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Pittsburgh’s Up-and-Coming Filmmakers Honored at Fourth Annual High School Environmental Film Festival

Submitted by: Bayer

Categories: Events, Ratings & Awards

Posted: Apr 23, 2008 – 08:30 PM EST


Bayer Corporation, Carnegie Science Center’s SciTech Initiative and Pittsburgh Filmmakers Celebrate Teens’ Creativity, Environmental Interest

Apr. 23 /CSRwire/ - PITTSBURGH, PA, April 23, 2008 – "A Greener Cleaner Choice," a film by Hampton High School seniors Ben Kepner, Dylan Morris and Benjamin Swanson and freshman Andrew Benton, was awarded with the top honor - the Grand Prize - in tonight's fourth annual C.A.U.S.E. Challenge™ High School Film Festival, presented by Bayer Corporation, Carnegie Science Center's SciTech Initiative and Pittsburgh Filmmakers. C.A.U.S.E. stands for Creating Awareness and Understanding of our Surrounding Environment.

Other winners announced at the C.A.U.S.E. Challenge Film Festival, hosted by the three partners at the Carnegie Science Center's Science Stage, hailed from Quaker Valley High School, St. Joseph High School and Mt. Lebanon High School. In addition, one student from Moon Area High School garnered two prizes.

As Grand Prize winners, Ben, Dylan, Benjamin and Andrew received a $1,000 cash prize that they will share. In addition, each went home with a digital video camera and case, a Pittsburgh Filmmakers' class voucher, a director's chair, Carnegie Science Center passes and Three Rivers Film Festival tickets. And Hampton High School took home $1,500 to support its science and media programs, as well as a trophy for its award display case.

The five additional awards presented included a new special award in honor of Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary, as well as Narrative, Documentary, Abstract and Communicating Science prizes. Winners of these awards included:

  • Pittsburgh 250 Award: "Step by Step" by Patrick Tutka, senior, St. Joseph High School ($300, a director’s chair, Carnegie Science Center passes and Three Rivers Film Festival tickets; a trophy and a $1,500 check for his school)

  • Narrative Award: "Stop Waiting For The World To Change" by Austin Wright, senior, Mt. Lebanon High School ($300, a director’s chair, Carnegie Science Center passes and Three Rivers Film Festival tickets; a trophy and a $1,500 check for his school)

  • Documentary Award: "Living on the Riverfront" by Jessica Johnson, junior, Quaker Valley High School ($300, a director’s chair, Carnegie Science Center passes and Three Rivers Film festival tickets; a trophy and a $1,500 check for her school)

  • Communicating Science Award: "We Have The Sun" by David Korotky, sophomore, Moon Area High School ($300, a director’s chair, Carnegie Science Center passes and Three Rivers Film Festival tickets; a trophy and a $1,500 check for his school)

  • Abstract Award: "Silent Cities' by David Korotky, sophomore, Moon Area High School ($300, a director's chair, Carnegie Science Center passes and Three Rivers Film Festival tickets; a trophy and a $1,500 check for his school)

    "As an innovator company long committed to both sustainability and corporate social responsibility, Bayer believes a key part of its commitment lies in supporting environmental education projects like the C.A.U.S.E. Challenge Film Festival to help educate the next generation of environmental stewards about their role in securing a greener, more environmentally sound future," said Dr. Attila Molnar, President and CEO of Bayer Corporation. "In addition, it provides Pittsburgh area students with an introduction to their hometown's national leadership position in the development of leading edge green technologies, processes and products that are helping to reverse climate change."

    "This competition allows students to explore science and technology through a unique arts-oriented experience. It complements the energy and mission of SciTech to promote understanding and awareness of wide-ranging opportunities in these fields," said Linda Ortenzo, Executive Director, Carnegie Science Center's SciTech Initiative. "SciTech provides diverse experiences where people of all ages and interests can explore the impact of cutting edge science and high technology in their everyday lives."

