Sparking Environmental Interest

Sparking Environmental Interest

The GreenShorts film festival was an exciting component of the GreenSparks program in which students were encouraged to exercise their creative muscles and make short films reflecting their environmental interests.

Southern California GreenShorts Film Competition

GreenShorts is a film contest that encouraged Southern California high school students to share environmental narratives that are important to them. Students submitted short films that were 3 minutes long or less. To get important environmental information out in a joyful manner that was relevant to them, creative license was encouraged.  It was a great educational opportunity that also gave participants a chance to show off their creative flair.

From 2018 to 2021, students got creative with our annual short film competition, GreenShorts, showcasing the best student-produced environmental films from southern California and Louisiana.  To get a sense of the spectacular films young students submit, check out the 2020 winning films and the 2021 winning films on YouTube.

Categories included:

  • Climate Trailblazers: Activists or communities making a positive climate impact
  • No Justice, No Green: The intersection of environmentalism and social justice issues
  • Ready, Set, Action!: Solutions for the environment and sustainability
  • Wild California: Animals, plants, or natural systems found in the great outdoors
  • Out of the Box: Inspired by the environment, let your creativity run wild
  • Power Poetry: Slam poetry about the environmental crisis we face


Submitted films were judged by a distinguished panel of film industry experts including: 

  • Mark Cappellano, Director, Skyscrape Foundation
  • Wendy Milette: Director, Media Arts Education at The MY HERO Project
  • Janice Min, Media Executive
  • Ted Richane, Director, Engagement & Impact at Vulcan Productions
  • Jesse Sisgold, President and COO, Skydance Media
  • Whitney Weibel, Expert in Environmental Education and Communication
  • Fiseeha Moges, Da Poetry Lounge Slam Winner

This festival was free to enter and ran from 2018 to 2021.  

GreenShorts in the IoES Magazine

View the 2021 GreenShorts Film Festival Ceremony

High school students across Southern California submitted 61 short films tackling environmental issues for the 5th annual GreenShorts film competition. We received wonderful, amazing films, and it was hard to narrow them down. Winners were announced on June 10th during a virtual ceremony.

GreenShorts Mentor Program: Pairing UCLA and High School Students

In 2019, high school students were invited to join the GreenShorts mentoring project. Students were paired with a UCLA scientific mentor and worked with experts on developing their films. Students who applied expanded their science network and improved their skills in filmmaking. 

The mentor program is no longer active.