By Keri Luise
Local students are invited to go behind the camera to create original films that spotlight environmental issues. Broadneck High School hosts the third annual Environmental Literacy Film Festival (virtually this year) on April 12. It will feature short curated films by participating Maryland public school students on environmental topics important to the region.
“The goal of the film festival is to provide a platform for middle and high school students to research, create, and advocate, in an effort to raise awareness for local environmental issues,” says Stacy Roth, Signature Program Facilitator at Broadneck High School.
13 high schools in Anne Arundel County have signature programs to prepare students for college and careers. The Broadneck Signature Program is environmental literacy and focuses on environmental preservation and stewardship to bring unique learning experiences to students with help from community partners. The film festival’s partner is ClearShark H2O.
ClearShark H2O is a local grassroots organization that offers hands-on environmental educational programs and experiences to classrooms, aiming to inspire student passion to preserve and protect Maryland’s waterways.
In the past, the Environmental Literacy Film Festival was only open to public middle and high school students in Anne Arundel County, but this year it has been expanded to accept submissions from the entire state.
The festival is open to the public for viewing but advanced registration is requested this year due to the virtual format. The event will be held on April 12 at 6:30 p.m. via Google Meet.
“We welcome anyone who has an interest in protecting and preserving the environment in our local area, learning more about the specific issues we face, and supporting our students as they use their creativity to spread awareness and advocate for our Earth,” Roth says.
Student participation in the film festival is voluntary. Students create a one- to three-minute long original digital video exploring an environmental issue and/or solution relative to the region.
“We greatly appreciate the teachers and organizations who share this opportunity with their students and communities, and provide support as they work through the process of creating a film,” Roth says.
Roth hopes the Environmental Literacy Film Festival will raise an awareness and understanding of local environmental issues.
“People have long been moved to action due to something they saw on film,” Roth says. “Films have the potential to influence real change, and the Environmental Literacy Film Festival gives students an opportunity to start that journey. It’s our hope that students and the audience will further their awareness and understanding of local environmental issues, and that students will see the impact their voice can have when they use it to influence positive change.
All student submissions must be received no later than March 31. View criteria for student film submissions: https://bit.ly/3ccjfTb,