Posted Online: March 07, 2014, 5:40 am

Contest sponsors seek friendly Family Resources films

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By Leon Lagerstam, llagerstam@qconline.com

More photos from this shoot
Photo: Todd Welvaert / twelvaert@qconline.com
J. Douglas Miller, of Produce Quad Cities, a regional media support office dedicated to inbound and local film, television, video, Internet and convergence media production, recently met with Opening Doors Film Festival co-chairwoman Sarah Johnson to discuss a contest sponsored by Family Resources Inc.
BETTENDORF -- Films need to be "Family" friendly.

If so, they could earn a gala-rated showing at a Family Resources Inc. fundraising event in April.

The agency is seeking contestants for an Opening Doors Film Festival premiere.

"It's less Oscar, and more Sundance," festival co-chairwoman Sarah Johnson said, comparing it to Academy Award and Sundance Institute contests.

Opening Doors films must be no more than three-minutes long, and be inspired by one or more of Family Resources' program areas.

The agency has a "rich history of providing a safe place for children, women and families that dates back to 1849," according to a news release.

A video produced last year by Family Resources showed a nice blend of services it offers, but committee members wanted to make it a contest this year for interested film makers, "or those who just love to create short videos to get in on a great competition," Ms. Johnson said.

An open-division champion will win $1,000. A top student-bracket winner will win $750, she said.

Entries will be accepted until the end of the month, Ms. Johnson said. Five of the top-rated ones will be shown during the agency's annual Opening Doors Gala on April 12 at the Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf.

About 400 people are expected to attend the fundraising gala and see the films, making it a "good experience for the next generation of Quad-Cities film makers," according to J. Douglas Miller, of Produce Quad Cities, a regional media support office dedicated to inbound and local film, television, video, Internet and convergence media production.

"It could be good way to cut their eye teeth in film making," he said.

Formats they use, whether cellphone or video cameras, won't be a big deal, he said. "Messages they will share will be most important."

"The sole purpose of this film festival is to share the mission of Family Resources and raise awareness of its services," Ms. Johnson said.

"Happy endings" aren't required, according to the news release. But winning entries "will likely include some level of inspiration," and should provide a powerful message about a social issue, or "the importance of society caring about the issue."

Some of its service forms are "darker" in nature, Ms. Johnson said, referring to domestic violence, rape and sexual-assault issues.

Yet, the agency provides a full array of other services that could make for wonderful, inspirational films, such as children returning safely to their homes, and stories about people completing transitions to a better life, she said.

"We don't want any R-rated films or anything like that," she said, adding that no nudity of any kind will be allowed.

For information about the contest, email familyresourcesfilmcomptetition@gmail.com.

For information about Family Resources and the services it offers, visit famres.org.