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Stories From Our Watersheds Film Contest:
Summer 2010

Ecotrust seeks your short film about watersheds.

About the Contest

Stories From Our Watersheds is a film contest that encourages residents of communities throughout the Pacific Northwest to produce low-cost digital films that capture the benefits of community-based watershed and habitat restoration.

The contest welcomes short films that focus on the human, ecological and economic benefits of whole watershed restoration in the Northwest (all three benefits must be present in each film; more on this, below).

The contest is managed by Ecotrust on behalf of the Whole Watershed Restoration Initiative (WWRI), a collaborative effort between Ecotrust, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, the PNW Region of the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and others. The WWRI has supported the restoration of 3,450 acres and 120 stream miles of native fish and wildlife habitat in high priority basins in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

All film contest entries will be posted on YouTube (<10 min.) for consideration by the public, but final winners are chosen by a committee comprised of WWRI representatives. The contest will culminate on August 17, 2010 with an awards ceremony featuring the winning films. The event will take place at the Ecotrust Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center in Portland, Oregon. In the interest of time, only the winning films in each category will be shown at the awards ceremony.

Contest opens: May 19, 2010
Contest closes: July 19, 2010

Prize money:
• 21-and-over category: $1,250 (winner), $750 (runner-up)
• 20-and-under category: $1,000 (winner), $500 (runner-up)
Total prize money: $3,500

What We're Looking For

Film Content: Your film should illustrate what whole watershed restoration means to you — how and why it inspires you. Films must be about whole watershed restoration in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington, Idaho), with special consideration given to films that highlight restoration occurring in WWRI priority basins, (North and South Coasts of Oregon, John Day, Lower Columbia, Puget Sound, and Upper Columbia) and the Focus Watersheds within these basins (see link to map and list of contacts). Focus your creativity on making a film that recognizes and reinforces the nature-human relationships that form the fabric of communities. The film is not meant to be a political statement. It may result in that, but that cannot be its sole purpose. It should be a film that is focused on expressing a feeling about a place, a sense of place, a mood — a film that looks at how your understanding of whole watershed restoration influences and affects human life. Including the ripple effects of watershed restoration projects, such as local job creation, community-building, hands-on learning opportunities, etc. will be given special consideration. If possible, try and include a person, organization or agency near your community that’s been involved in the WWRI. A list of contacts can be found here. WWRI grantees are encouraged to enter the film contest and share stories of restoration in their watersheds.

Film Type / Length / Format: Entries must be documentaries. Videos will be ORIGINAL and less than 10 minutes in length. All films will be produced in MPEG 2 or MPEG 4 format. We will accept your film in MPEG 2, MPEG 4 or DVD only, regardless of original shooting format. No films will be returned, so please keep a copy. DVDs must be playable on US consumer grade DVD players. DVDs must not include labels or stickers on the DVD, please use a permanent black pen to write the project title and contact name on the DVD. We reserve the right to ask for resubmissions.

Rules, Terms and Conditions

The contest is open to residents of the United States. Employees of sponsor organizations (Ecotrust, NOAA, US Forest Service, OWEB, etc.) are not eligible to enter the contest. Recipients of WWRI grants are eligible to enter. All entries must by mailed to Ecotrust (DVDs that will be posted on a special YouTube channel dedicated to the contest; see technical requirements, below) between May 19 and July 19, 2010. No entries will be accepted after 5pm on July 19, 2010.

Entries must be mailed to:
"Stories From Our Watersheds"
c/o Ecotrust
721 NW Ninth Ave, Suite 200
Portland, Oregon, 97209

Winners should be available for an awards ceremony at Ecotrust on August 17, 2010.

Deadline: All submissions are due on or July 19, 2010 (8AM PST). No films will be accepted after this date.

Announcements: Winners will be contacted on July 21, 2010 (5PM PST). Judge’s decisions are final.

Entry Fee: There is no entry fee. No cash will be accepted.

Eligibility: Included with your DVD submission must be a signed letter indicating that you own the film, and a brief one-paragraph description of your film. If you are below the age of 18, your parent/guardian must also provide written permission for you to enter the contest, which is due with your film entry. Adults may assist film development, but the film must be primarily the work product of those submitting the material. Group projects are welcome; groups will receive one award and decide how to divide the award within the group. Employees of sponsor organizations are not eligible to enter the contest.

Releases and Copyrighted Material: All winners must sign and submit a release form (for minors a parent or guardian must sign) that will be distributed with a winner notification letter. If your film contains any copyrighted material (music for example) the filmmaker will be responsible for securing the licensing rights. (To avoid the expense and difficulty of securing such rights we recommend methods such as using only original, non-copyrighted material or material licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license).

Prizes: There is a grand prize and runner-up in both categories. The grand prizes will be awarded to the film that captures the filmmaker’s understanding of whole watershed restoration in a manner that sets it apart from other entries. Prizes will be awarded at the discretion of the judges; not all prizes have to be awarded in all categories.

• 21-and-over: $1,250 (winner), $750 runner-up
• 20-and-under: $1,000 (winner), $500 runner-up

Student or Group Films: Student films made with funding from a university or other institution are welcome, but if the school or institution holds the rights to the film, they will need to sign the entry form giving permission for the film to be submitted to this contest (alternatively, an email with permissions can be sent . Group films (films submitted with more than one filmmaker) are welcome, though each individual filmmaker must submit a separate letter with the single submission of the film. If the film was made as a class project for the student/youth category, the teacher or school administrator will need to sign the letter, as well as include one signed by each student and with his/her parent/guardian if he/she is under 18.

Permissions: All entry materials will be kept by Ecotrust. All winners’ and runner-up entries may be used in whole or in part to promote Ecotrust and WWRI partners’ work. These promotions may include television PSA’s, radio PSA’s, or streaming video on the Web for Ecotrust and/or any one of the WWRI partner organizations. By submitting a film to the contest, you give Ecotrust and all WWRI partners the right to use your film in these important ways.


Our Work

Forests & Ecosystem Services

Ecotrust Forest Management, Inc.


Learn More

Proposals for 2014 WWRI funding were due January 9, 2014. Award decisions will be announced by the end of March 2014.

2014 WWRI RFP (774kb pdf)
2014 WWRI Application (3.2mb pdf)

Stories From Our Watersheds Film Contest 2010: Winners | Rules | Videos

The Restoration Economy

Oregon statewide (1.3mb pdf)
SW Oregon (1.0mb pdf)

SW Oregon Methodology (176k pdf)

WWRI Partners

Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board

USDA Forest Service

National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Community-Based Restoration Center

Bureau of Land Management

Natural Resource Conservation Service

Other Resources

Roots of Prosperity: The Pacific Coast Watershed Partnership tells how the Forest Service is connecting six watersheds between Canada and California through consensus and progressive restoration efforts. (7.7mb pdf)

Ridge Top to Valley Bottom: Restoring Whole Watersheds describes completed whole-watershed restoration work by the Forest Service and partners. (2.7mb pdf)

A Salmon Conservation Strategy for the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests

The Development of Regional Priorities for Salmon Restoration in the Coastal Watersheds of the Pacific Northwest (Cascadia)


Brent Davies
Vice President, Forests and Ecosystem Services
tel: 503.467.0761
cell: 503.453.9166
Download vCard Brent Davies CV

Kate Carone
WWRI Manager
tel: 503.467.0814
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Cathy Kellon
Director, Water & Watersheds Program
tel: 503.467.0791
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