    "We love participating in this project," said Andrew Swensen, Director, Pittsburgh Filmmakers. "It offers young filmmakers an opportunity to express themselves creatively, to cultivate their artistic visions in the cinematic form, and we are consistently impressed with how they apply their talents to commentary on and study of the pressing environmental issues facing our local and world communities."

    The C.A.U.S.E. Challenge Film Festival invites high school students - either individually or in teams of up to four - to write, produce and edit a video or film (five-minute maximum length) on the theme "Mutual Impact: The Environment and You." The C.A.U.S.E. Challenge provides a platform for high school students who are not necessarily on a science track to become more scientifically and environmentally aware using the nontraditional, yet powerful tool of film or video. The filmmaking process also helps students develop their creative voice, master basic skills - such as researching, reading, writing and speaking - and build important science literacy skills like critical thinking, problem solving and team working.
    Films were judged by an independent panel consisting of Kenneth T. Bowman, Regional Director, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; Steve Seliy, an independent filmmaker and Associate Executive Director of the Consortium for Public Education; Margy Whitmer, Director of Video Production and Special Events, Family Communications; and Davitt B. Woodwell, Vice President, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Western Pennsylvania.

    They based their judging on a variety of criteria, including 1) the film's message, 2) ability to deliver the message, 3) connection to the Pittsburgh region, 4) use of available technology, 5) creativity and 6) research.

    About Bayer Corporation

    The C.A.U.S.E. Challenge™ High School Film Festival is one component of Bayer's award-winning, company-wide Making Science Make Sense® (MSMS) program which advances science literacy through hands-on, inquiry-based science learning, employee volunteerism and public education. Currently, 12 Bayer sites around the country operate local Making Science Make Sense programs, which together represent a national volunteer corps of more than 1,000 employees. For more information about Making Science Make Sense or to subscribe to the Making Science Make Sense e-News Update, please visit www.BayerUS.com/MSMS.

    Bayer Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is a subsidiary of Bayer AG, an international health care, nutrition and high-tech materials group based in Leverkusen, Germany. In North America, Bayer had 2007 net sales of 8.1 billion euros and employed 16,800 at year end. Bayer's three subgroups, Bayer HealthCare, Bayer CropScience and Bayer MaterialScience, improve people’s lives through a broad range of essential products that help diagnose, prevent and treat diseases; protect crops and enhance yields; and advance automobile safety and durability.

    About Carnegie Science Center's SciTech Initiative

    Carnegie Science Center's SciTech Initiative holds year-round programs and events for all ages that promote a scientifically and technologically literate workforce and a knowledgeable, inspired public. SciTech showcases Pittsburgh as an international hub of scientific and technological advancements by featuring Pittsburgh-based companies, universities and organizations and emphasizing the region's growth industries: robotics, information technology, nanotechnology, biotechnology, environmental technology and advanced materials processes; as well as connections between these fields and the arts/literature, current events and science in the news.

    The diverse programs connect visitors with leading scientists and technologists in a fun, dynamic atmosphere. Students and teachers (middle and high school) families, college students and adults engage in interactive exhibit booths by corporations, universities, and community organizations, as well as provocative panel discussions, science demos and exciting arts performances.

    About Pittsburgh Filmmakers

    Pittsburgh Filmmakers is a regional community resource and one of the oldest and largest media art centers in the country. It is committed to the artist and the understanding and advancement of artistic excellence in film, video, photographic and digital expression. It accomplishes this through programs in exhibition, artist membership services, and education.

    Pittsburgh Filmmakers' School of Film, Photography and Digital Media offers one of the most complete professional training programs in the country. Classes are offered in film, video, photography and digital arts and are open to the public and can be taken for college credit. Pittsburgh Filmmakers is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

    For more information, please call theC.A.U.S.E. Challenge Hotline at 412-777-5712 or visit www.SciTechSpec.org.

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