Winners of the World Oceans Day Video Contest Announced!

In honor of World Oceans Day, we decided to start a video contest by asking students ages 12-18 to send in a one-minute video telling us what the ocean means to them. We were astounded by the quality of the 65 videos submissions we received, and excitement the project generated across the country. We even received submissions from Mexico and Canada. The enthusiasm of the students was incredible, and the support garnered by these young filmmakers from museums, theaters and communities was nothing short of inspiring.

Though the process was difficult, we narrowed the contestants down to 8 standouts. We then put all 8 videos on our website to allow the public to vote for their favorite.

Sonny Ison’s video, entitled The Beach, was given the Grand Prize based on having the best quality, editing, message, and content. A Los Angeles native and freshman at University High School in West LA, Ison is an active football player, and wants to be in the NFL. He is also passionate about hiking, swimming and writing, and hopes to be published one day. He has been interested in the ocean since watching the Discovery channel as a child, and became transfixed by marine life from the instant he first saw an octopus. He discovered the World Oceans Day Contest through his biology class, when it was assigned as an extra credit assignment. Knowing the importance of the ocean to our everyday life, he decided to use humor in order to get people’s attention. When he heard he was the Grand Prize Winner he said this was the first contest he had ever entered, and that winning was a true honor.

“I wouldn’t want anything more but to win this contest,” he said.

His video is truly one of a kind, offering music, humor, and a strong ocean message.

Ella Van Cleave, a student and teenage activist from Victoria, Canada, won the public voting hands down, receiving over 800 “likes” for her video. The freshman at Glenlyon Norfolk School who presented at last year’s TEDxYouth conference in Victoria, received a lot of attention with support from Royal BC Museum and IMAX Theater, and appeared on a radio show in order to promote her video! In honor of her amazing contribution to ocean conservation we awarded her Best Conservation Message and are truly impressed with her dedication and spirit for such a worthy cause. Since One World One Ocean’s newest film, To The Arctic opened at the Royal BC Museum, they tied in the film opening with the contest by kindly pledging to donate $2 from every opening day ticket purchased for To The Arctic to an environmental charity of Van Cleave’s choice. After judging was completed, Ella graciously decided to split the proceeds between One World One Ocean and Sea Shepherd.

The Most Humorous category featured a tie for first place. One Student, One Ocean by freshman Ben Madison and junior Mitchell Mack, at Woodcreek High School in Roseville, near Sacramento, CA, won because of its wit and creativity in using puns and expressing ocean knowledge at the same time. Their video was one of three entries from the same media class, where a teacher discovered the contest and incorporated it into the class curriculum.

The other winner for Most Humorous was Alex Baird from Rossville, TN for his video Thinking Like A Fish, which used animation as well as information to imaginatively relay his ocean message. Alex is an eighth grader at Rossville Christian Academy, and was supported by the CTI IMAX Theater in Memphis who helped promote his video on their website.

Winning Best Video From a Non-Coastal City was James Griffith, a senior at Kent Denver School, whose video, Source to Sea shows him kayaking down a river in his hometown of Denver, CO, illustrating the important connection between all rivers and the ocean. Griffith, an avid kayaker, described how he aspires to maintain healthy rivers in order to contribute to the overall health of the ocean.

All of these videos are intelligent, creative, imaginative and professional. Each young filmmaker is truly talented, and we are honored that they shared their skills with us and our community. Thank you to all who participated!



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