Our 2021-22 Redford Center Stories Filmmaking Challenge is Now Closed.

Each year, The Redford Center invites students in 5th to 12th grades to tell their story, raise their voice, and help change the conversation about environmentalism and environmental justice to help move more people into action!

This year’s Challenge empowered students as the visionary leaders of environmental impact storytelling, inviting them to submit a 90-second environmental film that paints a bold and hopeful portrait of our future, illustrates their personal commitment as young and proud environmentalists, and inspires both grassroots and global community action. A panel of esteemed judges with an impressive history of impact in the film industry and environmental advocacy and education will review the students’ work and recognize several films for distinction, as well as award a grand prize winner. Redford Center Stories also offers a free and flexible curriculum with media, stories, and resources to support students, teachers, and communities.

The film submission portal is now closed. Winners will be announced on Earth Day, April 22nd, 2022. Stay tuned for more updates!


2021-22 Redford Center Stories Filmmaking Challenge Prompts:

Prompt #1:
The future I envision is…

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What do you envision for the future of our world and our environment? A vision statement is a powerful thing to imagine and share with others so that communities can come together who share similar goals and missions. They can be inspiring and energizing to collective action. The Redford Center envisions a world in equitable balance, where human and planetary health and justice are fundamental values driving action. What future do you envision? How can we work to make it a reality? It might be a letter/poem from your future self that tells us how you responded to the moment we are in. 

Prompt #2:
I’m an environmentalist because…

This is your opportunity to stake your claim as an “environmentalist.” What are you fighting for? How are you investing in environmental justice, protection, and/or regeneration? What are you doing to meet the moment? You might share a story you’re moved to tell from your own community that reflects what environmentalism and climate justice looks/feels like.

Prompt #3:
A call to action. 

Create a public service announcement (PSA) that creates awareness about, or shows the importance and impact of, a problem facing the environment, or the communities most impacted by the climate emergency. What do you want your audience to feel and to know? What behavioral change do you hope to people will make, and how can you help inspire this change? You might take the opportunity to tell the story of your environment (the good and the bad). Research/identify threats to your home town + solutions to address these threats. What solutions have been tried? What are things individual people can do? What systemic changes are needed? Provide a suggested solution and a tangible way to take action.


Storytelling Strategies

Approaches to storytelling that Robert Redford and James Redford employ and that serve as foundational elements for The Redford Center’s original storytelling work, including:

    • Solutions-focused stories to offer a more hopeful view of the future and to help audiences understand how they can play a role.
    • Telling stories through characters so that audiences can see themselves in the story and also be educated on how the issue affects them.
    • Prioritizing entertainment and working to make the film fun, funny, surprising, enlightening, beautiful, emotional, musical, hip and more.
    • Clarifying the impact goal of the story before starting a project.
    • Creating nonpartisan stories, meaning that the story doesn’t align with one political ideology but rather appeals to universal values.
    • Taking an innovative storytelling approach, including trying out risky ideas and using creative camera angles and other visual storytelling tools and techniques.
    • Showcasing unlikely characters and stories so that all audiences, even those that don’t readily identify as environmentalists, see themselves as part of the story and the solution.

Sign-up for Redford Center Stories to Participate