The Reel Mary: search for saint on small screen


Go to Looking For Mary details at xt3 site
A national Mary MacKillop video competition has been launched to help young people engage with the reality of the Canonisation of Australia's first saint and discover the significance of Mary’s life for them in a modern context.

Sr Mary Mercer rsj, of the Youth Committee of the Mary MacKillop Canonisation Working Party, says the Looking for Mary video competition is a tangible way in which the youth of Australia can connect with the life of Mary MacKillop.

“Mary MacKillop lived more than a hundred years ago, but she’s relevant to young people today,” Sr Mercer said.

“We’ll be looking to young people to show us how they interpret the life of an ordinary woman who dared to live and love in an extraordinary way. They will be taking their cameras out into the places where young people live in contemporary society - in urban and rural settings all over Australia”.

An attractive first prize of $5,000 is generating interest amongst youth in schools, universities, parishes and other organisations across the country who are taking up the challenge to pick up their cameras and iPhones and go out on to the street to express what the spirit of Mary MacKillop looks like in the 21st Century. The winning entry will also be shown during the Canonisation celebrations in Rome in October.

The competition is open to all young people from the age of 16-35, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. The Sisters of St Joseph are expecting a high standard of entries from a wide variety of creative participants.

“Young people today are highly skilled in using multimedia tools and we’re looking forward to seeing what they come up with” Sr Mercer said.

Find Mary, discover yourself

The competition was launched on 30 July 2010 and entries close on 20 September 2010. After submitting entries of no longer than three minutes on the Catholic social networking site (which will be hosting the competition), entrants and the public will be able to vote for their favourite video. The top ten videos will then go to an expert judging panel to determine the winners. The judging panel will be made up of people from the film industry, celebrities, multimedia experts, young people from film, stage and screen and Church representatives.

One of the judging panel members is Claire McCarthy, director of the recently released and highly acclaimed film The Waiting City.

“By looking for Mary through a camera lens, young people can use their creativity and expressive powers to learn about what a remarkable Australian Mary was, but also discover something about themselves,” Claire said.

Notre Dame University, Sydney is sponsoring the competition. The second prize is $2,000 and the third prize is an IT pack including a laptop.

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