'The Help' Film Contest

Northwest suburban residents are encouraged to put on their director's hat for a community-wide Harper College film competition inspired by the New York Times bestseller and 2011 hit movie "The Help."

The contest, urging budding producers to develop 15-minute films based on scenes and themes from the film, is part of this year's "One Book, One Harper" initiative. Submissions will be accepted through February 1, 2013.

Winners, determined by a panel slated to include Harper faculty, will be announced at a March reception. Prizes include a Kindle Fire, Redbox gift cards and tickets to future One Book, One Harper events.

"Because this year's selected book was also the basis for a hit film, it seemed natural to give readers a shot at giving us their own take on both," Harper Instructor Amy Kammerman says. "Our goal was to expose the entire campus and the public to this literature, and promote ways to further explore it."

The One Book, One Harper initiative encourages a collective reading of Kathryn Stockett's novel about race relations in 1960s Mississippi, and boasts a series of campus activities that draw on key elements in the book to inspire conversation.

In addition to the film competition, movie lovers this month can enjoy free screenings of various films, including "The Help," that depict domestic life from different cultures and time periods. A closing discussion will address the myriad themes - from civil rights, racism and gender issues to identity, women's health and education - evident in the movies.

The series includes screenings of "Imitation of Life" (7 p.m. Monday, October 15), "Gosford Park" (7 p.m. Wednesday, October 17) and The Help (7 p.m. Tuesday, October 23). All will be shown in the College's Building J Theatre.

The wrap-up discussion is at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 25 in the Building J Theatre.

The screenings are free, and there is no cost to enter the film contest.

For more on One Book, One Harper, visit www.harpercollege.edu/library.

Press Contact: Melanie Krakauer, Communications Assistant, 847.925.6000 ext 2561, kpohl@harpercollege.edu