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For immediate release
October 2, 2008

For more information, contact:
Jennifer McLennan
(202) 296-2296

Washington, DC – October 2, 2008 – Campus MovieFest, the world’s largest student film festival, is a new sponsor of the 2008 Sparky Awards, a contest that recognizes the best new short videos on the value of sharing information. The competition promotes discussion of free and open access to information by inviting students to consider the issues and creatively express their views. The 2008 contest theme is “MindMashup: The Value of Information Sharing.”

As a sponsor, Campus MovieFest (CMF) will draw the attention of tens of thousands of student filmmakers to the Sparky Awards. The winner of the 2008 Sparky Awards will be screened at the CMF Southern Grand Finale in Spring 2009.

SPARC has also announced that 2008 contest judges will include noted media experts:

  • Michael Wesch, the anthropologist whose innovative video explaining Web 2.0 has been viewed more than seven million times on YouTube;
  • Media scholar and filmmaker Kembrew McLeod, whose book and documentary film entitled Freedom of Expression®: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property have received broad critical acclaim; and
  • University of Pennsylvania cinema studies professor Peter Decherney, author of Hollywood and the Culture Elite: How the Movies Became American and leader of the 2006 petition for an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for media professors to use clips in teaching.

The 2008 Sparky judges panel also includes:

  • Nicole Allen, director of The Student PIRGs’ “Make Textbooks Affordable” campaign
  • Barbara DeFelice, Digital Resources Program Director, Dartmouth College, representing ACRL
  • Rick Johnson, SPARC’s founding Executive Director and senior advisor
  • Rich Jones, leader of the Students for Free Culture Boston Chapter
  • Jennifer McLennan, Director of Communications at SPARC
  • Jessica Reynoso of Campus MovieFest
  • Crit Stuart, Director of Research, Teaching, and Learning at ARL
  • Anu Vedantham, Director of the Weigle Information Commons at Penn Libraries

Originated in 2007 by SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), the annual Sparky Awards are co-sponsored by several national student and library organizations, including the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), Campus MovieFest, Penn Libraries at University of Pennsylvania, Students for Free Culture, and The Student PIRGs.

Well-suited for adoption as a college or high school class assignment, the Sparky Awards invite contestants to submit videos of two minutes or less that imaginatively portray the benefits of the open, legal exchange of information. The Winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000 along with a Sparky Award statuette. Two Runners Up will each receive $500 plus a personalized award certificate. Submissions must be received by November 30, 2008.

For more information or to enter the Sparky Awards, visit the contest Web site



SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), with SPARC Europe and SPARC Japan, is an international alliance of more than 800 academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication. SPARC’s advocacy, educational and publisher partnership programs encourage expanded dissemination of research. SPARC is on the Web at