The website YLakeland is currently hosting its annual video contest. The contest kicked off in mid-September and will be going on until October 27, so it’s not too late to sign up if you haven’t already! The live premier will be held at Polk Theater on November 4, so you’ll actually be able to see the video you create up on the big screen.

For those who are wondering, YLakeland is basically like a local magazine all about Lakeland that’s in website form. You can even follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for cool updates on the best things to do in Lakeland.

YLakeland has held a video contest for the past couple years for students as well as Lakeland locals who want to showcase something special that they love about Lakeland.

“The contest is open to anyone in Lakeland,” Laure Rivera, video intern for YLakeland, said. “We are keeping it local to showcase the talent that we have here in the city.”

This year’s judges will be four of the top local production companies in the area. The companies are NFocus, Journey Box Media, Indie Atlantic Films, and Myles Shank.

In the past, contestants have done videos on some of the most popular hangouts in Lakeland such as Mitchell’s Coffee House and Portico. However, judges want contestants to think outside the box and not do the same old thing over and over again.

[pullquote]“Lakeland is filled with awesome activities, and we are looking to cover them all instead of the same things over and over again,” [/pullquote]Rivera said.

If there is already an existing video of a certain place or activity on YLakeland under the “things to do” category, judges encourage contestants to pick something different that’s not already featured on the website.

So how do you win this contest and what are the prizes? The key qualities the judges will be scoring on are creativity, production quality, and memorability, as well as how informative the video is. Also the length of each video cannot exceed three minutes.

“We want videos that make the viewer say, ‘hey, I want to do that!’” Rivera said.

If you win, you will be receiving a monetary reward.

This year the prize categories are divided into open, college and high school divisions for $1,000 each. The overall winning video will win an extra $1,000.

You can also win one of the technical categories. These include best cinematography, most informative, most creative and best technical production. Technical category winners will receive $250.

Along with the obvious monetary benefits, there are some other benefits to entering this video contest as well.

“This is a great opportunity to grow some exposure in the Lakeland video community,” Rivera said. “Last year, some of the video companies who watched the videos offered the video makers internships on the spot.”

So if you have something that you love about Lakeland, go out and film it! That way you can share with the public the place or activity you love and tell them why they should love it too. And other than helping the place or thing you love gain some exposure, you could potentially win a nice cash prize or even a cool internship with a production company. You don’t even need any fancy equipment to shoot. You can simply use the camera on your phone!
So enter the contest today at Even if you don’t submit a video, you should still come out to the free premier at Polk Theater on November 4 because there will be live voting for audience choice. It will be lots of fun, and you might just discover something new to love about Lakeland.