Green Cup Film Festival Inspires Action

Excited PA students fell silent when the lights dimmed and the first of three student-made movies in the Green Cup Film Festival flashed onto the screen last Friday night in the Den. In less than twenty minutes, viewers received a much-needed reminder of ways they can work towards reducing Andover’s carbon footprint. The Green Cup Challenge Video Competition, a contest between private secondary schools from across the country, aims to raise awareness and enthusiasm about saving the environment. This week students can vote online for their favorite film from Andover. The winner will compete against the entries from other schools for first place. Patricia Russell, Sustainability Coordinator and Instructor in Science, said, “[The competition] is a great way to get attention about environmental concerns.” Nikita Lamba ’11 and Teddy Smyth ’11 said, “[The films advise the community] to care about our planet and to become aware. If we don’t change now, we will have more of a mess to clean up later.” Members of Andover Movie Maker’s Club (AMC) collaborated to produce, “Pandamonium,” which starred a giant panda and incorporated Buddy Holly’s “True Love Ways” as a theme song. “Pandamonium” advised its viewers to minimize water usage, turn off the lights and recycle. “The panda movie was hilarious. I liked how an important message was portrayed in a funny way,” said Junius Williams ’14. “While we were brainstorming for the movie, David Tylinski ’12 suggested we base our movie on a Panda Cheese commercial,” said Nick Camarda ’12, head of AMC. “After watching one on YouTube, I was sold. I think the panda represents the environment or nature giving humans the slap to shape up.” Bryan Ha ’12 created an animated masterpiece called “The Breaking Point,” in which he appealed to more serious emotions. The movie began with a scene of a mother polar bear with her cub, peacefully eating fish. Ha combined two versions of Clint Mansell’s “Lux Aeterna” and “Requiem for a Dream” as a soundtrack. The melody grew intense as the film climaxed and the polar bear paradise crumbled due to man’s exploitation of Earth. The baby polar bear died as the ice cracked, leaving the audience in awe and on the verge of tears. Uday Singh ’12 said, “Bryan Ha’s different approach to the [Green Cup Challenge Video Competition] made me feel sympathetic towards the polar bear and made me reflect on what I do. It made me care.” The polar bear is Ha’s favorite animal and was the basis of the film he submitted last year, so he decided to use it as his main character this year. Ha said, “[The moment] in the Lion King when Mufasa dies and tries to save Simba inspired me. I tried to recreate that image with polar bears.” “I used ink and sharpie markers to make 700 to 800 pages of drawings for the film and then I put them into Photoshop to fix any mistakes that I may have made,” said Ha. “The baby polar bear dying adds a level of emotion to the movie and makes you more upset. The music also brought [the film] to a whole other level. It was very well suited to the video,” said Lamba. Sam Goldberg ’14 said, “I was really touched by the polar bear film. It made me sad and made my conscience say, hey, I’m going to be better to the environment.” Michael Kontaxis ’11 wrote and directed the final film of the night called “My World View.” Last year, he won third place in the final competition with the film “Go Green or Go Home.” Kontaxis’s 2011 movie featured him and a group of his friends in a music video spoof of a pop song. Kontaxis said in an email to The Phillipian, “I knew immediately I wasn’t going to do anything like a ‘Go Green or Go Home 2.’ Toward the end of Fall Term, my friends and I started listening to the Backstreet Boys and Nsync, and I noticed in all the songs the cheesy way in which they sing about lost love, trying to win back their girls by proving how they’ve changed.” “I thought it would be funny to parody this genre and apply it to the planet, with a boy band singing about the different ways they’d treated the planet poorly and their plans to start anew.” Kontaxis and his friends spent hours writing the music and lyrics and recording in the WPAA studio. Kontaxis said, “[My friends] Matt [Appleby ’11], Ricky [Marcotte ’11], Zac [Elder ’11], Jake [Rohwer ’11] and Mike [DiFronzo ’11] were such troopers while filming. There’s no possible way it could’ve come together without their cooperation and dedication.” The Green Cup Film Festival raised enthusiasm for the environmental initiative Andover is pursuing this month in competition with Deerfield. The humorous and heart-breaking images and lyrics served as a vivid reminder for the community to be environnmentally aware.