The Redford Center, Apple and 4Ocean Team Up to Build Youth Climate Leadership Through New Environmental Video Contest

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Redford Center Stories invites 6th, 7th and 8th teachers and students to reimagine materials production, use and waste in the 2019-2020 school year.

The Redford Center, an environmental film and media nonprofit co-founded by filmmaker James Redford, and his father, actor Robert Redford, is launching its newest program with Redford Center Stories,

With youth across the globe bringing an infusion of energy and engagement to climate movements, The Redford Center, an environmental film and media nonprofit co-founded by filmmaker James Redford, and his father, actor Robert Redford, is launching its newest program aimed at developing youth leadership. Redford Center Stories will engage students in interactive learning and creative storytelling for an environmental video contest with winners announced on Earth Day (April 22, 2020) in partnership with Apple.

“The Redford family has a decades-long legacy of storytelling to advance environmental progress, which guides all of The Redford Center’s work,” says executive director Jill Tidman. “Redford Center Stories is one way we’re growing that tradition, by offering a model to young people for sharing their stories and building their own environmental legacies.”

For the program’s pilot year, The Redford Center is inviting 6th, 7th and 8th grade teachers with iPad-equipped classrooms to integrate the Contest activities, including team-based video production, into their fall 2019 or early spring 2020 lesson plans. Apple partnered with The Redford Center to support the development of the curriculum and fund the contest. The Contest curriculum, which satisfies Next Generation Science Standards, is designed as a supplement to scheduled learning in Earth Science, Environmental Science, Ecology, Economics and other established courses that touch upon environmental topics and issues.

“Young people are speaking. Bold voices like Greta Thunberg’s are urging us all to take climate action now,” said Lisa Jackson, Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives at Apple. “We are thrilled to partner with The Redford Center to lift up more voices like Greta’s and give them tools to create content that inspires real change to protect our planet for the generations to come.”

The 2019-2020 Contest theme, “Reimagining Materials Production, Use and Waste,” will challenge students to define and understand two distinct economic models that produce very different environmental outcomes: The Linear Economy vs. The Circular Economy. Each team of three to four students will then work collaboratively to deliver their idea for how to get to a zero-waste future through a 30- to 90-second video story that they create using Clips, Apple’s free app for iOS, that makes it easy to create and share fun videos using an iPhone or iPad.

“This was a fantastic curriculum to work with,” says Leah Lacrosse, a teacher in Huron, Ohio who beta tested the curriculum in spring 2019 in tandem with a planned student engineering challenge and community service project. “We had movie making and storytelling happening in the same room where they were creating woven mats out of recycled plastic bags to include in care packages for homeless community members. Very cool way to close up the school year, and I’m excited to roll it out in full scale this fall!”

The official prize partner for this year’s contest is 4Ocean, the environmental enterprise founded by American surfers, Alex Schulze and Andrew Cooper, after an eye-opening trip to Indonesia, where the pair witnessed the severity of ocean plastic pollution. The grand prize, which will be awarded to one team from each of three grade levels, is a trip to 4Ocean’s headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida, where the students will see first-hand how the seed of an idea, like those they will develop for the Contest, can grow into a positive global initiative.

“Young people are crystallizing the climate crisis in a way that veteran environmentalists have struggled to do for years. They know they have the most to lose—and gain—from the decisions we make today regarding the environment,” says James Redford. “This is truly a now-or-never moment for all of us, and youth are proving to be the most effective voices in driving climate action today. They’re leading the way, we’re just here to help. That’s what this contest is all about.”

About The Redford Center (redfordcenter.org):
Co-founded by Robert Redford and his son James in 2005, The Redford Center is a 501(c)(3) organization that harnesses the power of documentary films and impact campaigns to help tip the scales on critical environmental and social issues. The Redford Center’s original productions include: Fighting Goliath: Texas Coal Wars (2008) which helped prevent the construction of 177 new coal-powered plants. Watershed: Exploring a New Water Ethic for the New West (2012) which secured $10 million to support on-the-ground restoration work and obtain water rights for the delta region. The Redford Center’s current film and campaign, Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution (2017) has been viewed nearly two million times in the U.S. alone since its HBO broadcast premier in December 2017 and won “Best Environmental Film” at the 2018 NYWILD Film Festival. The organization’s next original production, The Nature Film (in production), will personalize the climate crisis by exploring the scientific and cultural links between wilderness conservation, community access to the outdoors, and human health and wellness. The Redford Center Grants program provides funding, filmmaker support, and networking opportunities to filmmakers with feature film projects in early development that are focused on driving awareness, education and tangible action on a variety of environmental topics. The Redford Center’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program extends its nonprofit status and filmmaking experience to support kindred environmental impact film and media projects. To learn more, please visit redfordcenter.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vimeo and YouTube.

About 4Ocean (4ocean.com):
The story begins when Alex and Andrew take a surf trip to Bali Indonesia that would inevitably change their lives and the fate of the ocean. Devastated by the amount of plastic in the ocean, they set out to find out why no one was doing anything about it. One afternoon they came across an old fishing village where fishermen were literally pushing their boat through piles of plastic that had washed up on shore. The two surfers realized that the proliferation of plastic threatened both the ocean environment and the fishermen's livelihood. Could the fishermen use their nets, they wondered, to pull the plastic from the ocean? This idea stuck with the 2 surfers and they knew it was time to hit the drawing board. After realizing that the demand for seafood was driving the fishermen to focus on fish instead of plastic, they knew they had to create something that could fund the desired cleanup efforts. This is how the 4ocean Bracelet was born. Made with recycled materials, every bracelet purchased funds the removal of 1 pound of trash from the ocean and coastlines. In less than 2 years, 4ocean has removed 6,174,455 pounds of trash from the ocean and coastlines. 4ocean currently operates out of multiple countries and employs over 150 people worldwide.

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