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Ventura Water, Patagonia, iThentic Announce Second Annual Global Online Short Film Contest for Environmentally Conscious Filmmakers @WaterTake1.com

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Contest winners to receive cash award and filmmaking equipment Entries to be judged by influential members of the Film, TV and New Media Industry Ventura Water partners with Patagonia and iThentic

Ventura / Los Angeles, March 20, 2013 – Ventura Water located in Ventura, California partners with Patagonia and iThentic for the second year of Water: Take 1 Online Short Film Contest, a cooperative initiative that highlights our relationship with water through the art of film to call attention to growing water challenges across the globe.

Filmmaker submissions are being accepted immediately at www.watertake1.com. Eligible submissions are recent short films under five minutes that address the topic of water in any genre, including documentary, drama, comedy, animation, sci-fi or experimental. There is no fee for submission and films will be posted online and able to be viewed upon acceptance.

“In its first year, Water: Take 1 drew 35 film submissions and thousands of viewers from around the world,” said Mayor Mike Tracy at a kick-off event held at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach and attended by 200 local community leaders and influential stakeholders on March 19. “By expanding this contest in 2013, we hope to spark actions that will lead to sustainable solutions to the serious local, national, and global issues facing our water resources.”

The submission period for entries is March 20-September 3, 2013 at www.watertake1.com. Ten finalists will be named and a jury-awarded Grand Prize of $1,500 will be presented to the Grand Prize Winner at an event hosted by the Brooks Institute of Photography later this fall. The jury will also select an entry filmed in Ventura, California for the new Ventura Vision Award, sponsored by the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach, as well as a recipient of the special Best Student Short Film Award. Viewers visiting watertake1.com will have an opportunity to “share” and “vote” for their favorite entry online and the film with the most votes will receive the Audience Choice Award, sponsored by EJ Harrison and Sons.

Winners of the inaugural Water: Take 1 were announced at a community ceremony last November in Ventura. The $1,500 Grand Prize was awarded to the film “Water,” directed by Peter Jansen, who is from the Netherlands and the film “Quotient,” directed by Alexander Powell of San Diego, was selected as the winner of the Best Student Short Film Award. A Ventura County family submitted the film, “Don’t Blow H2O,” directed by Jo and John Lazo, which received the most votes at watertake1.com and won the Audience Choice Award.

“Ventura Water wanted to lead by example and activate the wider community to change how they use water, in even small ways,” noted Project Manager Rachael Shapiro. “While Water: Take 1 is a film contest that empowers filmmakers to tell a visual story about water, its goal is to invite viewers to interact with those messages and create new actions in their everyday lives to protect and conserve water.”

The contest is being hosted by online distributor iThentic (www.iThentic.com) which has a history of mounting successful entertainment contests and campaigns. Most recently, iThentic partnered with the Canadian Film Centre for its online festival, ShortsNonStop, and launched the interactive web series Guidestones.

“We are extremely proud of the success of the inaugural Water: Take 1 venture and excited to proceed with round two”, notes iThentic CEO Jonas Diamond. “We encourage iThentic filmmakers and audience to take notice of the important issues surrounding water and to contribute their work in order to raise awareness.”

The 2013 Water: Take 1 Online Short Film Contest brings together leading experts in the fields of water conservation, recycling and resource management with partners in online entertainment media production and distribution. It serves as a mechanism to create a social network of online content and extend the national reach of Ventura Water and its partners. The distinguished jury made up of leaders in water and environmental issues, entertainment professionals and influential members of the community are as follows:

Gail Gendler, is currently Senior Director Acquisitions for AMC/Sundance Channel Global Networks LLC. As a part of the acquisitions team, she focuses on structuring and negotiating content deals for studio feature film packages, franchise series and short film content for Sundance Channel’s international channels and We tv Asia. In addition to content deals, she provides recommendations on programming selections and scheduling stunts. She joined the acquisitions department in 2005 from Showtime Networks/Sundance Channel where she was Director of Rights & Clearances for both networks. Previously, she worked for NBC’s Olympic Unit prepping for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and was part of the production team for NBC’s coverage from the Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona and Atlanta.  She joined NBC’s Olympic Unit from NBC’s late night talk show Later…with Bob Costas. Gail has served as a board member for the Black Maria Film Festival and is currently one of the festival organizers for the Lighthouse Film Festival. She also sits on the committee at large for the New Jersey Jewish Film Festival.

Gill Holland, Producer, was a Spirit Award nominee for Producer of the Year, and has worked on over 90 films, including Sundance faves FLOW: For Love of Water, SPRING FORWARD, LOGGERHEADS, Sundance triple winner HURRICANE STREETS, the FOX sit-com GREG THE BUNNY, the Spirit Award winner and first carbon-neutral independent film SWEETLAND, Al Gore’s 2008 Reel Current Award winning doc MOUNTAIN TOP REMOVAL, and the Emmy-nominated doc DEAR JESSE. He produced three volumes of cineBLAST! the short film compilations. He is partner at The Group Entertainment, a KY/NYC management/production company, and former adjunct professor at NYU Graduate Film School.

