The theme of EarthxFilm's competion is Straw-less Summer. Deadline to enter is Aug. 1. Courtesy of EarthxFilm. Photo by Julie Thibodeaux
June 29, 2018
Plastic straws suck, as most environmentalist these days will tell you.
They're hard to recycle, they don't biodegrade and they can be harmful to wildlife.
That's why the annual summer online short film contest hosted by EarthxFilm is calling on young filmmakers to help them spread the message that the single-use plastic products have got to go.
Open to students and young adults from 12 to 21 years old, the competition’s theme is Straw-Less Summer to encourage discussion about the excessive use of plastics.
Entries must be no longer than 60 seconds and focus on helping viewers to understand the perils of single-use plastics and commit to striking drinking straws out from their daily habits.
“Single-use plastic straws are dumped by the truckload into our landfills and oceans,” says Melanie Yonks, EarthxFilm’s education and outreach manager. “Due to their size, they are nearly impossible to recycle. Instead, these plastics break down into smaller and smaller pieces over time. Many of these plastic particles wind up in the digestive systems of animals. The plastic is also raising the temperature of ocean waters, contributing to the changing weather patterns and ruining the homes of many sea creatures.”
Entries must focus on one of three categories: Mission Possible, in which filmmakers will prompt as many viewers as possible to take the pledge to strike out straws; Power in Numbers, featuring a large number of people urging viewers to refuse straws; and Celebrate Green Times, with filmmakers exploring local businesses already on board with the goal of avoiding the use of straws.
Entries will be judged for their creativity, their ability to communicate their message effectively and their technical quality. Filmmakers may enter as many submissions as they like but may only enter each production once. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018. Winners will receive cash prizes from $50 to $500. The top selections will be posted on the EarthxFilm website and promulgated through the organization’s social media platforms.
“The online film competition for youth is just one initiative in pursuit of the EarthxFilm mission to turn awareness into action, through education, art and media, and to provide earthlings with the tools to understand, shape and drive a sustainable future,” Yonks says. “We want each filmmaker to have learned something about single-use plastic straws and the havoc they wreak on our environment and our future and use this competition to make an impact. Converting awareness into action through art and media is our ultimate goal.”
Although the plastics polluting land, waterways and the ocean all over the world are composed of more than just the 500 million drinking straws discarded daily in the U.S., Yonks says the theme of striking straws from our lives serves as a starting point for considering just how much of our daily routine involves the use of plastics that serve a single, momentary purpose but will plague the planet as solid waste for hundreds or even thousands of years.
“Straws are easily accessible, readily available and commonly used. Focusing on straws keeps the mission simple. One simple change can make a huge difference. Once you've struck out straws, you can move on and focus on other single-use plastics consumption, like shampoo bottles, plastic bags and more,” Yonks says.
EarthxFilm is a program of EarthX, a Dallas-based nonprofit launched by local philanthropist Trammell Crow in 2011. It’s annual Earth fest held each April is touted as the world’s largest annual Earth Day expo. More than 137,000 people attended EarthX’s event at Dallas Fair Park in 2018. In recent years, EarthX has embarked on several campaigns such as the summer short film competition to ensure that pressing environmental issues are given attention throughout the year.
EarthxFilm Student Film Competition
Hosted by: EarthxFilm
About: For ages 12-21 years old. Entries will be judged for their creativity, their ability to communicate their message effectively and their technical quality. Filmmakers may enter as many submissions as they like but may only enter each production once. Entries must be no longer than 60 seconds and focus on helping viewers to understand the perils of single-use plastics and commit to striking drinking straws out from their daily habits.
Deadline: Aug. 1, 2018
Prizes: Winners will receive cash prizes from $50 to $500. The top selections will be posted on the EarthxFilm website and promulgated through the organization’s social media platforms.