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Seventh Annual Green Screen accepting student, youth produced short films

Youth encouraged to produce their own media stories COURTESY PHOTO

Youth encouraged to produce their own media stories COURTESY PHOTO

By Victoria Goff
Special to the Michigan Citizen

Teachers, educators and organizers are invited to submit student and youth produced short films to the 7th Annual East Michigan Environmental Action Council’s youth environmental film festival, Green Screen. Entry deadline is Oct. 31, 2013.

Green Screen provides a forum where students and youth from across southeast Michigan and beyond can showcase their short films with environmental themes. These films allow young filmmakers to express what they think is most crucial to their health and to the natural environment. Past films have focused on the importance of recycling, the Detroit Incinerator, lack of grocery stores in particular neighborhoods and why the quality and health of dirt is so essential to the quality of food that can be grown.

By using media as a means of spreading a youth-centered message about the environment, EMEAC hopes to challenge and redirect the current corporate-dominated narrative centered on “going green.” Beyond simply receiving messages, youth can create media messages that tell their own community and individual stories . Their projects can also encourage dialogue on issues they face today via information channels becoming more and more commonplace as a means of sharing experiences.

As defined by EMEAC’s Media Director, Lottie Spady, “Youth are dangerously disconnected from an accurate narrative that unpacks our relationship with and our impact on the environment. EMEAC’s environmental justice media work has centered on the development of a working knowledge of the role tthe media plays in shaping attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors about environment through media literacy, deconstruction and reconstruction of media messages. Youth-produced environmental media provides a platform for their collective voice and opinions, as well as educational opportunities for peers and the public through the creation of media campaigns, local documentaries and multimedia presentations.”

While the topic range is very broad, there are guidelines every Green Screen entrant must follow.

First of all, films may be up to five minutes in length, must be about an environmental issue facing your community, city or county and must be suitable and appropriate for an audience of all ages. Films that promote violence will not be accepted. Films may be live action, animated, stop motion, still photography or any combination of those styles. Secondly, topics may include but are not limited to: the environment, health, alternative energy, urban sprawl, Brownfields, recycling, climate change or stream and wetland protection.

Entries must be labeled with film, title, filmmaker’s name, e-mail and phone number and submitted either on a MiniDV cassette or a Quick Time movie file on a DVD. Participants must fill out and return an application form.

Selected films will be shown from 1-5 p.m., Nov. 9 in the D. Blair Theater of the Cass Corridor Commons at 4605 Cass Avenue, Detroit.

The films are judged for cinematic merit, relevance to Southeastern Michigan, and creative messaging. A panel of judges consisting of independent directors, environmental activists, youth activists and journalists will use a judging rubric to help guide their decisions.

Anyone interested entering a film for Green Screen 2013, sponsoring a film, volunteering or making a donation of support should call 313.354.4469, visit www.emeac.org and twitter.com/emeac or follow the hashtag #GreenScreen2013.

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