Kathleen McInnis, Founder, See-Through Films, Film Curator and Director of Industry Programming, Palm Springs ShortFest. Kathleen McInnis is a Film Strategist with a distinctive background in Film Festivals and Publicity Consulting. A veteran of the global film festival circuit, Ms. McInnis has been Festival Director, Director of Programming (Film Curator and Industry Programming), and Director of Publicity at such festivals as Seattle International Film Festival, Slamdance Film Festival and (currently) Palm Springs ShortFest. Ms. McInnis was the inaugural Film Festival Specialist at Loyola Marymount University School of Film & Television, and currently teaches film festival strategies at NYU-Tisch/Asia and UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. She was an Editor-at-Large for MovieMaker Magazine, and VP of Filmmaker and Festival Relations at FilmFestivals.com. Ms. McInnis is also the co-creator of the SIFF Fly Filmmaking Challenge, and has produced nearly 3 dozen short films, both with the program and independently.

Jane Sievert, Managing Photo Editor, Patagonia

Jane Sievert has over two decades of experience working with photographers and filmmakers. As Patagonia's managing photo editor she reviews close to 100,000 photos a year as well as helps to curate the Patagonia media gallery. She is a staunch supporter of the artists who take on conservation issues and has first hand experience on how film and photography can have positive effects from both a policy and personal standpoint. Jane has researched water issues for Patagonia's current environmental campaign and has extensive knowledge on the topic of water conservation and scarcity. Jane is a long time Ventura resident; her daughter attends Ventura HS. In addition to working in photography and multimedia, Jane teaches Yoga at a local studio. She is a nature lover, a committed conservation activist and looks forward to getting involved with her community on this level.

Nicole Torre is President of New Angle Media, which is devoted to bringing important social and environmental issues into focus. Her debut documentary feature film, Houston We Have a Problem, has played at film festivals around the world and received a 2011 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Long Form economic and financial reporting. Nicole also won the Best Director’s Award at the Docuwest Film Festival as well as The Best Point of View Award, at the Eco Focus Film Festival at the University of Georgia. The film was selected to play at the Museum of Modern Art as part of their 2010 Documentary Fortnight and opened the Environmental Film Festival at Yale University. It premièred on Planet Green as part of their Reel Impact series, and has worldwide distribution with Mercury Media. Nicole also works as an Executive Producer for television. She has created and produced with such networks as Bravo, Oxygen, Planet Green, Nick Jr., and Noggin, as well as with several other production companies. She was commissioned to be a Hothouse Producer for Discovery Communications, where she developed for such networks as Discovery, TLC and Animal Planet.

Ventura Water has partnered with environmentally-conscious apparel retailer Patagonia, among others, to bring the message of Ventura Water to as broad an audience as possible. Programmatic actions for 2013 will focus on smart outdoor water use including continued support for Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Gardens, a trend that is transforming lawns into beautiful low-water use landscaping. Water: Take 1 will also align with the national “Never Waste” campaign launched this month by the Alliance for Water Efficiency to educate consumers about the amount of water that is needlessly wasted by leaks and other everyday actions. Education will remain a top priority through school presentations, facility tours and exciting outreach through Social Media and videos.

Other Water: Take 1 partners this year include EJ Harrison and Sons, Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach as well as Brooks Institute of Photography, which will host the contest’s Awards Ceremony next November. Also supporting the program are Hopkins Groundwater Consultants and engineering firms Corollo Engineers, Kennedy/Jenks Consultants, Brown and Caldwell, and CH2M Hill. Strategic partnerships are also a large part of this venture and include the Alliance for Water Efficiency, Community Access Partners of San Buenaventura (CAPS-TV), Never Without A Picture, Dexter’s Camera, Downtown Ventura Partners, Ventura Chamber Green Task Force, Association of Water Agencies Ventura County (AWA), American Water Works Association (AWWA-CA/NV), Surfrider Foundation, Friends of Ventura River, Matilija Coalition, Ventura Hillsides Conservancy, Ventura Film Society and Film Ventura.

About Ventura Water

Ventura Water, the City of Ventura’s Water Department, is dedicated to serving our beautiful coastal community with quality drinking water and water reclamation services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Delivering drinking water from local sources since 1923, cleaning water for more than a century, and preventing storm-water pollution for the past two decades, we support Ventura’s vitality. Our goal is to integrate water management to create long-term health and economic benefits for our community. As financial stewards, our goals are to operate and use resources efficiently, understand and meet the needs of our customers, and protect our infrastructure by investing wisely in maintenance and renewal projects. We believe that true water sustainability -- where the needs of the human population and the environment can live in balance –- will be achieved only when choices are made collectively to use water efficiently in all ways to restore our watersheds and protect our children’s future.

Patagonia started as a band of climbers and surfers: We want to stay out as long as we can doing what we love, no matter the weather. Our design approach to every product, from climbing shells to wetsuits to sportswear reflects this. Quality is impeccable and the guarantee lifelong. Our love of wild places demands that we help reverse the decline in the planet’s health. We use only organic cotton; most polyester is recycled and most products are recyclable. We give 1% of sales – $34 million to date – to support grassroots environmental groups.

About iThentic

iThentic is an online video content production and distribution company with offices in Toronto and New York City. Launched in 2006, iThentic is carving out a place for independent filmmakers on digital platforms by aggregating, producing, and distributing the very best in independently produced content. The company is backed by three engaged and prominent shareholders: eOne Entertainment, Canada’s largest entertainment company, the founders of iThentic LLC (led by Catherine Tait), and Smiley Guy Studios, an award winning animation and new media studio. Smiley Guy Studios is the operating partner with Jonas Diamond as CEO and Catherine Tait as Chair of the company.


PR: Nancy Broschart, 805-223-4378
Contest: Rachael Shapiro, 310-991-9568
City: Shana Epstein, 805-652-4503