Herpes simplex viruses (HSV) are common human viruses found worldwide which produces a wide range of symptoms and signs including cold sores and genital herpes. Genital herpes is an HSV infection that is sexually transmitted and can be caused by either HSV type 1 or HSV type 2.1

There are many misconceptions about HSV, the most common being that only ‘promiscuous’ or ‘dirty’ people get the virus. For many people there is a great deal of shame and stigma associated with the virus – so much so that people aren’t comfortable talking about it, even with a doctor (see more information about HSV in the Film Maker Manual).

Your brief is to pick one of the messages below and create a short film, no longer than 30 seconds, that clearly communicates this message and helps people understand the realities of HSV. Use your creativity to generate conversations about the virus. Feel free to make more than one short film on different messages or a different concept on the same message.

Alternatively, once you have read the Film Maker Manual or through your own research, you may think there is another important message to be communicated. As long as it is medically correct and/or does not violate any other terms and conditions you can enter your film in the ‘Your Call’ category.

Your film can be funny, touching, dramatic, profound, etc. – use whatever you can to get the message across. Don’t worry if you don’t have the time or resources to deliver a blockbuster – it’s about the quality and execution of your idea.

You can make and submit as many films as you wish, either to communicate more than one of the messages or to communicate the same message in a different way. Submitting more films increases your chance of winning the Judges’ Choice or the People’s Choice awards…or both!


  1. There are a number of criteria that each film needs to meet in order to be a valid entry in the competition. Each film must:
  2. Be original material that does not breach any copyright. Please do not use music, brand images or talent that you do not have permission to use in your video. If you’re going to include music in your video, it’s best to use music that’s in the public domain, or music that you’ve created.
  3. Be deemed ‘in good taste’ by the judges.
  4. Last no longer than 30 seconds.
  5. Break down shame or stigma associated with HSV.
  6. Be received by 11.59pm EST on Friday 24 September 2010

Our panel of judges will be looking for:


We’re looking for thought-provoking films that get people talking about HSV. So make sure you’ve got a strong idea that’s going to generate conversation. It’s got to catch people’s imagination, make them laugh or cry and most importantly change their perception of HSV.


If it’s been done, don’t do it again. Produce something fresh.


When you’re shooting and editing your film, watch the composition, clarity of the shot and quality of the audio.


Your film must address one of the outlined messages and it must aim to destigmatise HSV.


Deliver your message within 30 seconds or less.

Download the Film Maker Manual

We’ve prepared a Manual that provides you with more information and facts about HSV. This Manual will help you to produce a more impactful film and increase your chance of winning.

Please sign up or log in to download the Film Maker’s Manual today.



Cunningham AL, Taylor R, Taylor J, Marks C, Shaw J, Mindel A. Prevalence of Infection with herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 in Australia: a nationwide population based survey. Sex Transmitted Infections 2006
Tran T, Druce JD, Catton MC, Kelly H, Birch CJ. Changing epidemiology of genital herpes simplex virus infection in Melbourne, Australia, between 1980 and 2003. Sex Transmitted Infections 2004;

Corey L. The Current Trend in Genital Herpes – Progress in Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases 199