Montery Bay CUE’s Annual Student Powered Film Festival took place on April 22nd at 7pm PST on MBCUE’s YouTube channel (Live Premiere). [If you missed watching it live, check it out here.] The annual event aims at promoting technology use with young film makers; this year’s theme focused on Earth Day and Conservation.

MBCUE Vice President Paul Dietrich gives us the details for their annual event that’s inspiring creativity in young directors, scriptwriters, and cinematographers across the MB Area.

For those unfamiliar with the event, what is the MBCUE Film Festival?

PD: The MBCUE Student Powered Film Festival is a festival focused on the importance of Earth Day and Conservation. Earth Day 2021 marks our 4th annual film festival! Students from all grade levels (K-12) research a specific topic that they’re interested about (example: pollution, animal extinction, global warming, etc.) and create a PSA-like message to inform the public.

What inspired your affiliate to start this event specifically geared for your younger film makers?

PD: MBCUE’s primary focus is to help support the growth and development of educators through the use of technology. This, in turn, assists educators in enhancing their instruction for the most important audience of all: students. The Student Powered Film Festival was an opportunity for students to learn about the importance of our planet and environmental conservation through collaboration and filmmaking.

Projects like this are so powerful because it’s something that the students are interested in, it gives them a platform to have their voice heard, and they learn so much through their research. – Paul Dietrich

Are there typically themes for the video submissions? Or is it student free choice?

PD: Students can choose any topic they choose so long as the focus is centered on Earth Day and Conservation (topics range from global warming, the importance of recycling, animal extinction and conservation, pollution, and what others can do to help take care of our planet).

Are there incentives for the students to participate? If so, what?

PD: Prior to this year, our film festivals typically had a combination of cash-and-sponsored prizes. This year, the top three finalists in each of the three grade bands (K-5, 6-8, and 9-12) each had cash prizes.

What does your community think about this event?

PD: Everyone that we’ve spoken to and received feedback from absolutely loves the Film Festival because of it’s focus and how students are learning about the importance of conservation.

Anything else you would like to share with our OnCUE readers?

PD: The films that the students create are absolutely amazing. A huge shoutout and thank you to all of the participating students and teachers, and an incredible “Thank you!” to all of the parents, guardians, and siblings that helped support our student filmmakers!

About Kristin Oropeza
Kristin is a full-time special education teacher, contract consultant, and educational content writer. She is a Google Certified Teacher (Level 1 and 2), Google Certified Trainer, and MIE Expert for 2020-2021.