Oscars: Channing Tatum Announces Second College Contest (Video)
UPDATED: Students can enter for a chance to be part of the Academy Awards ceremony and week leading up to the big night, the actor explained on Friday's "Ellen."
The Oscars are going back to school.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences again is letting college students get involved in the 2014 ceremony and the week leading up to the movie industry's biggest night.
Channing Tatum made the announcement about this year's "Team Oscar" contest on Friday's Ellen DeGeneres show.
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Via video from New Orleans, where he's filming 22 Jump Street, Tatum announced that college students over the age of 18 can make 60-second videos about how they're going to contribute to the future of film. The contest, which is run through The Academy's Facebook page, starts today and ends in January, when Tatum will make another appearance on DeGeneres' daytime talker to announce the winners. Submissions, which include the short movie and an essay on a similar topic, are due by Jan. 5, 2014.
The Academy, Tatum and Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will pick a minimum of six winners who will be flown to L.A. to participate in the Oscars.
Those lucky students will appear onstage during the live Academy Awards telecast on March 2, 2014 to deliver statuettes to celebrity presenters.
2014 Oscar host DeGeneres noted that the winners not only will get to present onstage, but they'll also be there all week watching rehearsal.
"When they mentioned it to me, I thought it was such a great idea to get more young people involved," she said.
Tatum was similarly excited: "I'm really interested to see what they come up with because there are some really creative kids in college right now."
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But he noted that it's hard to tell a story in 60 seconds, so those who submit films will "have to have a very, very clear point of view and get as creative as they possibly can."
Tatum also explained why Zadan and Meron, who also produced last year's show, wanted to launch this contest.
"They wanted to make sure that anyone who walked out on that Oscar stage had a real passion for film, and so that led them to kind of do away with the traditional presenters and find new presenters that had a connection to the future of film," Tatum said.
The Academy held a similar contest last year called "The Oscar Experience College Search." The six winners of that contest were flown to Los Angeles and presented Oscar statuettes to show presenters during the 2013 telecast.
“We were very happy to have created this college program for last year’s show. It was a huge success, and we’re excited to take it to the next level,” Zadan and Meron said in a statement. “With Channing Tatum set to help us discover a new group of talented young filmmakers and The Ellen DeGeneres Show on board to chronicle their stories, we feel Team Oscar will be more rewarding and exciting than ever."
Tatum added: "It’s inspiring to see talented young people passionate about movies, and I’m excited to help shine a spotlight on them through Team Oscar. I’m looking forward to viewing and judging the creative videos submitted on Facebook and working with Craig, Neil and the Academy to choose winners who epitomize the next generation of filmmakers."
Watch Tatum's full interview with DeGeneres below.