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Students showcase environmental themes at youth film festival

East Michigan Environmental Action Council sponsors 2nd annual event
Students from across southeast Michigan showcased their environmentally themed films for East Michigan Environmental Action Council’s Green Screen Youth Environmental Short Film Festival held June 5 at the Main Art Theater in Royal Oak.

The young filmmakers expressed ideas they believe are most crucial to their own health and that of the natural environment. Many films focused on what they want to do to make the world (or their school or neighborhood) better. The festival was a true celebration of youth voice and emerging environmentalism. All short films were created entirely by aspiring young activists and their themes spanned across environmental and social consciousness.

This year’s first prize winners, Zack Kilgore and Austin Schultz from Troy, won a $200 cash prize for their film No Time to Lose, a beautifully shot documentary on a Troy heron rookery. This film shows their promise as wildlife documentary filmmakers. Zack and Austin also won a day ‘on location’ with local director Diane Cheklich, who will give them expert advice on filmmaking.

The short films were judged on cinematic merit, relevance to Southeastern Michigan and creative messaging. The panel of judges included an independent director, environmental activist, environmental journalist and community activists.

“This (film) project is an excellent way for our students to interact with the community and to get excited about the environmental projects that we have started at our school,” said Greg Willower, University Preparatory Academy Middle School teacher. His students won first place at last year’s festival for their film on school gardens and creating a salad bar for school lunches.
-Diana Seales, East Michigan Environmental Action Council
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