited to judge videos this year.
The cash prize for first place is $250, followed by $100 for second place and $50 for third.
Sweeney said winning videos will be posted on CDFY's website, its YouTube channel at youtube.com/user/JCCDFY and on Facebook, and will be presented to the community in anti-drug education events.
"Obviously, we want to heighten awareness that there are many kiddos that are drug free," she said.