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Ashley Judd helps launch "green" film festival

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Link provided to watch festival's plea for entries

By The Staff

Golden-Globe nominated, Kentucky-raised actress Ashley Judd has joined Kentucky's first lady Jane Beshear to launch the first “Green Team Kentucky Online Film Festival.” 

The launch was done using the same technology that hundreds of Kentuckians will use to enter the competition — a YouTube video, broadcast over the Internet. To watch the video, go to www.greenteam.ky.gov/filmfestival.

The Online Film Festival is an initiative of the first lady’s Green Team designed to inspire, teach and encourage individuals to take steps to improve our environment. Everyone is welcome to participate, but Mrs. Beshear especially encourages participation from Kentucky’s strongest advocates for sustainable environmental activism, its youth.

“The generation growing up today will continue to lead us to develop more sustainable practices for our commonwealth, improve our economy and preserve Kentucky’s natural beauty,”  Mrs. Beshear said.  “They have some wonderful ideas.  It’s time for them to share those ideas with the world.”

As an additional incentive, the competition finalists will be judged by a panel of celebrities with Kentucky roots, led by Judd. Other judges are environmental activist Robert Kennedy Jr., Kentucky-born actresses Florence Henderson and Laura Bell Bundy, award-winning directors Gus Van Sant and Gill Holland,  rap group Nappy Roots, award-winning Kentucky author Silas House, public radio voice Bob Edwards and University of Kentucky basketball coach Billy Gillispie.

“I’m so proud of our state’s natural beauty, and we need to keep it that way,” said Judd on the video release. “It is my hope that this film festival will be one step in our important journey to protect our environment. So I encourage all Kentuckians — especially you kids out there — to enter your film in this festival. I can’t wait to judge the finalists.”

Over the next few weeks, students from across Kentucky are being encouraged to show through films how to conserve energy, recycle, and find new and interesting ways to turn the commonwealth green. 

 “With our budget challenges, it’s more important than ever to find ways to cut down on our energy use,” said Jonathan Miller, secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet.  “Young people across the state have already caught on.  We just want them to share with us their ideas and so we can start making a difference across the commonwealth.”

Films may be entered in three categories: a 30-second Public Service Announcement that encourages Kentuckians to reduce their energy consumption;  a short film of 10 minutes or less that highlights environmentally friendly, energy-saving actions that anyone can and should perform; and a short film of 10 minutes or less that presents an invention, new device or new idea that would help reduce energy consumption in Kentucky. 

Filmmakers can visit www.greenteam.ky.gov/filmfestival for the link to the festival’s YouTube channel. 

Films must be submitted by midnight Dec. 31. Beginning Jan. 1, visitors to the Green Team Web site will be able to vote for their favorites, and 10 finalists in each category will be selected. The finalists then will be viewed by the celebrity judges, who will  select a winner in each category. Winners will be announced on Earth Day 2009, the first anniversary of the launch of the Green Team.

All entry information, answers to frequently asked questions, as well as a helpful demonstration film produced for kids by kids, is available at www.greenteam.ky.gov/filmfestival.