Earlier this month, I attended the Film Your Issue launch party at the United Nations. I first heard about Film Your Issue (FYI) from our partners at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. For the past five years we’ve worked with their American Democracy Project, to support them in accomplishing the goal of educating undergraduates in public higher education on global issues. Why? So students are ready to wisely practice their civic responsibilities as thoughtful and engaged citizens.

Film Your Issue logo The concept behind FYI is beautifully clear and direct. They ask 14-24 year olds to “film their issue” because they want young people to contribute to the public discussion on pressing issues — and even influence policy. We are in fantastic company on this project — the United Nations, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the NAACP, USA TODAY, Associated Press, MTV, the Humane Society of the United States, the NRDC, Starz, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Association of Student Councils, AFI Silverdocs and AFI Screen Nation, International Documentary Association, MySpace, the American Association of University Professors, the University Film and Video Association and the Association of American Colleges and Universities are some of the other sponsors. Plus, we are offering this year a summer internship at POV as one of the special prizes. For our prize, the winning film will be selected for illuminating issues relevant in the 2008 Presidential election, including education, election reform, environment, foreign policy and the war, healthcare and immigration.The winning film will be posted on the POV site and broadcast in full or excerpted on Starz.

Find out how to submit your video.

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Eliza is POV's vice president of community outreach and education, and she works with public television stations, educators and community-based organizations to present community screenings of POV films and to develop and distribute accompanying educational resource materials to teachers nationwide. Before joining POV in 2000, she taught English in Spain and Mexico. Eliza is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University.Eliza's favorite documentaries are:1. The Last Waltz - Martin Scorsese2. In the Realms of the Unreal - Jessica Yu3. The Thin Blue Line - Errol Morris4. Don't Look Back - D A Pennebaker5. Grey Gardens - Albert and David Maysles, Ellen Hovde and Muffie Meyer