Budding film makers are being challenged to shoot cinematic flicks designed to destigmatise HSV – the Herpes Simplex Virus commonly associated with cold sores and genital herpes – as part of the inaugural Live & Love Short Film Competition.
The competition, coordinated by The Australian Herpes Management Forum (AHMF), is inviting students (film, media, journalism, advertising and medicine), the film and media industry, and pop culture enthusiasts nation-wide to create high-quality, 30-second- long films that explore HSV and educate viewers about its prevalence, while encouraging open discussion about the virus in order to reduce its stigma.
The finalist films will be showcased, and the winners announced at the exclusive Live & Love Short Film Competition Awards – a red carpet event to be held in Sydney on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 – the evening prior to Herpes Awareness Day (Wednesday, October 20, 2010).
According to 2009 Tropfest winner, Genevieve Clay, short films are an excellent medium for exploring subjects that can be difficult to discuss openly and honestly with one’s inner circle as well as healthcare providers.
“Short films allow viewers to be transported from the real world for long enough to open their minds to subjects they would normally dismiss.
“Challenging people to create films on topics considered to be taboo, such as HSV, is a great way to explore the raw creative talents of film makers aiming to alter public perception through their work,” said Ms Clay.
This groundbreaking competition, themed Let’s talk about HSV, encourages entrants to use short films to debunk myths about herpes and facilitate conversation in the community about a virus affecting one in eight sexually active Australian adults.
Film makers have until September 24, 2010 to write, shoot and edit short films designed to destigmatise herpes. The Live & Love website, www.liveandlove.com.au, provides entrants with competition and voting details and information about HSV and support services, including a list of sexual health experts.
Finalists will be invited to Sydney to mingle with a host of arts industry representatives, including Genevieve Clay and the well known ABC series ‘Beached Az’ creators, Anthony MacFarlane & Jarod Green, at the Live & Love Short Film Competition awards screening on Tuesday, October 19, 2010. The event, to be held in Sydney, will showcase five shortlisted finalist entries and five People’s Choice award winners before the official announcement of the Judges’ Choice award.
A total prize purse of $15,000 is up for grabs. The winner of the Judges’ Choice Award, to be decided by a panel of celebrity, medical and patient judges, will clinch $10,000 cash, while the five People’s Choice Award winners will take away $1,000 each.
The People’s Choice Awards will be granted to the films that receive the highest number of public votes at www.liveandlove.com.au.
According to sexual health physician, Dr Catriona Ooi, “The Live & Love Short Film Competition presents a fantastic opportunity for film makers to encourage discussion about HSV and pass on the message that people living with the virus are not alone.
“By talking publicly about HSV, we can help break the stigma and shame felt by those affected,” Dr Ooi said.
To register in the Live & Love Short Film Competition, or for more information, go to www.liveandlove.com.au.