On March 19, at the Century 10 Downtown movie theatre, Ventura Water announced the winners of the 3rd Annual Water: Take 1 Online Short Film Contest at a free community event which featured a screening of the top 9 water-focused finalist films, along with the winners of the Audience Choice Award, the Award for Best Student Film, the Grand Jury Prize and the Ventura Vision Award.
Ventura Water presents the contest, now in its third year, as part of a larger effort to highlight our relationship to water and to encourage water efficiency at all levels, from the homeowner to local businesses.
From April to December 2014, Filmmakers with water-themed films, five minutes or less, in any genre including documentary, drama, comedy, animation, dramatic, sci-fi and, experimental, were invited to submit their films online at watertake1.com.
Out of all the films submitted, 10 Finalist films were chosen, and out of those 10, a jury of industry professionals selected one Grand prize winner.
“The contest changed it’s venue this year and it’s so exciting to be in a real movie theatre, with a gorgeous screen, great sound and popcorn and soda,” said Shana Epstein, Ventura Water’s GM. “What’s also great about tonight is that we get to see some films where filmmakers use their own language about what water means to them. One theme we’ve seen repeated and that resonates with many is environmental injustice — where one community has water, and another does not. It makes you value and want to conserve and preserve what you do have.”
“The contest continues to grow each year. We have more films from more countries,” said Rachael Shapiro, Project Manager for Water: Take 1. “We also appreciate all the sponsors, and returning sponsors that get behind the contest and in doing so, help spread the message for a cause that’s important for the sustainability of the planet. Companies that do align with us are taking an active step in promoting water conservation, and what’s in the best interest for the city, and the world, long term.”
“It’s so exciting to see these films that highlight one of our most important natural resources,” said Ventura Mayor Cheryl Heitmann. “We’re so fortunate here in Ventura to have all local water sources. However, our sources are not unlimited. This contest underscores the importance of water and water conservation. It shares how we can be more mindful of what we can do to save and preserve.”
The Audience Choice Award, selected online by the public, went to Jake Raimer for the film “Protecting our Water: Stormwater Management.” The film highlights why stormwater management is an important issue. Jake won an Ipad 2 sponsored by Hopkins Groundwater and Brown and Caldwell.
Best Student Film Award went to Sean Cruse for the film Refresh, which, done in Claymation, asked the question, what would life be like without safe, clean water? Sean won a GoPro camera and mentoring services provided by Never Without a Picture, sponsored by Carollo Engineers.
The Ventura Vision Award, sponsored by Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach, went to, Randy Smith for his film Submerged Forest, which takes a look at the underwater beauty of marine life at Anacapa Island. As part of his award, Randy will be profiled on Sustainable Ventura News.
The Grand Prize Winner, presented by Ventura Water, went to Ben Mills for his film Blue Sky, Inc., which takes a satiric look into the future. Ben won a cash prize of $1500 presented by Ventura Water.
Heading into its fourth year, the Water: Take 1 Online Short Film Contest aims to elevate the value of water by inviting filmmakers from across the globe to submit short films less than five minutes, in any genre (animation, comedy, documentary, drama, experimental, or sci-fi) that address the topic of water. The next contest will kick off this fall. All film entries are available for viewing at www.watertake1.com.
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–Maryann Ridini Spencer for SustainableVentura.TV