“OurEthiopia” Video Challenge Guideline

Official Video Contest Rules

“OurEthiopia” Video Challenge

Contest Sponsor[1]

“OurEthiopia” Video Challenge is sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa.

Description of Contest Objective

The U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce a video challenge, entitled “OurEthiopia.”  We invite all current and promising filmmakers to create a video up to 3 minutes in length that depicts the importance of respect for diversity, tolerance, and finding common understanding in Ethiopia.  Videos may describe the challenges to, solutions for, and benefits of tolerance and mutual respect.

The challenge will be open from January 18 to March 9 (23:59 local time).


The contest will be conducted on the YouTube video sharing platform; however YouTube is not a partner or sponsor of the contest.  Contestants are reminded that by participating in the contest and uploading content to YouTube, they are bound by YouTube’s Terms of Service and any agreements with YouTube or Google contained therein. Contestants may also submit entries to the Embassy via a CD/DVD.

How to Enter

Produce an original video based on the description of the “OurEthiopia” Video Challenge above.  Upload the video on YouTube captioning the video with your own title and the hashtag #OurEthiopia. The video submission can be uploaded in any format accepted by YouTube.  After uploading the hashtagged video, send a link to your video submission to AddisVideoChallenge@state.gov, along with the following information:

  1. Full name
  2. Contact address:
    • Mobile
    • Landline
    • Email address

Or you can submit your video in the form of a CD/DVD along with the above information to:

U.S. Embassy
Public Affairs Section (OurEthiopia Video Challenge)
P.O.Box 1014
Addis Ababa

Note: Submission in person to the Embassy is not accepted.

Once a video is uploaded or submitted, it is considered a final submission and may not be modified, edited, or replaced. Individual contestants cannot submit more than one video.  Participation in this contest is automatically deemed as acceptance of these Official Contest Rules.  A submission must be an original video, taken by the contestant. The submitted video must not be longer than three minutes and shorter formats are preferred. The contest will be open from January 18 to March 9, 2018.

For inquiries, you may contact Emnet Mekoya at 011-130-7033/7612 or send an email to AddisVideoChallenge@state.gov.

Content Requirements

  1. Submissions must not discriminate any religious values, ethnicity, gender, disability or cultural values.
  2. Language: The video must be done in Amharic language with English sub-titles.
  3. Submissions must not contain obscenity, explicit sexual material, nudity, profanity, graphic violence, calls or incitement to violence, commercial solicitation or commercial promotion. Submissions must conform to local law and must not contain content or images that could be considered abusive, inflammatory, denigrating, or disrespectful to the Contest Sponsor, or to any groups, individuals or institutions.  Submissions must adhere both in appearance and in fact to the norms of civil discourse.  In other words, the content of all submission must be suitable for a global, public audience.
  4. Submissions must be original content created by contestant and must not contain any elements that are protected by someone else’s copyright or otherwise subject to third party intellectual property or proprietary rights, including privacy and publicity rights (except as expressly permitted below in (d)). Contest Sponsor recognize no allowance for “fair use” of copyrighted material, nor do Contest Sponsor recognize allowance for use of licensed materials created or owned by a third party.
  5. Contest Sponsor reserve the right to disqualify, at their sole and absolute discretion, any submission that does not adhere to these criteria and to the intent and substance of these Official Contest Rules.
  6. In the event of any question or difference of views regarding compliance with, interpretation, or application of these content requirements or other provisions of these Official Contest Rules, Contest Sponsor reserve the exclusive right to resolve such questions or differences of views in their sole discretion.
  7. By submitting a video, the contestant affirms that he or she has obtained written consent from all individuals whose image or likeness appears in the video (or from the individuals’ parent/legal guardian if any such individuals are considered a minor in their country of residence), and that he or she has obtained the necessary rights, licenses, consents, and permissions to use all material such as music, images, text and other content in the submission. The contestant further affirms that he or she is prepared to provide reliable documentation of any and all such consents, licenses, etc., upon request.  Failure to obtain such rights, license consents, and permissions may result in the disqualification of the video submission at the Contest Sponsor’s sole and absolute discretion.
  8. Editing of Video: All conventional video-editing techniques are allowable.  Videos may be edited through any program and in any format, but must be compressed and submitted in a format accepted by the YouTube platform (if submitted via YouTube).


