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Modelling clay and humour to express real fears about the consequences of climate change & human activities on ocean ecosystems.

Brussels, june 6th 2008 - It was this Thursday 5th june, World Environment Day, that the EUR-OCEANS network of aquaria reavealed the country and name of the wining class of its big European Schools Film Contest about "The impact of climate change and human activities on ocean ecosystems". The Award Ceremony happened in the impressive auditorium of the European Commission in Brussels (Belgium).

And the winner is...

Very concerned by the climate change consequences on the ocean ecosytems, the children have worked very hard to produce their films. The EUR-OCEANS jury, presided by french journalist and TV producer, Allain Bougrain-Dubourg, has had great difficulties to choose only one winner. Humour and science-fiction were used by the children to communicate their important messages. Futures citizens of the planet, the european pupils are more than ever aware of the importance of scientific research, of the necessity of exchanges between communities and the current lack of communication to raise awareness towards the general public.

From animations in modelling clay by the English class to the TV News Environment program of the Swedish teenagers, towards the 3 lessons given by the Spanish children or the Tropic Hall travel agency of the French "lycéens" the 8 films were very originals. Real facts (rise of the oceans level, acidification of the seawater...), reminders of past & currents mistakes (cargoships drowns, bad behaviours causing waste of natural resources), science-fiction (what will become our planet in 2050?)...he pupils have given plenty of ideas. The jury members had tough time to deliberate and choose only one winner. "In our eyes, you are all winners" has told Allain Bougrain-Dubourg, President of the jury.

Delegations of all classes, accompanied by their teachers, were there this Thursday 5th June in Brussels, during the European Commission's Green Week, to present and defend their film - in English! - in front of the jury members European Final and Official Screening of the films.

The jury has chosen the film made by the Ridgeway School from Plymouth (Devon, UK): "Our Coast, our Sea, OUR PLANET!". Katie Holmes and Merryn Hunt, 12 years old, were awarded the 5.000 Euros (worth in educational tools) by Joe Borg, European Commissioner in charge of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs. As Honorary Chairman of the Award Ceremony Joe Borg said he was very impressed by the children: "By preparing these films, you will help spread the word about the need for us all to do our bit to save our fragile and beautiful oceans. I truly hope that, at some point in the not-too-distant future, we will be handing out awards that celebrate the oceans as a diverse and strong ecosystem. Your efforts to raise awareness about climate change issues give me real hope."
Mike Golding, the famous around the world sailor, also warmly congratulated them for their great work.

Ernie, Steve and John launched the debate

The film of the English class, presented by the National Marine Aquarium, was entirely made in modelling clay. The animation shows Ernie, the octopus, presenting a TV debate in the oceans, Steve and John, the seahorse with shared opinions about the future of their milieu natural. While Steve is aware of the issues of climate change, John believes that if he is the only person to do something in favour of environment this will be useless! While they receive the answers to their questions, John will realize that we are all need to be part of the action if we want to protect the environment.

Two "coups de cour"

Focusing on the great quality of the competing films, for the scientific accuracy, the acting of the children and the intensity of the messages the jury members had great difficulties to choose only one winner. This is why the jury decided to elect two "coups de cours", special awards. The first special award goes to the Greek movie called "The Sea of Electra", showing a (bad) dream of how the future could be if nothing was done - very accurate in its scientific details, but most important encouraging in its message. The little Italians from Genoa, aged of only 8 years old, receive another deserved "coup de cour" of the jury for their film "Il mistero del barracuda".