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

2017 UW Climate Change Video Awards: Meet the Judges!

Submissions have been rolling in during the past week, and today is the deadline for the 2017 UW Climate Change Video Contest. After we collect all the videos, we’ll turn them over to our panel of four judges to determine the finalists, which we’ll screen at the UW Climate Change Video Awards on Friday, June 2, 7 to 9 p.m. at Town Hall Seattle!

For the contest this year, we challenged high school students across the state of Washington to create a two-minute ad that will convince a climate change skeptic to take action—with a top prize of $5,000, $1,000 for second and $500 for third. We can’t wait to see how students tackled this prompt, and we’re excited to introduce the distinguished judges who’ll determine the winning videos!

Laura Jean Cronin

Laura Jean Cronin
Laura Jean Cronin has written, directed and produced an array of award-winning short films that played in festivals worldwide, including John Gill, 2000, Block Party, Leave It, Free Parking, Arthur and One Night. Laura Jean also works as a freelance 1st assistant director in the local Indie film and television industry and teaches video production skills to kids and teens at Reel Grrls, an after-school program that gives youth the tools to succeed as leaders through media production. She has recently wrapped Season Six of the Emmy Award-winning PBS show Biz Kid$, where she served as line producer. Currently, Laura Jean is a producer and director at B47 Studios in Seattle.

Melanie HarrisonDr. Melanie Harrison Okoro
Melanie is a water quality specialist and the aquatic invasive species coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries, West Coast Region. She earned her doctorate in environmental science from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and her research focuses on water quality impacts to federally listed threatened and endangered species. Her passions include mentoring youth as a Big Sister in the San Francisco Bay Big Brothers Big Sister Program, and being an advocate for increasing diversity in STEM fields through her involvement with the American Association of University Women in Davis, Calif.

Cody PermenterCody Permenter
Cody is the social media manager at Seattle-based Grist.org, a nonprofit environmental news organization for people who want “a planet that doesn’t burn and a future that doesn’t suck.” Before joining Grist, Cody helped lead the social media efforts at viral news site Cheezburger.com and has been published in publications like Thrillist, The Daily Dot and USA Today. He has served on the nominating board for the Shorty Awards for the past three years, an awards program honoring the best of social media in the entertainment industry, and he studied multimedia journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.

Ethan SteinmanEthan Steinman
Ethan is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and owner of the Seattle-based media production company, Daltonic Films. As a producer and director, he has worked over the past two decades on programming for a wide range of media outlets, including NBC, FOX, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel and A&E. During the past several years, he has produced original content for Al Jazeera English, FOX Sports, CNN, Adidas and Major League Soccer, and he directed two award-winning feature-length documentaries, including Glacial Balance, which explores the effects of climate change on Andean glaciers and the people who depend on them for survival.

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The award show and screening is free and open to the public, and we hope you’ll join us to celebrate these talented students!