Estes Valley Land Trust Announces Film Festival Awards and $8,000 in Scholarships

The Estes Valley Land Trust, Bird & Jim and the Estes Park School District recently hosted the second annual Student Nature Film Festival. Twenty-two student filmmakers competed for three scholarships, totaling $8,000. “We had more films submitted this year than in the past and had a difficult time narrowing down which films to show at the festival,” said Joanna Maggetti, Estes Valley Land Trust Business Manager. The films ranged in themes from water conservation to deforestation, to the environmental costs and benefits of electric vehicles. “The variety of films was a pleasure to see; each film was original and reflected the student’s personality,” said Maggetti.

The films were screened in front of a local audience and a panel of four judges. The judges included local nature filmmaker Nick Molle, retired school teacher Steve Johnson, land trust member Alicia Rochambeau, and Bird & Jim co-owner and land trust board member Melissa Strong. Each film was scored based upon its cinematography, editing, complexity, and originality. The judges also considered the student’s participation in the film festival’s panel discussion before finalizing their scores. The scores of the three winning films were very close.

The three winning films were produced by five students: Lily-Ann Smith (grand prize of $4,000); Joseph Patrick Cramer (2nd place prize of $2,500); and Michael Bird, Lucy Leija, and Olivia Shirk (3rd place prize of $500 each). “High school senior Lily-Ann won this year by a razor thin margin. Ultimately, her thorough research, variety of credible sources, and her film’s strong connection to the natural environment won her the grand prize,” said Executive Director Jeffrey Boring.

The three winning films can be viewed on the Estes Valley Land Trust’s Youtube page.

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