ANNOUNCING OUR 2018 CONTEST

Youth Voices on China is the 1990 Institute’s annual video contest that engages youth age 13-25 to think more deeply about U.S.‐China relations and broaden their cross-cultural understanding.

Through this creative video storytelling contest, we strive to empower young people to connect with others, make their voices heard and make positive change in U.S.-China relations.


For 2018, we ask contestants to:
(1) interview ONE of the following:

  • A current citizen or resident of mainland China* (PRC)
  • A PRC expatriate who left in mainland China the last 8 years (2009-2017)
  • A Non-PRC citizen working or studying in mainland China
  • A Non-PRC citizen who travels to mainland China regularly
  • (Note: we may verify the interview subject's residency status; email us if you have eligibility questions)

(2) then submit a powerful 2-3 minute video about their subject’s personal story on their life and experiences in rapidly changing, modern China.

We’re seeking diverse, colorful and compelling anecdotes about life in mainland China -- from past childhood traditions, current life stories and life-changing experiences to future ambitions and challenges. (see sample interview questions here - link coming)

Tips on How to Win

Our judges truly want to see highly personal stories about life lessons learned, unusual accomplishments, who inspires them, and a spectrum of stories of that illustrate the hopes and dreams and life in China's rapidly globalizing environment.

Tip-wise, the more personal and powerful your subject's story is, the more likely you will get far in the Contest. It is up to you if you and/or the interviewer prefer to be in the final video or editing out completely the interviewer and questions asked for a more first-person style.

For inspiration on video techniques and sample questions to ask, check out the amazing personal stories from NPR StoryCorps and Humans of New York, including its Vietnam, India and video sections.

Check out Humans of New York's Brandon Stanton on advice on how to get your subjects comfortable quickly to get them disclose personal and intimate stories.

2018 Contest Basics & Eligibility

By entering our contest, you agree to our Official Contest Rules (LINK coming soon). Here are the very basics:

  • Youth Voices is open to Entrants competing solo or on a team of up to 2 members. All must be between age 13-25, and must be a citizen of the United States or China,
    or a legal resident or non-alien resident of either country.
  • Entrants will compete in one of 4 divisions: Middle School, High School, College or Open. Your division is determined by your most senior registered team member.
  • Videos must be 3 minutes or less, address our theme above, and must feature a compelling profile of an interview subject sharing their personal stories of life or experiences in modern China
  • Submitted videos featuring mainland Chinese interview subjects MUST include answers to at least 2 of these REQUIRED FOUR interview questions below:

    (your submission form will ask for written answers to all 4; modified version of these questions are acceptable):

    1) What comes to mind when you think of America / The United States?

    2) What do you dream of doing or experiencing on a future trip to the U.S.?

    3) What life advice do you have for me (or young Americans)?

    4) Who is one of your favorite Americans -- dead or alive, and why?

  • Videos featuring non-PRC interview subjects MUST include answers to at least 2 of these REQUIRED FOUR interview questions below: (your submission form will ask for written answers to all 4; modified version of these questions are acceptable):

    1. What comes to mind when you think of the PRC?

    2. What do you dream of doing or experiencing on a future trip to the PRC?

    3. What life advice do you have for me (or young Americans)?

    4. Who is one of your favorite mainland Chinese persons -- dead or alive, and why?

  • Videos should be completed primarily in ENGLISH -- the official language of our contest, OR...
  • We also accept MANDARIN-language entries, which are eligible for special "Best Mandarin Video" category awards. These Mandarin Chinese videos must be done 80% in Mandarin (except for the interview portion if the subject is an English speaker). Any NON-English portions MUST have English subtitles.

See our 2018 Judging Criteria here (COMING SOON)


Photo Credits: Beryl Chan, Siok Siok Tan

2018 Contest Judges

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Joan Chen, the celebrated actress, filmmaker and 1990 Institute Board Member, is our Jury President who heads up our prestigious jury panel. Judges will be announced shortly.

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 and social media to inspire and engage youth to positively impact the US-China relationship.

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

Dialogue, cross-cultural understanding, and collaboration are the keys to a stronger US-China relationship, and we believe YOU — our youth — have the power, ability, the voice, and the creativity to strengthen it.

Key 2018 Contest Dates

Visit here for more key dates & details

o Now thru Jan 31, 2018
Students & teachers - Pre-register now to stay on top of contest updates!

o Sunday Jan 7, 2018
YVOC Kickoff Event with Joan Chen, WildChina's Mei Zhang and Radii's Josh Feola
At Google San Francisco
Tickets & Details coming soon

o Wed Jan 31, 2018
Earlybird Entries due @ 11:59 PM PST

o Wed Feb 28, 2018
Final Submissions due @11:59pm PST

o After Mar 10, 2018
Semi-Finalists Announced + Public Vote Challenge

o After Mar 20, 2018
Finalists Announced & Coaching Begins

o Sunday, April 15, 2018
Finalists' Coached Showcase Videos Due @ 11:59 PM PDT

o Sun May 6, 2018
YVOC Video Festival & Awards Bash
San Francisco Venue TBA
Sunday Brunch TBA
1pm-3pm Tentatively

News & Events

NEW 2017 PRIZES!
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  • Win a DRONE!
  • Select Winners & Finalists will earn Mentor meetings & lunches with US-China executives
  • Best birding-related entries will win a special Birding MegaPack from Birding Adventures TV, full of incredible gear & guides

TEACHERS:
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