Maybe you're tired of hearing how Avatar is the greatest environmental epic of our times, or how An Inconvenient Truth is the last word in climate change. Now you have the opportunity to craft your own ecological masterpiece—Portland-based nonprofit Ecotrust wants to hear from the locals. The Stories From Our Watersheds Contest is offering $3,500 in prizes for film shorts that capture how watershed restoration is helping communities in the Pacific Northwest.
Habitat restoration may be a large-scale project, but you don't need James Cameron's budget to make a film with a message. Ten minutes of digital footage personalizing the Whole Watershed Restoration Initiative (WWRI), a collaborative effort supporting wildlife restoration in watershed basins throughout Oregon, Washington and Idaho, is all it takes to have a shot at the grand prize.
This is the first time Ecotrust has launched a film contest, and Communications and Outreach Director Seth Walker emphasized the wide-open possibilities. “We want people to be as creative as people can get. We're not putting rules on it,” Walker said.
So far the WWRI has given Portland filmmakers a lot of material to work with—stabilized salmon populations, job creation and the restoration of more than 30 miles of river habitat. The question now falls to local creatives: Earnest documentary or stop-motion science fiction epic?