Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

(updated 12.12.2018)

Check out our FAQs below to find your answers about the 1990 Institute Video Contest.

1.   I cannot reset my password

If you followed the steps to reset your password, you should receive two automated emails from “”  Please check your spam folder if you cannot locate BOTH emails, and then make sure your mailbox filters are set to allow receipt of emails from us.

One email is simply a notification that there was an attempt to reset a password; the other email actually gives you the steps on how to do so.  If you have further questions or need help, please contact us.

2.   I need to edit my submission; I’m having trouble uploading my video

Please email us with any issues pertaining to your registration data or your video uploading.  Please aim to submit your videos well in advance of the deadline to avoid the rush of many students trying to upload very large files all at once.  Yours may have a chance of not getting in before the deadline.

If you have further questions or need help, please contact us.

3.  Who is behind 1990 Institute Video Contest?

  • 1990 Institute is a 29-year-old, non-partisan, United States 501(c)(3) not-for-profit founded by San Francisco Bay Area education, business and community leaders.  The Institute implements a number of innovative programs both in the US and China to broaden people-to-people understanding and trust between the two countries through education, philanthropy, and collaboration.  We strive to promote impartial discourse and encourage our community to seek balanced viewpoints.  Our organization is supported by contributions from private individuals, foundations and corporations. We do not accept funding from the U.S. or Chinese governments.

4.  Is 1990 Institute part of the U.S. Government, the Chinese Government, the United Nations or any other multilateral or state organizations?

  • No. 1990 Institute is an American non-partisan, nonprofit organization. See above.

5.  What if I’m a student under your Contest minimum age of 13?

  • Students younger than age 13 may participate, but cannot be the Entrant who competes solo or as one of up to three team members listed on the Contest Submission form.
  • Students under 13, however may be recognized through our Video Submission Form in the credits section and in a Submission field for additional people to be credited.
  • We cannot provide guidance on how a Winning Entrant may share prize winnings upon receipt from 1990 Institute, beyond what is specified in our official Contest Rules.

6.  What permissions do I need for my video?

  • Per Contest Rules, all materials used in your Video Entry (music, photos, video footage, etc.) must be original, copyright free, or used with permission of the creator of the work.  For free music sources, go here.
  • We highly recommend you obtain SIGNED releases for the persons, locations, and materials that you do not own which appear in your video.
  • Obtaining proper written permissions is the Entrant’s responsibility. We do not require you to submit all of these with your Video Entry.  However, we may ask to see your original SIGNED releases in certain circumstances, especially if you’re a finalist.  So keep the originals in a handy file and also backed up digitally.
  • The three most common release forms like these examples (personal, materials, and location releases) can be found online.
    • Personal Release Form for non-actors.  For persons under age 18, it must be signed by a parent or legal guardian
    • Materials Release Form or obtaining permission from the owner or license holder to use photographs, audio, video, video or other media which may be copyrighted or owned by others
    • Location Release Form for use when you are videoing on property you do not own,  It is not always needed, but it’s important to check in with the building or land owner. For example, if you are videoing in a rented home, you should get permission from the landlord as well as the tenant who is renting the property.
  • If you’re working with professional actors and personalities, have them give you their version of a release form.
  • If you have further questions or need help, please contact us.

See also: