UW Climate Change Video Awards: Announcing the Winners!

Last Friday, June 2, we rolled out the red carpet for the 2017 UW Climate Change Video Awards at Town Hall Seattle. And, wow, what a great show! The evening featured a keynote from Dr. Peter Kareiva, Ashley Ahearn as the emcee, lively discussion among our four judges and student finalists, and of course the main event with the screening of the top six videos from the contest!

Ashley Ahearn with the grand prize winner, Tiamo Minard from Roosevelt High School.

We had challenged high school students across the state of Washington produce a two-minute ad that could convince a climate change skeptic to take action, and all six finalists produced excellent videos. After an incredibly close vote among the judges, the $5,000 grand prize went to Tiamo Minard from Roosevelt High School in Seattle! The $1,000 prize for the runner-up went to the team of Saron Almaw, Hani Ghebrehiwet, Brittaney Hong, Kristen Nguyen and Jasmine Pel from Lynnwood High School in Bothell, and the third-place prize of $500 went to Hazel Cramer, also from Lynnwood High School. Congratulations to all of you!

In addition to the cash prizes, we are especially excited to share that TheFilmSchool Seattle generously donated scholarships to the winners for its summer 3-Week Screenwriting & Filmmaking Intensive, which runs from July 16 to August 5! First place scored a full $3,000 scholarship, and second and third place received an impressive $1,500 and $1,000 scholarship, respectively. It’s an incredible opportunity for these young filmmakers!

© Hannah Letinich

The team of Jorge Zuñiga, Dane Siegelman and Johnny Suh from Bothell High School.

We want to congratulate the other three finalists, including Annie Hager from Mount Si High School, Taylor Langager from Lynnwood High School, and the team of Dane Siegelman, Johnny Suh and Jorge Zuñiga from Bothell High School. They, and so many of the students who participated in the contest this year, poured enormous passion, effort and creativity into their videos, and we can’t thank you enough for the thought and care you put into addressing this critical issue.

We’d also like to thank everyone who joined us for the show; The Nature Conservancy for hosting an informational table at Town Hall during the event; the Northwest Film Forum for urging all the finalists to consider entering the 2018 Seattle Children’s Film Festival; our fantastic emcee and keynote; and our judges—Laura Jean Cronin, Dr. Melanie Harrison Okoro, Cody Permenter and Ethan Steinman—who shouldered the weighty task of selecting winners from such a brilliant line-up. Thank you!

With that, we encourage you to enjoy a gallery of photos from the evening, courtesy of photographer Hannah Letinich, and then grab some popcorn to watch the videos of all six finalists!

Photos © Hannah Letinich.

© Hannah Letinich

Ashley Ahearn to Emcee UW Climate Change Video Awards

We are excited to announce that Ashley Ahearn, award-winning environment reporter with KUOW, will be the emcee for our 2017 UW Climate Video Awards show on Friday, June 2, at Town Hall Seattle! This is our third year hosting the UW Climate Change Video Contest, and this year’s award show and screening will feature high school students across the state of Washington who created two-minute ads addressing the prompt, “How do you convince a climate change skeptic to take action?”

In addition to her role as a reporter, Ashley is the host of a new national podcast called Terrestrial, which focuses on the choices we make in a world we have changed (the podcast launched on May 2). Or, as Ashley refers to it, it’s the “we’re f#@ked, now what?” podcast. “We, as a generation, have grown up with some level of awareness and understanding of climate change and what our emissions are doing to the planet,” says Ashley. “And we’re going to be the generation that has to figure out what to do about that—and how to live and adapt in a changed world. That’s why we’re making this podcast.”

Ashley says she’s honored to emcee the award show, and that the way she approaches an episode of the podcast might not be very different from the way these young filmmakers unpack the issue of climate change for audiences, visually.

She earned a master’s in science journalism from the University of Southern California and has completed reporting fellowships with MIT, Vermont Law School, the Metcalf Institute at the University of Rhode Island, and the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources. She has covered numerous multimedia stories around Washington and the Pacific Northwest, from the Elwha River recovery to an interview with our own Carol Bogezi. In her spare time you’ll find her riding her motorcycle or hiking and snowboarding in the Olympic and Cascade mountains.

Submissions for the 2017 Climate Change Video Contest are due by April 30, and we’ll soon have more details to share about the award show, four judges and opening speaker!

Photo of Ashley Ahearn © Melanie Moore.

Ashley Ahearn at the Duwamish