Northwest film contest now seeking submissions
Release Date: 05-19-2010

PORTLAND, Ore. – A collaborative managed by Portland-based Ecotrust seeks submissions of short films that focus on the human, ecological and economic benefits of whole watershed restoration in the Northwest. The contest offers $3,500 in total prize money for two categories of filmmakers: 21-and-over, and 20-and-under. The deadline for submissions is July 19.

The Stories From Our Watersheds contest encourages residents of communities throughout the Pacific Northwest to produce low-cost, short digital films that capture the benefits of community-based watershed and habitat restoration. Each film short (10 minutes or less) should illustrate what whole watershed restoration means to the filmmaker (or group of filmmakers) – how and why it inspires them.

Films must be about whole watershed restoration in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington, Idaho). Special consideration will be given to films that highlight restoration occurring in priority basins: The north and south coasts of Oregon, John Day, Lower Columbia, Puget Sound, and Upper Columbia, and the focus watersheds within these basins. The contest is managed by Ecotrust on behalf of the Whole Watershed Restoration Initiative (WWRI), a collaborative effort between Ecotrust, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, the PNW Region of the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and others. The WWRI has supported the restoration of 3,450 acres and 120 stream miles of native fish and wildlife habitat in high priority basins in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

If possible, try and include a person, organization or agency near your community that’s been involved in the WWRI. A list of contacts can be found here.

Filmmakers are encouraged to focus their creativity on making a film that recognizes and reinforces the nature-human relationships that form the fabric of communities. The film is not meant to be a political statement. It may result in that, but that cannot be its sole purpose. Films that focus on expressing a feeling about a place – a sense of place, a mood – will be given special consideration. Films must look at how watershed restoration influences and affects human life in ways including: local job creation, community-building, and hands-on learning opportunities.

All film contest entries will be posted on YouTube for consideration by the public, but final winners are chosen by a committee comprised of WWRI representatives. The contest opens today and entries are due no later than 5pm on July 19, 2010. The judges will prioritize films developed for the contest, but film shorts developed within the last year will also be considered.

Contest Rules, Terms and Conditions

The contest is open to residents of the United States. All entries must be sent via DVD to Ecotrust between May 19 and July 19, 2010. No entries will be accepted after 5pm on July 19, 2010.

Entries must be sent to:
Stories from our Watersheds 
c/o Ecotrust
721 NW Ninth Ave, Suite 2001
Portland, Oregon, 97209

Winners must be available for an awards ceremony at Ecotrust on August 17, 2010.

Entry Fee: There is no entry fee. No cash will be accepted.

Eligibility: Included with your DVD submission must be a signed letter indicating that you own the film, and a brief one-paragraph description of your film. If you are below the age of 18, your parent/guardian must also provide written permission for you to enter the contest, which is due with your film entry. Adults may assist film development, but the film must be primarily the work product of those submitting the material. Group projects are welcome; groups will receive one award and decide how to divide the award within the group. WWRI grantees are encouraged to enter the film contest and share stories of restoration in their watersheds. Employees of sponsor organizations (Ecotrust, NOAA, US Forest Service, OWEB, etc.) are not eligible to enter the contest.

Releases and Copyrighted Material: All winners must sign and submit a release form (for minors a parent or guardian must sign) that will be distributed with a winner notification letter. If your film contains any copyrighted material (music for example) the filmmaker will be responsible for securing the licensing rights. (To avoid the expense and difficulty of securing such rights we recommend using only original, non-copyrighted material or material licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license).

Prizes: There is a grand prize and runner-up in both categories. The grand prizes will be awarded to the film that captures the filmmaker’s understanding of whole watershed restoration in a manner that sets it apart from other entries. Prizes will be awarded at the discretion of the judges; not all prizes have to be awarded in all categories.

• 21-and-over: $1,250 (winner), $750 runner-up
• 20-and-under: $1000 (winner), $500 runner-up

Film Type / Length / Format: Entries must be documentaries. Videos will be ORIGINAL and no more than 10 minutes in length. All films will be produced in MPEG 2 or MPEG 4 format. We will accept your film in MPEG 2, MPEG 4 or DVD only, regardless of original shooting format. No films will be returned, so please keep a copy. DVDs must be playable on US consumer grade DVD players. DVDs must not include labels or stickers on the DVD, please use a permanent black pen to write the project title and contact name on the DVD. We reserve the right to ask for resubmissions.

Student or Group Films: Student films made with funding from a university or other institution are welcome, but if the school or institution holds the rights to the film, they will need to include a signed note giving permission for the film to be submitted to this contest (alternatively, an email with permissions can be sent to seth AT ecotrust DOT org). Group films (films submitted with more than one filmmaker) are welcome, though each individual filmmaker must submit a separate letter with the single submission of the film. If the film was made as a class project for the student/youth category, the teacher or school administrator will need to sign the letter, as well as include one signed by each student and with his/her parent/guardian if he/she is under 18.

Permissions: All entry materials will be kept by Ecotrust. All winners’ and runner-up entries may be used in whole or in part to promote Ecotrust and WWRI partners’ work. These promotions may include television PSAs, radio PSAs, or streaming video on the Web for Ecotrust and/or any one of the WWRI partner organizations. By submitting a film to the contest, you give Ecotrust and all WWRI partners the right to use your film in these important ways.


About Ecotrust 
Over nearly 20 years, Ecotrust has converted $60 million in grants into more than $300 million in capital for local people, businesses, and organizations from Alaska to California. Ecotrust’s many innovations include co-founding the world’s first environmental bank, starting the world’s first ecosystem investment fund, creating a range of programs in fisheries, forestry, food, farms and children’s health, and developing new scientific and information tools to improve social, economic and environmental decision-making. Ecotrust works locally in ways that promise hope abroad, and it honors and supports the wisdom of Native and First Nation leadership in its work. More on the Web at