NRI’s Dr Conor Walsh says he’s “delighted and excited” to have been asked to be a judge for a children’s environmental short film competition. The films, which are between 30 and 60 seconds long, will demonstrate what practical steps young people are taking to help the environment around them. The idea is to inspire others and foster new ideas about how making small changes can have big impacts environmentally.
The competition is the brainchild of the Invicta National Academy, a free, interactive, online tuition service launched in June 2020, that helps children catch up on missed learning caused by a year and a half of lockdowns and school closures.
Anna Firth, co-founder of the Invicta Academy and a keen environmentalist, says the idea for a film competition came about when she was reading up on the forthcoming COP 26 meeting which will take place in Glasgow in November 2021.
Anna says: “There was loads of stuff about what government bigwigs are proposing to do to tackle climate change and I wanted to showcase things that were already happening and being done very effectively by children who are very often way ahead of the curve when it comes to good ideas. The short film competition will give kids on our summer programme, an outlet for their creative talents and hopefully inspire others to come up with great environment-friendly ideas too. It’s absolutely great to have a scientist of Dr Conor Walsh’s experience on our judging panel.”
The film competition is open to any child who has taken at least one Invicta lesson this summer and the focus will be on great ideas and a strong environmental message, rather than technical expertise. Children can film and edit on their phones or laptops and can work individually or in groups.
Dr Walsh says: “I’m really looking forward to being a judge and seeing the films that the Invicta children have made. It’s so important that we get young ones involved from an early age and engage with them on ideas for living in a more eco-friendly way. And who knows, perhaps some of this year’s competition entrants will go on to study these topics in years to come?”
Ideas for films range from making a bee hotel, collecting litter, upcycling clothes or buying locally produced fresh produce from nearby shops. The winner will receive £250, second place £150 and third place £100. Ten runners up will win £25 with a special prize going to ‘funniest film’.
Dr Walsh joins a panel of distinguished judges comprising Rachel Johnson from LBC, Baroness Anne Jenkin, Lord Lieutenant of Kent the Lady Colgrain and Richard Oldfield OBE.
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MSc in Global Environmental Change