Notable Environmental Leaders join The Redford Center's Annual Youth Filmmaking Challenge

Notable Environmental Leaders join The Redford Center's Annual Youth Filmmaking Challenge

Young people from across the world will share their views and visions for the future as part of global environmental justice storytelling effort

San Francisco, CA (February 28, 2022) — Today, The Redford Center launched its third annual global Redford Center Stories Youth Filmmaking Challenge that celebrates students as the future of the environmental justice movement. 

This year's Filmmaking Challenge empowers students as the visionary leaders of environmental impact storytelling, inviting them to submit a 90-second environmental film that paints a bold and hopeful portrait of our future, illustrates their personal commitment as young and proud environmentalists, and inspires both grassroots and global community action. The Filmmaking Challenge opens today, and submissions will be accepted through March 21, 2022. 

A panel of esteemed judges with an impressive history of impact in the film industry and environmental advocacy and education will review the students’ work and recognize several films for distinction, as well as award a grand prize winner. 

2022 Filmmaking Challenge Judges include:

  • Robert Redford, Actor, Activist, and Co-Founder of The Redford Center
  • Sibylle Szaggars Redford, Multimedia Artist 
  • Coyote Peterson, YouTube Personality and Host of Animal Planet’s Brave the Wild
  • José G González, Founder of Latino Outdoors and Co-Founder #CAParksNow
  • Kristy Drutman, Environmental Media Host, Activist, and the Digital Media Strategist behind Brown Girl Green
  • Ali Fujino, Interim Director of Far Star Action Fund 
  • Shannon Germaine, Student Filmmaker and Grand Prize Winner of the 2021 Stories Challenge 

2022 Filmmaking Challenge Judges include:  Robert Redford, Actor, Activist, and Co-Founder of The Redford Center Sibylle Szaggars Redford, Multimedia Artist  Coyote Peterson, YouTube Personality and Host of Animal Planet’s Brave the Wild José G González, Founder of Latino Outdoors and Co-Founder #CAParksNow Kristy Drutman, Environmental Media Host, Activist, and the Digital Media Strategist behind Brown Girl Green Ali Fujino, Interim Director of Far Star Action Fund  Shannon Germaine, Student Filmmaker and Grand Prize Winner of the 2021 Stories Challenge 

Media Link: View and download judge bios and photos.

Five thousand dollars’ worth of awards will be presented in eight categories and announced on Earth Day, April 22, 2022. Winning filmmakers will receive donations to an environmental cause of their choice, their supporting educators will receive monetary gifts, and every student film submission will receive a donation of trees planted through OneTreePlanted. This year, The

Redford Center will also present the inaugural Environmental Educator Award of $500 and 100 trees planted, given to an outstanding participating educator based upon their dedication to teaching environmental justice and supporting their students’ engagement in the Filmmaking Challenge. 

“Young people everywhere understand the urgency of the moment we are in and are ready to meet it with solutions,” said Jill Tidman, Executive Director of The Redford Center. “We need to hear from them. We need to give them a stage where they can share their views, and help ensure that the future of environmental storytelling and advocacy remains a generative space, inclusive of all voices. This annual Filmmaking Challenge provides an opportunity for any young person between the ages of 10 and 18 to present their ideas, visions, and views, and raise their voice and get involved. Over the years we have seen this program propel new youth leaders and artists into action and I have no doubt this year’s Challenge will bring more of the same.”

About The Redford Center’s Annual Youth Filmmaking Challenge:

The Redford Center’s annual Youth Filmmaking Challenge is part of the organization’s environmental justice education initiative: Redford Center Stories, which brings educators and students into dialogue with youth activists, filmmakers, and environmental justice leaders. It nurtures the next generation of environmental advocates and storytellers and provides educators with access to a free, media-rich, cross-disciplinary curriculum, and gives students the resources to become empowered storytellers and filmmakers, centering their voices to help propel action towards a more just environmental future. 

Past winning student films have been featured by Nautilus Magazine, California Academy of Sciences, and EarthxFilm. Currently engaging more than 100 educators across 34 states and 9 countries, and in an effort to continue developing the program's accessibility and reach, this year’s program has expanded to include high school students and bilingual audiences through the pilot-launch of a bilingual Spanish-English curriculum.

Storytelling prompts for this year’s Filmmaking Challenge include: 

  • Prompt #1:
    The future I envision is…
    What do you envision for the future of our world and our environment? A vision statement is a powerful thing to imagine and share with others so that communities can come together to share and realize similar goals and missions. What future do you envision? How can we work to make it a reality?
     
  • Prompt #2:
    I’m an environmentalist because…
    This is your opportunity to stake your claim as an “environmentalist.” What are you fighting for? How are you investing in environmental justice, protection, and/or regeneration? What are you doing to meet the moment?
     
  • Prompt #3:
    A call to action.
    Produce a public service announcement (PSA) that creates awareness about, or shows the importance and impact of, a problem facing the environment overall, your local environment, or the communities most impacted by the climate emergency. What do you want your audience to feel and to know? What behavioral change do you hope people will make, and how can you help inspire this change? 

To read the prompts in full, please visit our website.
 

This year, The Redford Center Stories program is additionally supported by David J and Linda A Cornfield from Far Star Action Fund. Collaborating organizations for Redford Center Stories include Nautilus Magazine, the Scottish Youth Film Foundation, Blue Sky Funders Forum, and California Academy of Sciences. 

For more information on Redford Center Stories and to enter a student film in the Redford Center Stories Filmmaking Challenge, visit www.redfordcenter.org/stories.

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ABOUT THE REDFORD CENTER: Co-founded in 2005 by Robert Redford and his son James Redford, The Redford Center uses the power of storytelling to galvanize environmental justice and regeneration. Its cross-cutting programs support environmental storytellers and invest in impact-driven narrative strategies. By amplifying and changing the conversations around environmentalism, The Redford Center aims to engage a much broader and more diverse population in the movement. It has produced three award-winning feature documentaries and 30+ short films, supported 85+ film and media projects with grants and other services, inspired 400+ student films, and dispersed more than $10 million to fiscally sponsored projects. Redford Center film impact campaigns have halted the construction of dirty coal plants, reconnected the Colorado River to the Sea of Cortez, and helped accelerate the clean energy revolution in America. For more information, visit redfordcenter.org.  

MEDIA CONTACT: Cait Fitzwater, Communications Director, The Redford Center
cfitzwater@redfordcenter.org