  1. Contestants must be at least 18 years old on the date of entry into the contest. Contestants must be Ethiopian citizens and reside in Ethiopia, and may not be U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.
  2. The individual submitting the entry will be considered the contestant and will be the only individual eligible to compete for the prize. Organizations are not eligible to compete for the prize, either as an entity or through representation by an individual. In order to be eligible for the prize, the contestant must provide complete and accurate information.
  3. The video can be produced by a group of people; however, it must be submitted under a representative’s name and that person will receive the prize, if the entry wins.
  4. The following individuals are not eligible to participate: Employees, interns, directors, and officers of the Contest Sponsor, or the U.S. Government, or any employees, interns, directors, or officers of any agencies, companies or entities involved in the administration, advertising, judging, creation, development, execution, and/or fulfillment of this video challenge, and the immediate family members (defined as spouse, recognized partner, parent, child, sibling, and spouse or “step” of each) and those living in the same household of each such individual.
  5. Once a submission has been accepted for entry, the contestant’s name (or User ID, if the contestant wishes to remain anonymous) may be publicly identified at the sole discretion of the contestant.

Selection of winners

  1. All videos are subject to pre-screening by Contest Sponsor to ensure compliance with these Official Contest Rules. Any videos out of compliance will not be posted.  The Contest Sponsor reserve the right in its sole and absolute discretion to verify in the final analysis whether a potential finalists or potential winning video submissions have fully complied with these Official Contest Rules before posting to the contest site, awarding prize, recognizing as winners, etc.
  2. Judges and judging process: A panel of U.S. Embassy personnel will do the preliminary rating of all entries. This group will select the top videos and present it to the final jury.  The final jury will include film professors and experts who will select the final winners.
  3. Judging Criteria: Each video will be rated according to the following elements but not limited to:
  • Not more than 3 minutes in length
  • Well-defined storyline
  • Addresses the requested theme (importance of diversity)
  • Well-defined character(s)
  • Cinematic qualities (visual not verbal)
  • Creativity
  1. The winners: The winners will be required to sign and return to the Contest Sponsor a statement of eligibility and liability/publicity release, and provide a short bio and a brief statement about the submission; otherwise the winners will be ineligible for any prize. The inability of Contest Sponsor to announce potential winners may result in disqualification and/or selection of an alternate winner from among all remaining eligible submissions.
  2. The winners may choose to use an alias instead of their real name and may request other identifying information be kept private.
  3. The Embassy will organize an event where selected videos will be screened and the winners will be announced. All entrants will be notified of the date of the event via their emails and also on the Embassy Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/us.emb.addisababa


The first prize winner will receive a prize valued at ETB 80,000; the second place winner will receive a prize valued at ETB 50,000; and the third place winner will receive a prize valued at ETB 30,000. The Contest Sponsor may also announce up to ten Honorable Mention winners. Please note that there will be no cash prizes. Prizes will be given in the form of equipment, tools, and/or software that enable the winner to advance their skills in video storytelling. The top 3 winners will be given the opportunity to engage with audiences throughout Ethiopia through a sponsored speaking and promotional tour.

