Filmmakers can submit short films up to 90 seconds long about voting via the contest’s website or by uploading directly to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #VoteByNight. Shyamalan, alongside Biden and Kamala Harris’ campaign, will review the submissions, and the top three filmmakers will be invited to a virtual meet-up with Shyamalan to discuss art, film, and the power of storytelling. Submissions may also be featured in Biden-Harris campaign programming.
“We had this idea about asking people to make short films up to 90 seconds long about voting, about why they’re voting, how did they vote, who do they want to encourage to vote, and who’s stopping them from voting,” Shyamalan said in a video on Twitter. “Tell it in any format. You can do it as a thriller, you could do it as a comedy, a documentary. Use your storytelling power to encourage people and to wake them up to their own agency. We really feel this is an important way that all of us can be a part of this incredible moment in history.”
The filmmaking campaign was announced the day after Biden participated in the first presidential debate against president Donald Trump — a noisy and incomprehensible event that was quickly derailed by the president’s meandering insults and lies. Trump generated widespread controversy for refusing to condemn white supremacy, encouraging the far-right hate group Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by,” and urging “supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully.”
As for Shyamalan, the filmmaker has directed a handful of high-profile titles over the last few years, including “Glass,” a superhero film starring James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, and Samuel L. Jackson, as well as the psychological horror prequel film, “Split.” Shyamalan also executive produced and directed two episodes of the Apple TV+ television series “Servant,” which premiered in 2019.
The deadline for submissions for Shyamalan’s Biden-Harris filmmaking contest is October 12. More information on the contest is available here.
The 2020 presidential election will take place November 3.