MyHero, a Fest With a Thousand Frames

by Ashley Breeding
Laguna Beach Patch

This weekend's documentary film fest to highlight the work of Laguna Beach students.

Cruising through his hometown, Laguna Beach High School sophomore Jack Winter is often disconcerted to find so much trash littered about its streets.

That's because he knows-in addition to creating an eyesore in his otherwise picturesque seaside town-most of the debris will wind up in the ocean, where they are hazardous to our environment, marine life and ultimately our health.

"I want to spread awareness about what happens to our trash when we litter, and let people know that their actions impact everything around us," he says. "Every little bit accumulates into one big mess, so it's important that we all do our part to care for the environment."

To help spread this message, the film student created a short eco-documentary titled Don't Blow It, which follows the journey of a littered plastic bottle from Laguna Canyon through our sewage system and into the Pacific.

The documentary is one of six student films that will air this Sunday at MyHero's 4th annual Laguna Hero Fest, themed Laguna Beach to the World, and set to take place at 6 p.m. at [seven-degrees], 891 Laguna Canyon Road.

From Jack WInter's Film "Don't Blow It." Credit .
From Jack WInter's Film "Don't Blow It." Credit .

"Bringing attention to the necessity for clean water and protecting our oceans is a big theme this year," says Wendy Milette, director of media and arts and the film festival for MyHero. "Our kids and the Laguna community have a lot of passion and concern for the environment, which we'll see in many of the films this year."

Among the other student and community documentaries to be shown are LBHS student Oliver Keane's Save the Scenery; Wildlife Waystation by Thurston Middle School's Chad Kanner; Luc LaMontange, a student at El Morro Elementary, filmed an interview with ZeroTrash founder Chip McDermott for Talking Trash; and Together We Can Create World Peace, Top of the World 5thgrader Emily Baker's documentary about five Tibetan monks who traveled to Laguna Beach last year to create a colorful sand mandala and deliver an important life message.

"My message-the monks' message-is about the impermanence of life," Baker says. "They spent a week creating this beautiful, intricate masterpiece that was just amazing. And at the end of the week, they held a ceremony to destroy it."

She explains in the film the celebration of birth, life, death and rebirth the experience represents, and feels it is an important one to share with her fellow community members.

"It spreads a message of peace and compassion," she says.

Emily Baker with some of her subjects from the film "Together We Can Create World Peace." Credit .
Emily Baker with some of her subjects from the film "Together We Can Create World Peace." Credit .

The event will also honor a handful of professional filmmakers and other local activists including Waves for Water: Haiti 2011's Jon Rose (produced by Hurley); eco-warrior and professional surfer James Pribram; and Barbara and Greg MacGillivray for the One World One Ocean Campaign (MacGillivray Freedom Films).

The free event will also offer a live jazz and R&B performance by Stewart Pearlman and Friends, as well as an opportunity to admire and purchase "hero art" by Laguna artists and participate in a silent auction to benefit the MyHero Project and fund the needs of aspiring young filmmakers.

MyHero was established in 1995 by mothers Jeanne Myers, Rita Stern and Karen, who were concerned about the lack of positive role models in the media for children.

"We dreamed of creating an online venue where people could share and discover inspiring stories of real-life heroes," Meyers says. "The educational journal calls attention to positive [role models] who are making a difference in the world. It shows the best of humanity."

The international film festival will be held in Los Angeles in the fall.

For more information about Sunday's event or to make a donation, visit MyHero's website right here.

Page created on 1/18/2012 12:14:45 PM

Last edited 7/7/2017 11:14:06 PM

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Friday, June 3rd, 2011
Laguna Beach Patch