Friday, February 11, 2011


News release by Stephanie Leach

1 Minute to Save the World, an online international film competition, is proving that young people can have a huge impact on raising environmental awareness: from across the globe they have submitted one-minute films on the subject of climate change, making sure that their voices are heard by the world leaders and advisers who determine policy. They are the next generation of environmental activists using the internet and film to get their messages and ideas seen and heard by mass audiences online.

The competition, in its second year, has received films from young filmmakers around the world; from Mexico to Thailand, India to Vietnam. People of all ages took the opportunity to broadcast their messages to a global audience, with some films shown at the COP16 Climate Change conference in Cancun in December 2010. Judges included actor/director Frank Oz, documentary filmmaker Bruce Parry, director and climate change activist Shekhar Kapur, the UNICEF UK Climate Youth Ambassadors, and Google Green Business Operations' Ben Kotts.

The Artists Project Earth ( APE ) Youth Visions award for best film has gone to a talented group of children from Nairobi with their up-beat, hip-hop message to ‘get on your bike and save the world'. The APE Youth Vision Award offered a prize of £5000 for best film PLUS proposal as to how the money would be spent. The young people from Nairobi won the judges over with their funky film and proposal to spend the money on making a further series of six films addressing issues in the developing world such as turning waste into energy, making cash from trash and conscious consumerism. APE Award judge, Bruce Parry said, "It's a simple message with a lot of heart and great lyrics: 'More or less in control' - love it!" "Me and My Bike" also took the Best Film Award sponsored by Passion Pictures.

The Best Youth Film Award, sponsored by Unicef and SONY Open Planet, was won by the children and staff at Wilbury Primary School, Class 4B, in the UK for their film, "Give the Colours Back to the Earth". "The children are thrilled to have won first prize " said Headteacher Sandra Heaviside. "It is a tremendous achievement as it was our first attempt at this kind of competition. The children are very concerned about the effects of climate change, and were very enthusiastic to present their ideas in the form of an animation". SONY's Emily Nicoll who sat on the judging panel, stated that the film carried "evocative storytelling, passionate narration and lovely animation, combining to set out the issues and to seek solutions in children's ideas and actions." The UNICEF Youth Climate Ambassadors said that "the innocence of the children's voices is contrasted against the somber message and helps convey how they will be affected most" The winners will receive the new SONY NEX VG10 camcorder, with runners-up winning a Latitude E4300 Laptop and Minos Ultra 60 min. FlipCam.

The winning films will now be widely distributed across the internet encouraging positive action and change at a grass roots level.

Following the announcement of the winners, The 1 Minute to Save the World 2011 competition is due to start shortly inviting a new batch of young activists to join the fight against global warming armed with cameras and talent. We've seen an empowered generation issue a stern mandate through eco-activism and entertainment; we look now to continue to remind those with the capacity to make tangible change that it is urgent they do so.

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