After a whirlwind week of submissions to the Hang Tight Haida Gwaii pandemic PSA contest, five videos have been chosen as prize winners.
The Village of Queen Charlotte and Patrick Shannon’s InnoNative studio made the announcement on April 24, thanking all participants for helping to build a video library that Emergency Operations Centre information manager Eve Stanger said will be put to use for weeks to come.
“It’s really nice to have that video library to watch back on,” Stanger said, adding that she plans to share a video from the library every week on social media.
“The thing that I loved most about the videos was you could see the people in them were having so much fun.”
Around 20 videos were submitted to the contest, which invited island youth between the ages of 10 and 25 to submit a short video of 2 minutes or less “reminding folks about safety guidelines during this pandemic.”
Shannon was tasked with choosing the winners for the five categories, which were most creative, “slickest looking,” most popular based on likes and shares, most informative, and a category for youth under the age of 15.
“We were just blown away with the amount of submissions and the quality,” he told the Observer.
“It was amazing to see how much the community was buzzing … every time I was out at the grocery store everybody was just hollering from a safe distance about how excited they were about the project.”
He said the submissions ranged from songs to formal PSAs to comedy skits, “strong and beautiful to a bit cheeky to informative, to extremely clever.”
“So many people would say they had tears brought to their eyes.”
In the end, he said the winners “made videos that can stand up on their own, could run anywhere in the country.”
“We should be proud of ourselves and our youth,” he said.
Jaydn Paquette won the most popular category, which came with a $300 cash prize.
Paquette’s video includes unique, underwater perspectives, advice to go for walks while distancing and wash hands for 20 seconds, and a bit of movie magic when a letter folded up like a paper airplane seems to be tossed out and lands into the hands of the intended recipient.
Katie and Stella Sinkins’ “quarantine workout” won the under 15 category along with $100 in cash.
Their video is inspired by comedian Laura Clery’s leotard-sporting character “Pamela Pupkin,” and features catchy sayings such as “work those thighs, sanitize” as well as “spray and pray.”
There is another tribute to Prime Minister Justin Trudea’s “speaking moistly” moment in the video, too.
Nicholas Smith won the most informative category and earned $300 in cash as well as a $50 gift voucher for his literal walk-through of the rules for dealing with COVID-19.
He demonstrates how to stay home by binge-watching Gilmore Girls, proper hand washing and more.
“When you follow these rules you’re not only protecting yourself, you’re protecting others and you’re protecting the community,” Smith concludes.
Elim and Sita Sly-Hooton took home a pocket camera and $100 cash for winning the “slickest looking” category.
Their video begins with a soothing combination of sunlight and slow motion, only to be interrupted when someone runs out of toilet paper.
“Cue the dramatic music,” a title screen then reads.
Ultimately, a spare roll is lobbed into some water to onlookers’ dismay.
And Greta Romas won the most creative category, which earned her the other pocket camera that was up for grabs and $100 in cash.
In the video, 17-year-old Romas gets a text from her mother asking her to check on nana (Carole Ives), but the plot thickens when she drops her phone.
Instead of texting nana, Romas sends her dog Mugsy running back and forth, relaying messages between the two. Nana asks for toilet paper, some coffee grounds and a teaspoon of soy sauce.
“We wanted the requests to get weirder and weirder as the video went along,” Romas told the Observer.
So nana goes on to request 350 grams of perfectly round pebbles and “the good stuff,” which Romas said is “up for interpretation.”
Romas thanked her sister Averie for helping her as well as Robert Rieser, and confirmed 8-year-old Mugsy is also being rewarded for his role in the production.
“He got lots of dog treats throughout the video and a can of wet dog food for dinner after,” she said.
All prizes were provided by the Taking It Global non-governmental organization and its Rising Youth program.
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