By Derek Sabori
This past weekend, I was on hand with Ana Rothwell, the founder of the Leaders of Environmental Action Films (L.E.A.F.), to present and screen the 2011 Top 15
selections at the Newport Bay Conservancy's
Earth Day Celebration. This is the second year that the event, located at the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center at the Upper Newport Back Bay, has hosted Volcom
and L.E.A.F. partners.
The entries this year were amazing! The quality of the work that these high school students are entering is great. There were so many entries that had thought-provoking messages along with A+ video and audio quality – it was really difficult to narrow them down to just 15, but we did it.
On hand Sunday were many of the students that had produced pieces for the contest as well as their families. Both were obviously excited to see their works on the big screen and after the screening, Ana and I took time to meet with the students to talk about the L.E.A.F. program and their potentially winning entries. Parents and students alike were very appreciative of the opportunity and seeing their excitement and appreciation was indeed rewarding.
Also on hand was the 2010 1st Place and Celebrity’s Choice winner Mattan Cohen. Mattan addressed the crowd and showed his appreciation for what the L.E.A.F. program has done for his future:
"Winning the L.E.A.F. contest last year was incredible! Aside from the astonishing prizes I won, I have to say the ultimate gain was putting L.E.A.F. on the top of my resume to apply for colleges. It looks incredibly impressive to say on paper that you've won a film contest sponsored by a long list of leaders of business, entertainment, academia and the environment.”
Mattan went on to announce that he had been accepted to USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, thanks in large part he said, to his 2010 L.E.A.F. winning entry. Coincidentally, Mattan was a multiple award winner at last year’s Newport Beach Film Festival’s Youth Showcase presented by Volcom.