South High School students in Robert Zahn’s TV/Film classes won awards in four categories—the most of any school entered—in Nassau County’s Third Annual Drug Alternatives Public Safety Announcement (PSA) Contest.
First place winners were: Francesca De Shadow and Nicole Marinescu in the Depression category for their video, “Be That Friend”; and Hailey Rich in the Bullying category, for her video, “You’re Not Alone.” Richard Lau took third place in the Depression category for his video, “Words Have Consequences.” Honorable mention went to Haley Raphael and Michael Shen in the Depression category for their video, “Demons and Darkness.” First, second and third place winners received cash prizes and all winners received citations. Awards were presented by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and his wife, Linda, who is a strong advocate for drug abuse awareness and prevention and was also a contest judge.
Students were required to create a 30-second PSA video that demonstrated a message of hope, ways to find help and positive alternatives to risk-taking behaviors often associated with bullying, depression or stigma. The PSA messages promoted awareness of the dangers of substance abuse, educated youth and encouraged participation in drug-prevention activities. South High students’ winning videos may be viewed at http://tv.greatneck.k12.ny.us/psa16.html.
There were 85 video entries, 16 of which were chosen as winners, from 10 high schools and Nassau BOCES Barry Tech Center.
“You have managed to provide clear and extremely powerful messages, within just 30 seconds, that combined with some masterful video production skills, are certainly deserving of recognition and merit,” Mangano told students.
“The PSA contest gave our students a chance to branch out by taking their technical skills and creativity and applying them to 30-second short films to produce very important messages,” said Zahn, school district educational cable TV producer/director. “The fact that they accomplished this so successfully is a testament to their hard work and talent, and to the constant support from our board of education.”
Talking about her experience, Nicole Marinescu said, “Francesca and I put a lot of work into our PSA and learned a lot about conveying a story in just 30 seconds. We also learned about filming in public and how a multitude of locations make a piece more visually appealing. The PSA contest was a fun and educational experience.”
In addition to Zahn, students were assisted by Paul Derych and Marissa Lando, TV/film teaching assistants.