If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a motion picture is surely worth at least tens of thousands of words, and thus, a video may be enormously more effective and persuasive than a written article trying to convey the exact same message. If you are an advocate of healthy life extension and have an interest in filmmaking, then the Longevity Film Competition might be for you.
About the initiative
The first edition of the Longevity Film Competition was organized by Heales, the Healthy Life Extension Society; it encouraged everyone interested to produce a short film of any kind or genre about the benefits of healthy life extension, for both individuals and society. The first edition took place quite some time ago already, the winner having been announced in October 2015.
The second edition of this initiative comes with its own website; besides Heales, organizers now include the International Longevity Alliance and SENS Research Foundation. Naturally, the main theme of this year’s edition is again healthy longevity, but, this time, there will be a focus on some of the typical misconceptions surrounding the idea of life extension. The organizers chose four misconceptions, and participants are free to tackle one or more of them with a film that is between 1 and 20 minutes long.
The four misconceptions are the false dichotomy between aging and age-related diseases, the presumption that age-related diseases are independent of aging; the Tithonus error, the erroneous presupposition that extending life means extending the frailty of old age; the appeal to nature fallacy, the incorrect assumption that all natural things, such as aging, are good as they are and shouldn’t be tampered with; and, finally, the dreaded “only for the rich“, the concern that rejuvenation biotechnology will always only be a privilege for very wealthy individuals.
The deadline to submit your own work is September 15, 2018, at 23:59 GMT; submissions are accepted in English, French, Spanish, and Dutch, but in the case of the latter three languages, submissions need to be subtitled in English. You can find more detailed rules here. This time around, the first prize is $10,000!
Why this matters
You might think that longevity advocacy is taking off on its own accord and doesn’t really need your help, but you’d be wrong for more than one reason.
First, yes, longevity advocacy is taking off, but not on its own accord; it’s taking off because more and more advocates join in and push to have their voices heard. The more people do this, the more well-known this topic will be until, eventually, it will be nearly impossible for anyone to never have heard of it. We’d like to get to a point where if you asked a random passerby on the street if he or she has ever heard of rejuvenation, you’d get the same answer as if you had asked if he or she has ever heard of Harry Potter—most likely yes.
Second, diversification of the message is important. Each of us has his or her own way of presenting and discussing a topic, and this particular way won’t necessarily be suitable for everyone. My approach may be unappealing to some, but perhaps yours could prove successful. Different advocates may also notice aspects worth addressing that other advocates didn’t see.
Last but not least, format matters. Videos have much more potential than articles as a means of conveying a message and not just because they are more immediate and visually appealing than articles; if properly crafted, videos might go viral and reach hundreds of millions of viewers in a short timespan. If this were to happen to your video, not only would you be propelled into fame (and probably win 10 grand), but the popularity of life extension would suddenly go through the roof. This is, of course, not very likely, but it is certainly worth giving a try.
Every life extension supporter contributes to the cause in his or her own way, according to his or her talents, interests, and possibilities; who knows, this might be your chance to make a significant contribution.
Should you need inspiration…
Last edition’s theme was a bit more general than this year’s, but perhaps you’d like to have a look at the videos that qualified for the first three places in 2015:
“Longevity for all” by Adam Alonzi, first prize ex-aequo
“Kids and Life Extension” by Tim Maupin, first prize ex-aequo
“It’s all about dreams” by Tom Pasek, third prize