Well, we survived our first presidential debate of 2020. The first! Of three! (Commence unhinged shriek-laughter.) To celebrate (?), Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are teaming up with M. Night Shyamalan for a filmmaking contest in an effort to encourage more people to vote. It’s unclear exactly how participating in a filmmaking contest will inspire non-voters—especially the younglings—to vote, but it’s the thought that counts, and we could use literally any coherent thoughts at this time, especially ones that involve getting more people to vote. As reported by Variety, Biden’s campaign has launched the Future Filmmakers Challenge, which asks users to submit 90-second short films that consider these specific questions about voting: Why are you voting? How are you voting? Who do you want to encourage to vote? And what’s your voting story?
Films can be uploaded directly to the official Biden campaign website, or on Twitter/Instagram using the hashtag #VoteByNight (cute). “This is such a historical moment that we’re in and everyone has a crucial part to play,” said Shyamalan. “Storytelling is at the nucleus of it. We need more (honest) stories about why people are voting or why they may be reluctant to vote. I’d like to be a catalyst for those stories to be told and hopefully inspire change as a result.” The deadline for submissions is October 12, after which Shyamalan and members of the Biden/Harris campaign will review the short films and select “the top three films that showcase impact, authentic storytelling and give a clear call to action on voting.” Those filmmakers will be invited for a virtual hang with Shyamalan to discuss “art, film and the power of storytelling,” and maybe their hopes and dreams and stuff—if those haven’t yet been crushed by the impending election.