The 2016 Whole Picture Film Contest is exclusively for students in grades 3 to 12 in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire Counties of Western Massachusetts.




2. RESEARCH THE ISSUE THOROUGHLY. Explore the causes from different points of view. You might want to use a mind map or other ways to help your research.

3. DEVELOP A SOLUTION. Explore ways to help improve, correct and prevent the problem.

4. MAKE A CALL TO ACTION. Include in your film an invitation to the viewer to do something to help themselves or others who share the same issue or problem.

5. CREATE YOUR VIDEO. Have fun!!!



Here are some ideas. You may also choose something else and that’s totally OK.

• Self-Esteem and Body Image

• Not Getting Along in School

• Peer-Pressure and Competition

• Eating Disorders

• Stress

• Bullying

• Special Needs

• Depression or Anxiety

• Divorce of Parents

• Family Issues

• Cyber Addiction

• Sexual Identity

• Poverty

• Hunger

• Pollution

• Climate Change

• World Peace

• How to Connect with Others

• ... or anything else


  HERE ARE A FEW RULES (for all of them see Rules and Guidelines)

1. Feel free to work as a whole class, a club, a group of friends, or individually.

2. Your film will show ways of solving a problem or addressing an issue that you care about by thinking in new, inclusive and creative ways.

3. Your film can be any length up to 5 minutes.

4. You can make any kind of film you want: fiction or non-fiction, with or without actors, documentary in any style, animated, music video, poetic style, personal narration, etc.

5. Complete and send the Entry Form which you can find online:

6. Upload your finished film to YouTube. All films must be posted in 1080 HD.

7. The contest starts October 15, 2016. The Final Deadline is January 15, 2017.  Contest winners will be notified by February 15, 2017.

8. There is no entry fee.



There are many things in this world that are out of balance, creating conflict or unhappiness - -for you or your family, your friends, your school, your community, the environment or the whole world. When you think about the whole picture, (the problem, the causes and solutions from different points of view), the issue or problem can be helped and you may get to a solution that is genuinely satisfying.


Imagine this: the sink is overflowing and the water is running across the floor and down the hall. Someone yells, “Call out the mopping squad!” But no one is shutting off the faucet. No one is treating the cause of the problem.


So often in our lives we naturally go for what we think is the simplest and most immediate solution to a problem or issue. But sometimes it's like having only nearsighted vision and not understanding what's all around us in a more clear and informed way.


But have we fixed the problem? What if the solution is not the faucet but a broken pipe or something else? The water will keep on flowing and you could mop all day or turn the faucet handle and never address the cause. The water keeps flowing on. Often we have to search for and include more possibilities to solve the problem.



1. What or who are you actually trying to help, heal or fix? You might use mind maps --also called spider webs or graphic organizers to help you see the bigger view.

2. What are the causes behind the problem? And what are the origins of those causes?

3. What are the actual obstacles that get in the way of a lasting solution?  Often they are thoughts or feelings that are untrue or unhelpful, but it could be anything.

4. What “tools” are already available to you? The tools might be to research the issue in different ways and see what others have thought, written or spoken about it. Or, it might be simply talking with others, asking people with more experience what they think. They could be teachers, parents or guardians, relatives or anyone who has experienced the issue you choose for your film. Then, think for yourself about what they say.

5. Is your solution kind to everyone and everything? Does it make the situation happier and healthier? Does your solution respect that quiet and true voice within you?

6. Does your solution suggest ways of preventing this problem from occurring again? Are there simple steps the viewer can take to avoid having this happen again?

7. What is the simplest way to solve the problem without creating new problems? Sometimes problems have simple solutions and sometimes they don't.

8. Have you understood and described the big picture, the whole picture?

9. Have you encouraged your audience to find their own solutions and to take action—if appropriate? If your film is powerful you don’t actually have to directly ask the audience to act —they will want to!



1. Put your and other people’s feelings into it as well as your thinking and your research.

2. Make clear what the conflict is in the situation you choose.

3. Be aware of the mood or feeling of the film.

4. Is your film meaningful to a viewer who has never experienced what you have experienced?

5. Are the sound and the pictures clear? Is it filmed well? Is it edited well?

6. If you use music, does it help or distract from the film?

7. Minimize special effects. Maximize your communication skills (how you tell the story).

8. You must have written permission to use the music, pictures, voices or illustrations that are other people’s work. You can use any creative work that is free of copyrights. (There are many sources of copyright-free creative work online, such as




Once your film has been posted on YouTube and you have sent in the Entry Form it will be viewed by a team of experienced professional and student peer reviewers who use whole picture thinking in their lives. They will use the following criteria to judge each film:


1. Has your problem, challenge or issue been clearly and accurately described?

2. Have you made the case for why this is an important topic?

3. Have you presented multiple perspectives or points of view – even if they don’t always agree with each other or with you?

4. Have you offered possible whole picture solutions to the viewer?

5. How well does your film draw in the viewer and keep their attention?

6. Is your film original, creative and unique?

7. Is the solution you offer appropriate and logical (supported by your research)?

8. What is the overall quality of your film? Is the whole film well planned? Are the pictures and sound clear and easy to see and hear? Does each shot count and contribute to your film’s message? Are the edits clean?