ACSF Awards ACSF Energy Visions Prize Winners

WASHINGTON, DC: Innovators in the fields of film, video and web based applications claimed $250,000 in prizes Thursday night at the ACSF Energy Visions Prize gala. The prizes were awarded by the American Clean Skies Foundation (ACSF) for works that advanced a vision for America’s energy security and a cleaner, low carbon environment.

The grand prize winners were:

Short video:
Roger Sorkin
producer of The Burden: Fossil Fuel, the Military and National Security

Long video:
Greg Kallenberg and Chris Lyon
producer and editor of the Rational Middle Energy Series

Mobile and web based applications
Nick Orenstein and Michael Ditmore of Novim
creators of the Just Science app

Second place winners also took home $20,000 each from ACSF, which hosted the awards gala at the Hotel Monaco. There was also one honorable mention prize for $10,000.

Each applicant had to show how to:

  1. End America’s unsustainable dependence on oil from foreign sources;
  2. Generate and distribute cleaner electricity; or
  3. Bridge political and geographic divides on energy policy

“The intent of the Energy Visions Prize is to honor the people who are on the cutting edge of media and technology innovation when it comes to promoting or featuring cleaner electricity and fuel,” said Gregory C. Staple, CEO of the American Clean Skies Foundation. “We want to engage people on America’s energy challenges where they are on their smart phones, online and in the movies. This new prize celebrates the independent thinking and creativity that is beginning to drive clean energy solutions and build consensus among partisans.”

The competition rewarded finished collaborations and spurred others to complete their video or app late last year when the contest ended. The cash prizes offer a financial boost or a lifeline to the projects.

“To us, the Energy Visions prize recognizes our goal of reaching a worldwide audience with the educational message that climate change is real and easily seen by everybody. It’s an honor to receive such an award,” said Nick Orenstein, a USC graduate student in astroengineering who worked for Novim while creating the Just Science app. “Recognition by the ACSF will provide Just Science with fresh exposure to a public audience more concerned with the climate than ever before. It rejuvenates our mission to think big and make a positive global impact.”

Sorkin said the prize money is destined to bolster his short video.
“The prize will help us complete our documentary, The Burden, which will be used as the anchor for a publicity campaign to end fossil fuel dependence in the name of national security and geopolitical stability.”

For the Rational Middle, the prize validated its balanced and thoughtful approach to energy policy.
“The Rational Middle’s goal is to bring people together to have a civil, solutions based discussion about the energy future. These funds allow us to continue to grow the Rational [Middle] Movement and to bring our message to our nation’s communities, corporations and governments,” Kallenberg said.

Seven other projects garnered cash prizes. In Nebraska, the prize will enhance training for harnessing geothermal energy. In Colorado and elsewhere, it will help certify more builders in energy efficient construction while also contributing to Habitat for Humanity projects. The prize will also enable Carbon Visuals, Power Angels and the Environmental Defense Fund to continue depicting the challenge of reducing emissions.

ACSF prize founders were advised by a five person judging panel of industry experts led by Andrew Heyward, former CBS News president. Other panelists included:

  • John Buzzell, senior vice president of Digital at CSE, a leading integrated marketing agency in Atlanta.
  • Peter Corbett, founder of Washington, D.C. based iStrategyLabs as well as DC Tech Meetup.
  • Arlene Fairfield, founder of the Global Change Network, who at DDB Communications oversaw the national brand campaign for EnergyStar.
  • Bill Smee, executive producer of Slate V, whose work earned the site one of the first custom channel commissions from YouTube in 2012

For more about the ACSF Energy Visions Prize go to http://www.energyvisionsprize.org.

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