UW-Tacoma to Host First Ever Puyallup River Film Festival

The University of Washington-Tacoma will host the first ever film festival focused on the Puyallup River Watershed this fall. All who are passionate about the watershed are invited to submit videos to be considered for screening.

With a generous grant from The Russell Family Foundation, the University of Washington Tacoma will host the first ever film festival focused on our own Puyallup River Watershed.  

Thanks to 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.

All individuals, schools (middle schools, high schools, and colleges/universities) and non-profit organizations located in or working in the watershed are invited to submit videos related to issues affecting the Puyallup River and its tributaries.

The videos should be between 2 and 3 minutes in length and any digital format will be accepted, and "the more inventive and original, the better," according to the UW-Tacoma release.

All entries will be screened during an evening film festival in late October that will be open to the public. Details have not yet been confirmed. 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 new 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 UW Tacoma’s documentary, Water Undone: The Efforts to Save the Puyallup River Watershed, released in 2010. It was funded by The Russell Family Foundation and UWT’s Founders Endowment; it is viewable online.  

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 this documentary from UW-Tacoma.

The video details the interwoven watershed-river system that supplies water for drinking, irrigation, recreation, food and wildlife. The student-produced film explores issues of urbanization and threats to the Puget Sound area's water supply. It outlines a case for improvement: Puget Sound and start with the watersheds.

The creators and supporters of Water Undone want to see fresh ideas and different approaches to getting information on watershed issues out to the public, so they are asking locals to be the filmmakers.

To see an example, watch this video What is a Watershed?, created by students at Tacoma’s Lincoln High School.

If you are interested in the film festival, but do not have access to a video camera, you can still participate. The university department has easy-to-use video cameras aspiring documentary filmmakers can borrow for filming, and project staff is available for guidance.

For assistance, please email Jim Gawel at UW-Tacoma.  

To enter your team in the film festival competition, please register online before May 1, 2013.

Entries must be delivered on DVD by October 11, 2013, to:

Jim Gawel

University of Washington Tacoma

1900 Commerce St.

Campus Box 358436

Tacoma, WA 98402


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