Get your TICKETS NOW!Join us Saturday, March 19th for our Youth Voices screening premier at CAAMFest and Gala Awards Bash.

Our Gala will be a fun afternoon with Joan Chen, VIPS and our student videomakers. Don't miss our Video & Social Media panel, too, featuring Jeremy Lin's business manager PATRICIA SUN.

Congratulations to our Finalists and Special Award Nominees -- don't miss seeing their videos on the big screen.

We also want to salute our fantastic 32 Semi-Finalists andPublic Vote Winners who battled it out in our Public Vote Challenge. Congrats to Hannah Chen, who won our "Audience Choice" award for getting the most votes!

2016 Contest Theme

During this election year, we invite students to urge the President or future President to build more positive U.S.-China relations. Tell us WHY it's important to YOU, and briefly suggest to our leaders HOW.

But more importantly, we're keen to hear WHAT YOU CAN DO. Either:

(a) Propose cultural exchange idea with Chinese youth to raise awareness of clean water, clean air or another issue. Imagine if you could meet up with a group of them in the U.S. or China -- what would you do that would be fun, educational, and inspiring to the world about that issue? It could be a service project or event.

We hope to make a few of the best idea(s) presented become a reality!

(b) Alternatively, profile a person or share China travel story that's inspired you to learn more about China. Help the President understand why cultural exchange is important for your generation!

This is your chance to make YOUR VOICE matter in U.S-China diplomacy -- Citizen diplomacy!.

The submission period is now over.

What is Youth Voices On China?

Youth Voices on China is is the 1990 Institute’s annual national online video contest that leverages the power of video to inspire and engage youth to positively impact the US-China relationship.

We invite U.S. students and student teams of all backgrounds and of ages between 13-30 to submit a short, creative, thought-provoking Videogram of 2 to 3 minutes’ length to the White House that relates to our 2016 contest theme above.

In an increasingly globalized, interconnected world, our future depends upon the relationships America has with other countries, most notably China.

Dialogue, understanding, and cross-cultural collaboration are the keys to a stronger, more positive US-China relationship, and we believe YOU — our youth — have the power, ability, and creativity to make this happen.

Over $30K in Prizes!

This year, we are offering over $30,000 in total cash & prizes, including topic-based prizes (see list), regional prizes for best videos from San Francisco County and the state of Hawaii and more. Sponsoring TEACHERS can win too, alongside their students, and be eligible for "Most Influential Teacher" awards. (Teachers: pre-register here)

graphicFinalists and their sponsoring teachers will have the opportunity to win over $2000 each, a trip to San Francisco, and fantastic visibility for their work, including a screening premier at CAAMFest, the nation's premier showcase of Asian and Asian American films — a full red carpet experience!

Contest Judges

JUDGESJC headshot_Jury200x176
Joan Chen, the celebrated actress, filmmaker and 1990 Institute Board Member, is our Jury President who heads up our prestigious jury panel of 20+ judges for 2016, which includes Foreign Policy Magazine's David Wertime, Alibaba US head Annie Xu, The George Lucas Educational Foundation's Milton Chen, Smithsonian Media SVP Alan Chu, and The New York TImes' Katie Benner.

Videogram Basics

Your cultural exchange idea with Chinese Youth and your compelling personal story and perspective are what matters most to the judges. Here's what you need to do:

  • PRE-REGISTER FIRST: Students register today!
  • CREATE a video that addresses the President or any Presidential candidate (s) and urges he/she to build a more *POSITIVE* relationship with China. Tell us WHY it's important to you
  • DON'T FORGET: Tell the President or future President little about who you are and/or your team, and name the school you attend
  • BRIEFLY ADVISE OUR LEADERS on HOW they can build more a POSITIVE relationship with China. Illustrate with a topic that interests you. Your suggestion could be a presidential executive order or action, or a legislative action. Or simply encourage them to be more mindful or supportive of an issue, or learn from studying other models.

  • KEY: SHARE WHAT YOU CAN DO! Present a CULTURAL EXCHANGE IDEA with Chinese youth where you can collaborate and bond over. Your idea should incorporate something you're passionate about -- e.g. sports,the NBA, birding, the great outdoors, LGBT rights, adoption, food, social media, gaming, the arts & entertainment and more...AND how you'd use it to raise AWARENESS about a cause or issue. DREAM BIG and consider creatively including your school, your favorite star or hero, a key company or group, and/or even the White House in your exchange experience!
  • Be sure to cite key goals or learnings from the exchange.

    Alternatively, in lieu of a cultural exchange idea, you may share a profile of a person or a China travel story of yours that has inspired you to learn more about China. Tell our leaders why we need more study abroad & cultural exchange opportunities.

  • REQUIRED: Interview someone to add more umph! to your video and to provide a balanced view on the issue. It could a teacher, a topical expert, or someone in your community. We’re sure the President will be impressed with any extra effort you put in to include outside research and incorporate creative storytelling.
  • Get Creative!Be sure your video aims to inspire your peers to learn about modern China, too. Creative storytelling techniques are highly encouraged --animation, skits, rap, spoken word, humor and more!
  • See our full Videogram Requirements Checklist.

    Contest Basics & Eligibility

    Here are the basics:

    • Youth Voices is open to Student Entrants competing solo or on a team of up to 3 members. All must be legal U.S. residents between age 13-30 and currently enrolled in school
    • Students under age of 13 may participate, but cannot be registered official team members.
    • Entrants compete in one of 4 divisions: middle school, high school, college or graduate film school. Division is determined by your most senior registered team member
    • Videos must be 3 minutes or less, address our theme, contain more than one viewpoint and aim to inspire others to learn about modern China
    • Videos must be done primarily in English. Non-English portions must be subtitled.

    See our full Official Contest Rules and Get Started here

    Video Message from Joan Chen

    Key Dates

    Tickets Now Onsale!

    Get your tickets to our 2016 Awards Bash HERE. Purchase by 8pm, Fri March 18.

    YVOC Awards Gala

    March 19, 2016 - Sat

    2:30pm -6:00pm Award Gala & Screening at CAAMFest San Francisco and Pa'ina Restaurant

    News & Events


      Date: Feb 1, 2016

    • Best birding-related entries will win a special Birding MegaPack from Birding Adventures TV. full of incredible gear & guides
    • A top winner will earn a trip to China to intern on China's newest television show, The World's Next Action Queen!"

    • Reminder to Teachers: Get Contest posters & flyers
      Date: Nov 16, 2015

      Email us with your school address & rough quantities for posters & flyers for your school and classroom for delivery

    • Youth Voices Toured SoCal!
      Date: Nov 5th week, 2015

      Youth Voices co-producers Monica Lee & Lilly Sedaghat spoke in 10 classrooms at San Marino High School and Torrey Pines High School to encourage study abroad and entering our contest.

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