With a grant from The Russell Family Foundation, the University of Washington-Tacoma will host the first-ever film festival focused on the Puyallup River Watershed.
The festival invites all individuals, middle schools, high schools, and colleges or universities and non-profit organizations located in the watershed to submit two- to three-minute videos related to issues affecting the Puyallup River and its tributaries. Any digital format will be accepted.
The festival will screen all entries in an evening film festival in late October that will be open to the public. Winners in each category will be selected by the audience and prizes will be awarded. All entries will be made available to the public to view on a website being developed to showcase educational materials and outreach efforts in the Puyallup River Watershed.
The idea for this festival comes from the making of UWT’s documentary, "Water Undone: The Efforts to Save the Puyallup River Watershed," released in 2010 that was funded by The Russell Family Foundation and UWT’s Founders Endowment.
The Puyallup River watershed is a major source of freshwater into Puget Sound through Commencement Bay in Tacoma. But it suffers from a multitude of pollution problems, including policies on "land use favoring paving and shingles," as detailed in the UWT documentary. The program takes viewers through the interwoven watershed-river system that supplies water for drinking, irrigation, recreation, food, wildlife and the natural beauty of the Northwest. It explains how spreading urbanization threatens the Puget Sound area's water supply and lays out the case for improvement: to clean up Puget Sound, start with the watersheds.
Since hour-long documentaries are often too long for use in most classrooms, and students and the public want short videos that they can watch on YouTube or on their cell phones, the creators of Water Undone want to see fresh ideas and different approaches to getting information on watershed issues out to the public. To see an example created by students at Tacoma’s Lincoln High School, go to view their video, "What is a Watershed?"
If you are interested, but do not have access to a video camera, don’t despair since sponsors have easy-to-use video cameras film makers can borrow for filming. Project staff are also available for presentations and expert assistance. Register at https://catalyst.uw.edu/webq/survey/jimgawel/192838 before May 1, to participate.