June 29, 2021
Oolite Arts Invites Public to Free Virtual Screening of ‘Save the Bay’ Video PSAs and Panel on This Critical Topic
Five local filmmakers lend unique artist perspectives on saving Biscayne Bay in PSA contest, including the use of Caribbean folklore, a happy-go-lucky boat captain, a bay-centric animation, a marine biologist’s cautionary tale and a video letter to an unborn grandchild
June 29, 2021 (MIAMI) – Biscayne Bay has reached its tipping point due to years of neglect, pollution and other mitigating factors. Five local filmmakers are urging residents to do something about it through videos they created for Save the Bay, a PSA competition recently held by Oolite Arts. Winners received $2,500 each to produce their 30-60 second public service announcement for the contest.
The public is invited to view the short videos and meet the contest winners during a special screening that will take place at a virtual event, starting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 28. During the free community event, Oolite Arts will also hold a discussion between the filmmakers, the organization’s Cinematic Arts Manager Danielle Bender and Miami-Dade County’s Chief Bay Officer Irela Bagué. Additionally, the public can vote on their favorite PSA, which will receive a People’s Choice Award and extra $1,000, through August 12, 2021 at oolitearts.org/save-the-bay.
“Our Save the Bay competition is an example of the role artists can play in bringing new voices and perspectives to an important issue,” said Dennis Scholl, Oolite Arts’ president and CEO. “It’s also an opportunity for these filmmakers to make a positive impact on one of our greatest natural resources. We hope these PSAs will help encourage Miamians to take action.”
Meet the five winners of the Save the Bay PSA contest:
- Alexa Caravia for “Video Letter” – A retired marine biologist reflects on what’s changed throughout her lifetime, working with plant and marine life in Biscayne Bay in this video letter to her unborn grandchild.
- Milly Cohen (they/them/their) for “Save the Bay” – Through community efforts and environmental research, scientists and people of Miami work together to transform Biscayne Bay back into a thriving ecosystem.
- Jayme Gershen for “Captain BayWatch” – Captain Baywatch finds the balance between having a good time and looking out for the environment on this humorous journey around Biscayne Bay.
- Helen Peña for “The Siren” – A cautionary bedtime story from the future about a Black mermaid living in the polluted Biscayne Bay.
- Shireen Rahimi for “What Happened to the Bay?!” – An underwater filmmaker/scientist goes above and below the water to make a compelling personal appeal for saving Biscayne Bay.
Winners were selected by a jury consisting of Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, who is the co-executive director of the Miami-based Caribbean filmmaking collective Third Horizon; Reverend Houston Cypress, a poet, artist, environmental activist and ordained minister; Miami-based filmmaker and winner of Oolite’s Masks Up PSA contest Katja Esson; and Edson Jean, Oolite Arts’ 2020 Cinematic Arts resident. The jury also chose five honorable mentions, which received $1,000 each. The recipients who received honorable mentions include Alec Castillo, Colin Foord, Chris Molina, Christian Perry and Nicolas Quintairos.
The Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Family Foundation generously provided funding for this program, which comes on the heels of Oolite Arts’ successful Masks Up, Miami PSA competition that took place during the height of the pandemic to encourage residents to wear their face masks.
To learn more about the winners and vote for your favorite Save the Bay PSA, visit oolitearts.org/save-the-bay.
Special Virtual Screening of Save the Bay PSAs + Panel
7-8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 28
Open to the public
About Oolite Arts
Oolite Arts helps Miami-based artists advance their careers and inspires the cultural community to engage with their work. Established in 1984, Oolite Arts is both a community and a resource, providing visual artists with the studio space, exhibition opportunities and financial support they need to experiment, grow and enrich the city. Through its educational programming, Oolite Arts helps Miamians learn about contemporary art and develop their own artistic skills. For more information, visit oolitearts.org or follow @oolitearts on social media.