Since 2002, students in Professor Percival's Environmental Law class have enjoyed an unusual assignment: to split up into small groups and make a short film about an environmental issue that concerns them. The purpose of the ungraded assignment is to make students think about how to communicate complicated regulatory policy issues to the public. With the rise of You Tube and other new media outlets, digital video-making has become a valuable tool for influencing public opinion.
Students in the Fall 2016 Environmental Law class made seven environmental law films. As in past years the films demonstrated their enormous creativity. The films addressed a wide variety of topics ranging from climate change, sustainable vineyards to the Northern Sneakhead. On February 15th, 2017, the coveted "Golden Tree" awards were presented to the best films in ten categories as voted by an independent panel of judges (John Brosnan, Annie Shapiro, Prof. Kathleen Hoke, and Nofar Mamrany).
This year’s best picture award went to “Glass Half Full: Sustainable Vineyards” by: Chris Remavege, David Morgan, Ashley Drexel, Katrina Abarcar and Lulu Ye, which also won awards for Most Educational and Best Interviews. The runner-up for best picture was “A World in Retreat” by: Taylor Lilley, Collin Wojciechowshi, Zach Wilkins and Sara DiBernardo, which also won an award for Best Cinematography 2L students Chris Remavege and Taylor Lilley (pictured below) will be joining Professor Percival in Shanghai during spring break to present their films at NYU Shanghai, which has decided to emulate Maryland by having their students make environmental films.
Other films winning Golden Tree awards included: Star Trek: The Next, Next Generation by Harrison Mont & Laura Tallerico, which won awards for Best Acting, Best Use of Humor, and Best Animation/Special Effects; Gauging Climate Change in a Changing Political Climate by Devon Harman, Catherine McGrath, Adam Baig & Mike Hayes, which won an award for Best Sound; Free Your Voice by Jennifer Caggino & Seungju Kang, which won Best Sound; and The Northern Snakehead: It’s What’s for Dinner by Brian Carey, Robert Dry, Oluebube Mbarie, Atiji Phiri & Eva Vordogianni, which won a Special Judges Award for the film most likely to convince people to be vegetarians.