Over 100 community members and water professionals turned out to celebrate the launch of the 5th annual Water: Take 1 Film Festival at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach hotel held Wednesday night, Sept. 21. City of Ventura Councilmembers Carl Morehouse and Jim Monahan were among the local dignitaries present.
Morehouse told the crowd that the city’s film festival has a global reach. It’s also launched a year-round dialogue that has grown to include two annual events plus a monthly newsletter. “This invites an international audience to share our message online,” Morehouse said.
“Water: Take 1 is a homegrown campaign that keeps the conversation going not only about the importance of local sustainable initiatives, but also the global perspective that sharpens our local focus back to a ‘one water’ mindset as you will see tonight,” said the event host, Ventura Water General Manager Shana Epstein.
Water: Take 1 aims to create a greater awareness of water as a valuable resource by inviting filmmakers worldwide to submit short films of five minutes or less in any genre – drama, documentary, comedy, animation, sci-fi or experimental – that address the topic of water. Awards include the Audience Choice Award, voted on by the general public with the winner receiving an iPad; the award for Best Student Short Film, chosen by a jury of entertainment and water industry experts with a GoPro camera for a prize; the Grand Prize of $1,500 presented by Ventura Water; and the Ventura Vision Award, which recognizes films shot in and around Ventura and offers a $500 cash prize.
Film submissions are now being accepted through Dec. 14. Winners will be announced at a celebration event to be held in Ventura in the spring of 2017. Last year, 48 films were entered from around the globe.
Expanding on last year’s efforts to engage other local water agencies, the Palmdale Water District was introduced as a new partner and is sponsoring the Palmdale Vision Award, recognizing films that best represent its mission and objectives, also for a $500 cash prize. The Palmdale Water District was the 2015 grand prizewinner for their humor-filled film entry, The Conservation Enforcer.
Other new film festival partners this year include Change the Course (http://changethecourse.us), a national movement to engage the public, the community and corporations to restore fresh water to people and nature, and Waves for Water (www.wavesforwater.org), which has a focused international mission to bring clean water to the entire world.
Finally, Epstein thanked the many sponsors and partners who made Water: Take 1 possible. Sponsors included: Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach, Palmdale Water District, Nossaman, Carollo Engineering, Hopkins Groundwater Consultants and Kennedy/ Jenks Consultants. Strategic Sponsors included: Alliance for Water Efficiency, CAPS-TV, Dexter’s Camera, Downtown Ventura Partners, Ventura Chamber of Commerce Green Task Force, California-Nevada Section American Water Works Association, Association of Water Agencies: Ventura County, Surfrider Foundation-Ventura County Chapter, Never Without a Picture, Ventura Hillside Conservancy, Friends of the Ventura River, Ventura Film Society, Matilija Coalition, Film Ventura, CA, City of Ventura Parks, Recreation and Community Partnerships, Ventura Unified School District and the Ventura City Fire Department.