Thursday, June 29, 2017

IMAX and UN Environment Release Documentary by BHS Film Students

On the Backs of Salmon, one of two documentaries produced by students in Ballard High School’s Digital Filmmaking Program for IMAX, premiered June 5 on IMAX’s and UN Environment’s websites.  The premiere was timed to coincide with the United Nations’ World Environment Day – the largest annual event for global actions to protect the environment.  “We are so proud of the work created by these budding filmmakers, which shines a light on important environmental issues as well as their own creative abilities,” said IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond. 

The project is the result of a partnership between IMAX In Focus (a component of IMAX Big Picture, their social responsibility effort) and United Nations’ Environment.  Ballard’s DFP was one of only five “exemplary” high school film programs across the nation chosen by IMAX and the All American High School Film Festival (AAHSFF) in New York City to produce environmental documentaries.  “We identified programs that… consistently submitted quality work,” said Tom Oliva, AAHSFF Executive Director.   IMAX awarded $5,000 to each program.  “The In Focus program aligns seamlessly with what we strive to achieve” Oliva said, “cultivating young filmmakers and recognizing their talented work."  

“The release of these documentaries on World Environment Day is a fitting testament to the importance of empowering our youth to use their voices to drive change for a better tomorrow,” said UN Environment Chief Erik Solheim.  “We support IMAX’s commitment to helping young filmmakers share these stories with a larger audience, hopefully resulting in changes that create a healthier environment.”