Liability and Rights

  1. Contest Sponsor does not endorse any submissions or messages expressed therein, and Contest Sponsor expressly disclaims any and all liability in connection with the submitted video including disputes between collaborators related to a submission.
  2. The contest and its sponsor do not permit copyright infringing activities or infringement of any other intellectual property rights and Contest Sponsor reserve the right to remove and disqualify any submission they deem to be in violation of another party’s copyright or other intellectual property rights.
  3. Contestants retain sole ownership of their original work. The submission remains the intellectual property of the contestant, and the Contest Sponsor and U.S. Government make no claim of copyright as to the work of any individual who enters the contest.  Contestant specifically agrees to give the Contest Sponsor permission to use all content submitted for purposes of judging the contest.  The winners will be required to grant Contest Sponsor, with proper attribution through whatever means they deem appropriate, a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sub-licensable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, and/or display the submission, in any media formats and through any media channels in perpetuity in connection with the activities and operations of the contest.
  4. The contestant assumes sole responsibility for the contest submission and the material contained in it, and for any consequences of submitting or posting it.
  5. Contest Sponsor reserve the right at any time, to verify the validity of entries and of contestants and to disqualify any contestant or entry deemed not in compliance with these Official Contest Rules. Contest Sponsor also reserves the right to request further documentation, at their sole and absolute discretion, to verify eligibility and compliance with these Official Contest Rules.
  6. If a prize or any portion thereof is unavailable, Contest Sponsor, in their sole discretion, reserves the right to substitute the prize with another prize of equal or greater value and/or specification.
  7. Contest Sponsor reserve the right, at any time and in their sole discretion, to disqualify and/or deem ineligible any individual who they reasonably believe (i) has violated the Official Contest Rules; (ii) has violated the terms of use of the platform, or (iii) is acting in a bad faith, or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person.
  8. Contest Sponsor reserve the right to modify, suspend, terminate or cancel the contest at their discretion for any reason.
  9. Contestant agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Contest Sponsor, their parent, subsidiary and affiliated companies, officers, directors, employees, interns, and agents, from and against any and all claims, damages, obligations, losses, liabilities, costs or debts, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney’s fees) arising from (i) violation of these Official Contest Rules;  (ii) violation of any third party right, including without limitation any copyright, trademark, intellectual property, privacy, publicity, or other proprietary right in connection with the contest; or (iii) any claim that a contest submission caused any harm, including financial, to any third party.  These indemnification and hold harmless obligations will survive indefinitely beyond the conclusion of the contest.
  10. The conduct, judging, and awarding of prizes will be carried out in full compliance with applicable U.S. law and host country law. In the event of a conflict between U.S. law and host country law, U.S. law shall apply.
  11. Contest Sponsor and the U.S. Government will take reasonable measures to protect privacy data, personally identifiable information, and other sensitive data of contestants. Contact information provided by contestants may be stored by the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa and may be used to contact contestants for other purposes in the future.  This information may be shared with or be made available to third parties to the extent permitted by law.
  12. Contest Sponsor assume no liability or responsibility for any loss or harm resulting from any user’s participation in or attempt to participate in the contest or ability or inability to upload, download, or otherwise access any information in connection with participating in the contest. Contest Sponsor assume no responsibility or liability for technical problems, or technical malfunctions arising in connection with the operation of the contest, including: hardware or software errors; faulty computer, telephone, cable, satellite, network, electronic, wireless or Internet connectivity, or other online communication problems; errors or limitations of any Internet service providers, servers, hosts or providers; garbled, jumbled or faulty data transmissions; failure of any email transmissions to be sent or received; lost, late, delayed or intercepted email transmissions; inaccessibility of the contest site in whole or in part for any reason; traffic congestion on the Internet or the contest site; unauthorized human or non-human intervention in the operation of the contest, including without limitation, unauthorized tampering, hacking, theft, virus, bugs, worms; or destruction of any aspect of the contest, or loss, miscount, misdirection, inaccessibility or unavailability of an email account used in connection with the contest.
  13. Use of contest site (YouTube) is at user’s own risk. Contest Sponsor are not responsible for any personal injury, property damage, or losses of any kind which may be sustained to computer equipment resulting from participation in the contest, use of the contest site or the downloading of information from the contest site (YouTube).  By participating in the contest, the contestant releases Contest Sponsor from any and all claims arising from or relating to such contestant’s participation in the contest, whether directly or indirectly.
  14. Contest Sponsor are not liable in the event that any portion of the contest is cancelled or delayed due to weather, fire, strike, acts of war or terrorism, or any other reason.

For inquiries, you may contact Emnet Mekoya at 011-130-7033/7612 or send an email to AddisVideoChallenge@state.gov.

[1] Throughout the contest rules, the term “sponsor” is used to represent the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa.