The State Journal
Green Team online film festival gets scouts going
By Charlie Pearl
January 11, 2009
Frankfort Girl Scout Troop 746 had most of its work done when the announcement came regarding the first Green Team Kentucky Online Film Festival.
The 10 girls had already earned a $350 mini grant from Energy Star to educate the public about energy conservation and energy efficient light bulbs.
And part of their environmental education project was to put together a Power Point presentation and videos, said troop leader Jessica Abbott, who works in the office of technology for the state Department of Education.
So the film festival competition was a perfect fit, Abbott says.
“We worked on the videos a long time and it’s obvious the girls did the work,” she said. “They did all the writing, filming, editing and putting it together. The videos are cute, funny and heart-warming.”
Other aspiring filmmakers – or anyone with a video camera and a passion for improving the environment – can still enter the film festival contest.
The deadline for submitting films has been extended to midnight, Jan. 31, according to Antonia Lindauer, a spokeswoman for the state Finance and Administration Cabinet.
The original deadline had been midnight, Dec. 31.
Lindauer said the deadline was extended because of the rush of interest around the holidays.
The film festival idea came from first lady Jane Beshear’s Green Team, designed to inspire, teach and encourage individuals to take steps to improve the environment.
Last week 40 films had been entered. Directors range from groups of school kids, Girl and Boy Scout troops, and seasoned filmmakers.
Films may be entered in three categories and the winning film in each one will receive a $1,000 cash prize. The categories are:
>A 30-second public service announcement that encourages Kentuckians to reduce their energy consumption.
>A short film of 10 minutes or less that highlights environmentally friendly, energy-saving actions that anyone can do.
>A short film of 10 minutes or less that presents an invention, new device or idea that would help reduce energy consumption in Kentucky.
Troop 746 entered both short film categories.
“The first one is titled “Lights Off,’ and the second one, “Change a Light, Save the World,’” Abbott said.
She said the girls haven’t spent a lot of time talking about winning the prize money.
“If they do win, it will mean they can do more projects,” Abbott said. “They will put the money back into some form of community service.”
Troop members include Lexi Abbott, Kristina Avery, Hannah Covington, Lauren Darbyshire, Shay Locke, Emily Jordan, Kayla Page, Katelyn Rios, Hannah Smither and Abby Studler.
New Frankfort City Commissioner Sellus Wilder, a professional filmmaker, said he has entered the “PSA and new idea” categories.
“I feel pretty good about the PSA ” a general admonishment to save energy,” Wilder said. “It says in saving energy, you don’t just save money, you also brighten our children’s future.”
He said he spent about 30 hours on the PSA and 10 to 15 hours on the new idea, which focuses on community gardens.
“I’m hoping I win but I won’t be sad if I don’t because there are some really good entries,” Wilder said.
“There’s a fantastic piece in the new idea category,” about how middle school art students in downtown Louisville are working with a glassblower to use landfill gases to power art studio equipment.
Golden-Globe nominated and Kentucky-raised actress Ashley Judd joined Beshear in launching the film festival in 2008. The launch was done using the same technology that Kentuckians use to enter the competition ” a YouTube video, broadcast over the Internet.
Go to http://www.greenteam.ky.gov/filmfestival for the link to the festival’s YouTube channel and the rules, regulations, instructions on entering, answers to frequently asked questions and a demonstration film produced for kids by kids.
Beginning Feb. 1, visitors to the Green Team Web site can vote for their favorites, and 10 finalists in each category will be selected.
The finalists will then be viewed by a panel of celebrity judges, who will select a winner in each category.
Those judges include actresses Judd, Florence Henderson and Laura Bell Bundy; environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.; award-winning film directors Gus Van Sant and Gill Hollan; popular rap group Nappy Roots; author Silas House; University of Kentucky basketball coach Billy Gillispie; and radio host Bob Edwards.
Winners will be announced on Earth Day, the first anniversary of Beshear’s launch of the Green Team.
Last summer Beshear asked Green Team members to send suggestions on ways to improve the environment.
“She was especially interested in ideas to involve the youngest generation of Kentuckians, who will inherit these problems if they are not addressed today,” according to the Green Team Web site.
The winning submission – to host an online film festival in which Kentuckians could submit a film educating the public on energy conservation – was inspired by Syandene Evans, a freshman at Henry Clay High School in Lexington.