Challenge Prize: Overcoming Adversity

The Center for Environmental Filmmaking Challenge Prize is an annual competition open to second year SOC graduate students who have overcome (or are overcoming) challenges and adversity in their lives (such as poverty, marginalization, racism, or personal tragedy) and plan to use environmental and wildlife media to make the world a better place.

Successful applicant(s) will each receive a $1,000 prize. The intent of this prize is to provide funding for the creation of environmental and wildlife media.

Applicants must be in good academic standing in a SOC graduate program (min. 3.5 cumulative GPA), and be committed to making environmental media that aim to influence personal behavior or public policy.

To apply, applicants are required to:

  1. Submit a resume.
  2. Submit a letter of recommendation from an AU faculty member.
  3. Provide a personal statement up to two-pages double spaced that addresses the adversities that they have overcome (or are currently facing).
  4. Provide a synopsis (no more than 300 words) of their envisioned media project.

A condition of the award is that all awardees provide a short description and photos of their completed project for publication on the Center for Environmental Filmmaking’s website and social media. The goal is to inspire other students environmentalists, donors, and the public.

This prize is non-renewable, and the deadline each year is November 1. Winners will be announced every year by November 20. A faculty committee will judge the entries and grant awards based on the criteria outlined above.

Challenge Prize Winners 2019

Jay strojnowski

Jay has a particular interest in relatively unexplored aesthetic approach to photography and filming.

Jay's project, ALL RED: Great Falls National Park is an experimental environmental short film that examines Great Falls National Park solely through the use of the infrared spectrum. It is the first infrared experimental/environmental film recorded with a raw video codec using a dedicated infrared cinema camera.

2019 Recipients
Ashley Luke, Robert Boyd, Mary Alice McMillan, Jay Strojnowski, and Shannon Shikles. 
2017 Recipients
Sirjaut Kaur Dhariwal, and Crystal Solberg
2016 Recipients
Doaa Nour, Elizabeth Herzfeldt-Kamprath, and Kent Wagner
2015 Recipients
Shannon Lawrence, Will Reid, and Sam Sheline