Young Minds Digital Times Winners Announced!

February 18, 2009 at 11:36 am 1 comment


We’re thrilled to announce the winners of our first, annual Young Minds Digital Times Film Competition (YMDT)!  We launched the competition earlier this school year and we’ve received such wonderful, positive feedback from the many youth, parents and educators who’ve participated.  I’ve posted the two grand prize winners below, and the text from the official press release.   You can watch all the winning films on the YMDT website.  A huge thanks to participants, sponsors and judges who made this all possible!

Young Filmmakers Freeform Grand Prize Winner: Wake Up – Freeform Music Video Category by Rainer Herrera, Miami Coral Park Senior High, Miami, Florida 

Young Filmmakers “Doing Good” Grand Prize Winner: Piracy PSA – Public Service Announcement Category by Justin Rightmer, Manor New Tech High School, Manor, Texas 

From the press release:

Houston, TX – February 13, 2009 – The Young Minds Digital Times Film Competition is pleased to announce the Grand Prize Winners in our first annual film competition.  Justin Rightmer of Manor New Tech High School, Manor, Texas won the Grand Prize in the Young Filmmakers “Doing Good” track for his public service announcement, Piracy.  Rightmer drew attention to the chronic problem of piracy and copyright violation among teens while drawing a laugh from judges.  One judge expressed,” I liked the creativity used to express this message; this film really used some originality.”

In the Young Filmmakers Freeform Tack, the music video Wake Up, by Rainer Herrera of Miami Coral Park Senior High, Miami, Florida claimed the Grand Prize.  Herrera utilized stop-motion filmmaking to create his intriguing visuals.  Competition judge and Emmy winning director Michael Franzini commented, “The films were all good, but Wake Up was fantastic.  This kid will go far.”

The final judging panel consisted of twelve professional judges with insight into film making and youth culture.  The judges were unanimously impressed by the films they viewed and hoped participants would continue to seek out opportunities to learn and improve their film making.  Nine additional Category Winners and Judge’s Choice Awards were also announced by the Competition.  The winning filmmakers represent nine different schools and were joined by over 700 other individuals throughout the competition’s process.  A complete list of award winners is available at

“We wanted to offer this innovative competition because students have asked us to give them venues to share their ideas, showcase their work and solve real-life issues,” said competition co-founder Amy Looper of OneSeventeen Media. “Additionally, kids tell us they’re interested in promoting social good, so we’ve created a unique way for them to “do good” using their digital talents. Kids have a lot to say and interesting ideas to share; they frequently wonder why adults don’t get that about them! We are incredibly proud of our winners and appreciative of the many young people who took the time to participate.  We’re excited to expand the competition and options for youth filmmakers next year, and we hope they will all choose to join us again.”

Be the first to know about our next competition: email with the subject line, “I want to be the first to know!” Information about the 2009-2010 Young Minds Digital Times Film Competition will be available beginning this summer and will also be announced on this blog. You can also choose to subscribe below for updates about Young Minds Digital Times and other opportunities.

OneSeventeen Media looks forward to providing more opportunities for tech-savvy youth in the months to come.

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Entry filed under: Doing Good, News, OneSeventeen Media, Opportunities, Technology, Young Minds Digital Times, Youth. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Amy Looper  |  February 25, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    I have been so excited at the huge response the Young Minds Digital Times First Annual Film competition fueled! As I read some of the comments from the student winners, the feedback our professional judges provided seemed to be what the students cared about most They are genuinely interested in learning and honing their craft and to have access to this many professionals working in the field and so willing to give back by volunteering to judge is a dream come true for these students Kudos to all of these wonderfully talented young participants who are our future filmmakers!

    I have additional thanks to share as well, first, I want to thank all of our professional volunteer judges for donating their valuable time to teach through feedback. To you, Amy Strecker for doing a wonderful job organizing and running the competition in such a stellar way and big time shout outs go to Sybil Media’s co-founder Mike Castro for providing all of the technical infrastructure and support involved in such an endeavor! And to Weston Carls for his competition logo and site look and feel design.

    I’m looking forward to next year!


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