Downtown Wilmington Video Contest

The Wilmington Downtown Municipal Service District (MSD) and Wilmington Downtown Incorporated (WDI) are hosting a video contest to highlight places, people or activities in Downtown.  The following is an overview of the contest.

Goals:  Generate user-submitted short videos capturing unique downtown stories via an online contest.  Spur engagement from area residents.  Develop new advertising and marketing content that can be used for a year or more.

Concept:  Create a contest inviting area residents to produce a short video about why they like Downtown Wilmington.  As a city with a rich history and interest in film, this type of contest should appeal to a wide range of people including the creative community and those who actively enjoy Downtown.  The growth and availability of technology means even people with limited tech skills should be able to produce a video using a smartphone and readily available editing software.  Because organic content can to be more impactful to some viewers than commercially produced messaging, the MSD and WDI will build a library of several potential messages that can be promoted via social media and the WDI website.   

Boundaries:  Brooklyn Arts District, Downtown core and Waterfont area.


  • Announce Contest:  April 24, 2018
  • Video Submissions due:  5:00 PM on May 31, 2018
  • Winner Announced:  June 27, 2018

Jury:  All submissions will be reviewed and rated by a jury consisting of members of the WDI Enjoy Committee.  The panel includes Downtown merchants, retailers, professionals and other volunteers with an interest in Downtown. 

Use of Videos:  WDI and the MSD will use submissions to help brand Downtown.  Content will be primarily used on social media but could be part of print or television ads. Organizers will also send press releases to all local media to obtain earned media via stories.  WDI currently has over 40,000 followers across multiple platforms.   

Prizes:  Monetary prizes for the top rated videos will be awarded across three categories.  They include:

  • Professional Category: Worked in a paid capacity as a videographer, worked with a marketing or ad firm, worked in the movie or television industry. 

Prize amount: $2,000 

  • Hobbyist Category: Never been hired/paid as a videographer (excluding contests), over     12 years old.

            Prize amount: $1,000

  • Kids Category:  12 years old or younger with signed approval from parent or guardian.

            Prize amounts: $500 to the top video, $250 for second place, $100 for third place.


Video Contest Creative Assignment:

  • An entrant gathers an idea for a video (“Video Submission”) that will potentially be used in a Downtown branded traditional media or social media campaign.
  • The topic of the video is “My Downtown because….”  Videos should be an explanation and/or interpretation of that phrase’s meaning.
  • BE CREATIVE. Make it something unique and never seen before. Make it colorful. Make it unexpected. Tell a story.  Just make it awesome.
  • The length of the video should be a minimum of 30 seconds and a maximum of 100 seconds.  Video submissions that do not meet this time criteria will be disqualified.
  • Any music that is included on the video must be owned by the Entrant or copyright free.
  • The video must be viewable by all audiences ("G" rating) and exclude profanity, nudity, and/or any explicit or inappropriate material, or it will be disqualified.
  • The video must not contain any copyrighted materials (other than as owned by the Entrant).

Technical Requirements:

  • The video file size should allow for full HD resolution.
  • Video files must be provided in one of the following file formats: .MPEG; .MOV; .AVI; or .WMV.  Grand Prize Winners will be asked to provide the original audio and video files used during production of the entry for broadcast purposes. This may include uncompressed QuickTime files, final audio mix, and/or separate audio tracks for dialogue, music, and effects.


  • Entrants can submit their video either electronically or on a USB thumb drive or disk. 
  • All entries must submit this registration form.
  • Electronic: Email the application form to  Put “video contest” in the subject line and be sure to include your name and contact information.  WDI staff will reply within 24 hours and provide a link to a Dropbox account for the entrant download the video. Note you may need to create a Dropbox account (they are free) and submissions must be provided by 5pm on May 31, 2018.    
  • USB thumb drive or disc must be postmarked or hand-delivered no later than 5pm on May 31, 2018.  Mailed or hand-delivered entries should go to: WDI, 221 N. Front Street, Suite 102, Wilmington, NC 28401.  Be sure to label the USB with your name.  The USB will not be returned. 

Additional Requirements:

  • Submissions must be received by the deadline (5:00 PM, May 31st).
  • The person owning the email and uploading the Video Submission will be deemed the Entrant (“Video Entrant”). The Video Entrant is the one (1) person who owns the email address associated with the YouTube ID. If any group elects to collaborate on a Video Submission, they are required to designate one (1) person as the agent of the group to enter the Contest, agree to these rules and accept the prize on behalf of the group.  WDI and any partners or agencies are not liable for any disputes between collaborators arising form or related to the Contest.
  • Each individual Video Entrant is allowed to submit only one video.
  • Each submission must comply with the Official Rules.
  • Each submission must be an original work of the Video Entrant produced for this Video Contest; it may not have been published previously in any medium; it must not infringe any party’s intellectual property or other rights; it must be suitable for display and publication to a national audience.
  • WDI reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to remove or blur, or to ask the applicable Video Entrant to remove or blur any non-material elements (e.g., small logos on clothing, artwork hanging in the background, products shown, etc.) rather than disqualify an otherwise compliant Video Submission.
  • A written release or consent form must be provided for any person with a role that involves speaking on camera.
  • Submissions must be primarily in the English language.
  • Video Entrants agree to release Facebook and YouTube from all liability related to this contest.

Video Contest Judging Criteria:

  • Originality and Creativity (The overall originality of the video, use of original ideas and style) - 30%
  • Adherence to Creative Assignment - 30%
  • Uniqueness of the story told – 20%
  • Overall Appeal - 20%

Click here for application form