WASHINGTON, November 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today launched the Department of State's second annual ExchangesConnect Video Contest, Change Your Climate, Change Our World, with a video message on the ExchangesConnect social network at http://connect.state.gov.

The contest is a call to action for global citizens around the world to engage in cross-cultural community building and mutual understanding. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State launched ExchangesConnect social network in October 2008 and it has attracted over 14,000 members.

People all over the world, ages 14 and older, are invited to submit their 2-minute videos to ExchangesConnect at http://connect.state.gov. Two international and two American winners (one in each of the two age categories: 14-17 and 18 and older) will receive one of four Grand Prizes: an all-expense-paid two-week international exchange program. Last year's contest drew over 8,400 new ExchangesConnect members from 170 countries and the winners were featured at http://exchanges.state.gov/news/ovc.html.

Video submissions will be accepted November 17, 2009 through January 12, 2010. The ExchangesConnect community will vote on video entries and an expert panel of judges, all ECA exchange program alumni, will rank the top 40 videos based on originality, creativity, effectiveness and production quality. The panel of judges includes:

- Jay Craven - Independent Filmmaker (U.S. Cultural Envoy and AFI 20/20 Global Cultural Exchange Program alumnus); - Vassilios Karamitsanis - President, Platforma International Film Festival and Urban Cultural Company (International Visitor Leadership Program alumnus); - Josef Frank Madisia - Director, National Art Gallery, Namibia (International Visitor Leadership Program alumnus); - Rodolfo Molina - Coordinator, El Salvador's Biennials of Visual Arts events (Fulbright Student Program alumnus); and, - Hind Shoufani - Writer and Filmmaker (Fulbright alumnus).

The School of Cinema and Performing Arts (SOCAPA), one of the premier visual and performing arts programs for young people, joins the Department in support of the contest in providing the young international winner a two-week summer camp experience.

Please visit http://exchanges.state.gov/news/2009/exchangesconnect-videocontest.html.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of State

CONTACT: Catherine Stearns, +1-202-632-6437, StearnsCL@state.gov