Statewide competition invites high school students to create short films promoting environmental stewardship

FORT SMITH, Ark. — The Fort Smith International Film Festival, Ozark Media Arts Festival, Arkansas Cinema Society (ACS) and Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission will host a statewide video contest for high school students (grades 9-12) to create a video commercial of 30 seconds or less that promotes environmental responsibility in Arkansas. The contest will run March 1 until May 24. Winners will be announced June 28 at the ACS Filmmaking Lab for Teen Girls. There is no fee to enter the contest.

Students should focus their video on the Keep Arkansas Beautiful mission of inspiring Arkansans to improve their communities through education, preventing litter, promoting recycling and keeping Arkansas beautiful. Videos must be submitted to the Fort Smith International Film Festival on FilmFreeway at

"The Keep Arkansas Beautiful staff works with educators around the state to teach the children of Arkansas the importance of maintaining a clean, green and beautiful Arkansas,” said Michael Barger, Keep Arkansas Beautiful education coordinator. “We strive to inspire and encourage children and adults in Arkansas to do their part to help keep Arkansas beautiful.”

The winning student commercial will be featured on various television channels and showcased at the Fort Smith International Film Festival and ACS Filmmaking Lab for Teen Girls. The teacher of the winning student(s) will receive a free, two-night stay for two at an Arkansas State Parks lodge of their choosing (based on availability at the time of reservation). If the winner does not have a teacher advisor associated with their project, then the winner can nominate a teacher for the Arkansas State Parks lodge prize.

The winning students will receive an award package including gift cards and various prizes. “These young filmmakers are our future,” said Brandon Chase Goldsmith, executive director of the Fort Smith International Film Festival. “I cannot wait to see what students across Arkansas create.”

Keep Arkansas Beautiful

The Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB) consists of a professional staff of three and a nine-member advisory board appointed by the governor. KAB is a part of Arkansas State Parks, a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. KAB is a certified state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful Inc. and inspires and educates individuals to reduce litter, recycle and keep Arkansas beautiful. KAB is funded by the Amendment 75 1/8-cent Conservation Tax. For more information, visit Stay in the know by following Keep Arkansas Beautiful on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube and texting VOLUNTEER to (501) 287-3596.

Arkansas State Parks

Arkansas State Parks is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. Arkansas state parks and museums cover 55,006 acres of forest, wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation facilities, and unique historic and cultural resources. Established in 1923, Arkansas State Parks preserve special places for future generations, provide quality recreation and education opportunities, enhance the state’s economy through tourism and provide leadership in resource conservation. Connect with ASP on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and visit and to learn more.

Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism

The Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism protects and promotes our state’s natural, cultural and historic assets, contributing to a thriving economy and high quality of life. It is made up of three divisions: Arkansas State Parks, Arkansas Heritage and Arkansas Tourism. Shea Lewis serves as the secretary for the department.

About the Arkansas Cinema Society

ACS is a non-profit committed to building a film community in Arkansas where film lovers can watch films, share ideas, connect with each other and nurture the new and existing film talent within our state through increased exposure to filmmakers and their art. Those interested in supporting ACS can visit their website at

About Fort Smith International Film Festival

The Fort Smith International Film returns August 22 – 24 at TempleLive. For its 4th year of the festival will run alongside the MidAmerica Film Market, which will bring buyers who work with major theatrical companies and streaming services around the world. Film submissions will open February 2 and run through May 24, with four deadlines (Early Bird March 1, Regular April 5, Late May 3, and Extended May 24) with the cost of entry increasing. The three categories Narrative Feature, Documentary Features and Episodic will be eligible for both the market and festival. The remaining categories are only eligible for the festival: People of Color Shorts, Indigenous Shorts, Music Videos, Animation, High School & College Student, and all genre of short film with no date limits on production. Everyone is welcome to submit at FilmFreeway or they can visit

About Ozark Media Arts Festival

As a student festival, the Ozark Media Arts Festival provides an opportunity for local and regional students, from middle school to high school to showcase their work, compete and gain exposure to the professional worlds of digital film, broadcast television, podcasting, photography, media marketing and graphic design. With Upload Competitions, Onsite Competitions, and “Of The Year” nominations, students and teachers have the opportunity to receive awards and prizes to support their programs and futures. Industry professionals across the region gather alongside educators through workshops and the Regional Advisory Council to support the students, grow connections with each other, and strengthen the creative community for a rising future in media.

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