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"If I Had a Trillion Dollars" Youth Film Festival

American Friends Service Committee - IHTD Film Festival
Year Grant Awarded 2013

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State > IL Zip Code > 60605
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IHTD is the annual "If I Had A Trillion Dollars" national youth film festival. We ask youth ages 23 years old and younger, “If YOU had the power to choose, how would you spend 1 trillion dollars? What could that money do for your family, for your community, for your nation, or for the world?”

Ultimately, we want America’s youth to think about their priorities, and then engage politically in order to bring about the changes they need.

The National Priorities Project (NPP) and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) joined together to sponsor the “If I Had A Trillion Dollars” (IHTD) youth film festival to help integrate the voices and ideas of young people into the nation’s budget debate. As revenue and spending decisions made at the federal level disproportionately affect young people, the festival is geared toward educating and inspiring young people to engage in civic activism.

The festival was originally conceived as a contest, awarding two first, second and third place prizes to films that best addressed the trade-off between military and domestic spending. The first IHTD asked how young people would have rather spent the $1 trillion that the US had spent on the wars in the Middle East. Based on the feedback of the two winning groups from the first iteration of IHTD, NPP and AFSC converted the contest to a festival, with the hopes of extending the “transformative” (as past participant Alia of AmplifyMe put it) Washington, D.C. experience to more young people, and widened the trillion-dollar question to also include the annual budget for the military as well as the revenue option of extending the Bush Era tax cuts. This third year, the festival is even more open ended, asking young people to think about their own priorities in contrast to the those of the Federal government, leaving military and tax policy as optional topics.