Russian American History Contest

Russian-American History Video Contest 2020

PH International, in partnership with the U.S. Embassy, invites teams of three students (14-17 years old as of January 1, 2020) and their instructor to create a video, animation or cartoon that describes a Russian person, object, idea or innovation whose impact can be found in America today and serves as an example of our shared history and values.

Application process:

  • Create a team of 4 participants with 3 students and 1 teacher.
  • Conduct research. Find a person in your community who went to America and made a meaningful contribution to American life, society, culture, or business. Or look for something that was created in Russia and then found its way to America and is in active use today. It could be a physical object, an invention or innovation (technological, cultural, linguistic or culinary) that has survived until today. Teams who are able to find physical evidence of the facts (documents, books, items) or can interview someone in their community will be prioritized. We encourage you to search for a story that is not about world famous people or well-known innovations. Make a video, cartoon, animation, or film.

The two winning teams will travel to the United States in July 2020. They will visit New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Sitka, Alaska, and will participate in the annual Fort Ross Festival.

Submissions should meet the following criteria:

  • The product should be a short film or animated cartoon, no longer than 5 minutes.
  • The product should be about a Russian personality, idea or, invention, that is popular in America today and serves as an example of our common culture and shared values.
  • Try to answer the following questions:
    • Who was it or what was it?
    • How did they get there?
    • What positive impact did they have on America?
    • How has this impact been preserved to this day?
    • Be accurate: what are the most important aspects of your idea?
    • Be specific: think about how you could bring the message home to the viewer of your video.
  • The video should be an original piece of work produced specifically for this contest, but may include open source video, pictures and photos.  You can not include published songs or videos from commercial films or commercial record studios that you do not have the licence permission for.
  • The video should not include any explicit, or discriminatory content. It can be created in any format including, but not limited to:
    • video,
    • documentary or theatrical performance,
    • stop motion or computer animation,
    • puppet or clay cartoons,
    • sand animation,
    • flip-books,
    • comic book panels,
    • or any combination of styles.
  • The video should be uploaded on YouTube, or another easily accessible video hosting site, but the video SHOULD NOT be made public; it should be uploaded as unlisted. Please include the link to the product in the online application form.
  • The video should be in English with Russian subtitles. All 4 team members must speak in the video; we should be able to hear all participants.
  • By submitting your video, you guarantee it is your team’s original, unpublished work and that you consent to its future publication on other websites.

As part of the application process, each team should submit a presentation – a link to a private video with a short introduction by the team. The presentation should meet the following requirements:

  • No longer than 2 minutes. Longer introductory video presentations will disqualify the application.
  • All members should introduce themselves in English.
  • Summarize the idea of the video.
  • Uploaded on YouTube, but the video SHOULD NOT be public (It should be uploaded as unlisted).


  • The team should consist of three students (aged 14-17 as of January 1, 2020) and one teacher.
  • All team members must speak English.
  • One teacher cannot lead more than one team.
  • One team should submit no more than one video.
  • Winners of the 2015 – 2019 Fort Ross and Russian-American History Video Contests are not eligible to participate.

Key dates:

The contest opens October 25, 2019. The timeline is as follows:

  • Acceptance of entries: October 25, 2019 – January 15, 2020
  • Review of submitted proposals, selection of  semifinalists: January 15 – February 14, 2020
  • Skype interviews with semi-finalists: End of February 2020
  • Winning teams announced: March 2020
  • Winning teams travel to the United States: July 2020

Selection Criteria:

Contest videos will be judged by a panel of history experts, English teachers, American Studies professors and U.S. specialists, and will be evaluated by the following criteria:

  • Quality of research
  • Depth of knowledge about the subject
  • Creativity of the presentation
  • English language skills of the entire team
  • Team work and team spirit demonstrated during the Skype interviews.


Participation in the contest is free of charge. Winners should have international passports and permission from parents to travel to the United States of America in July-August 2020.To apply, please fill out the online application at


If you have any questions, please contact us at