The Poetry Man is one of ten finalists for a "What Do You Stand For?" video contest, as part of a promotion for the film Lions for Lambs. His entry is above. You can see the rest, and vote, here. You can vote once per day from now until 11/7. Although the site says you can vote for up to ten finalist videos per day, the official rules further explain:
Each day during the Public Voting Period anyone may vote a maximum of ten (10) times but may not exceed one (1) vote per Finalist Video. Persons voting are encouraged to use the Judging Criteria in Section 6 to evaluate Finalist Videos. Subsequent votes in excess of stated maximum per voting day by a single person will be disqualified.
The prize? "The winner gets to help choose what charity should receive $25,000 and will have his/her video featured on the YouTube homepage." Pretty cool, and a pretty smart promotion by MGM/UA, since $25,000 is pocket change for them, and director Robert Redford certainly has some credibility both as an activist and for supporting new filmmakers.
If you're interested, NPR has a few good stories involving Lions for Lambs (official site here). Here's a recent piece on Tom Cruise's attempt to re-invent himself. NPR's Bob Mondello did a fall preview almost two months back as well as a recent, thoughtful piece on the many sober, somber films for adults rolling out this fall, a dynamic that seems to go beyond the usual Oscar season glut.
We'll see how Lions for Lambs turns out. When politically-oriented films fail, it's typically because they're so heavy-handed with their "message" (however worthy) the piece winds up dramatically lopsided. Still, it definitely can be done, and trying to tell an adult story in Hollywood is most welcome ambition. Here's hoping the film is good.
Meanwhile, here's hoping that the best finalist in this contest wins. It's always a good thing to support good films and filmmakers, but it's even more crucial to support good short pieces, blogging and activism. Personally, I'd say The Poetry Man's piece is a standout, but check out all the short videos, and make your DFH vote count!
(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)