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MSU students are taking environmental issues to the big screen.

Friday, January 11, 2008

For a group of MSU students, the environment is paramount.

Five students of the Communication Arts and Sciences put together a series of 30-second public service announcements to show students how they can help the environment. Another two students worked independently, producing a series of music videos and a minidocumentary.

Now those videos will be shown from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Jan. 12 at the Great Lakes Environmental Student Film Festival at the Bay City Theater.

The videos were produced by the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, which trains journalism students how to cover the environment.

The videos were produced for Amol Pavangadkar’s special topics class in fall 2006.

“Students produce great content each semester,” Pavangadkar said. “By entering the film festival, they get to meet people with similar interests and possibly find internships and jobs.”

Pavangadkar said the students have enjoyed making the films, especially with global warming being such a hot media topic.

Telecommunications sophomore James Semivan worked on the public service announcement. “We focused on waste that happens on college campuses such as water, plastic, paper and electricity,” Semivan said. The group filmed the excess litter around campus after a football game as an example.

Chris Papa, a communications senior produced three music videos highlighting Michigan's natural beauty. He traveled around the shoreline during the summer and shot the footage. In addition, Papa edited the footage to music that he wrote. He plans to use the videos to attract tourists to Michigan.

Carl Kondrat, a TISM student, produced an educational minidocumentary on the history of the Great Lakes region and how to sustain the regional environment.

Also chosen for the festival is the documentary, “Dying to be Heard,” that tells story of MSU’s ties to Rachel Carson’s well-known book, “Silent Spring.” The video was produced by an environmental video editing class at the Knight Center. It was picked as one of more than 30 films to be shown at this event. The award for first place is a $1,000 scholarship.

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