Bag Blog

Silent Film, Short Animation Win Top Prizes in Video Contest Promoting Plastic Bag Recycling, Reuse

(Richmond, VA) – April 8, 2011 – A silent cinema spoof featuring two squabbling teenage girls with big ideas on recycling and a short flick about a happy-bag-turned-sad-sac have each been named grand prize winners in the A Bag’s Life video contest for Virginia high school students.

Laura Fowler and Tori Hayes, students at Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach, will pick up $1,000 for their winning “Save the Bags!” in the reuse category. The black and white video tallied nearly 3,800 online votes, the most in the field of 10 semi-finalist entries posted on the website.

Thomas McNulty, Steven Duffy and Ryan Williams, students at Yorktown High School in Arlington, won the same cash prize in the recycle category for his short “A Bag’s Life,” which used creative animation to express mood swings of his main character, a bag named Paul, who in the end is rescued from an untimely demise.

High school students across Virginia submitted almost 50 one-to-two-minute videos initially before judges narrowed the field to include the top entries for voting from March 9 to April 3. Second and third place prizes also were awarded in both categories for themes that included a super hero, funky fashions, a top-10 countdown and a bag’s journey to be recycled. 

Following is a list of all winners.

Reuse Category

  • First place, $1,000. Laura Fowler & Tori Hayes, Princess High School, “Save the Bags” silent film using title cards to show how two girls reuse their bags.
  • Second place, $500. Chrystyne Ruiz, Park View High School, Sterling, for “Reduce. Reuse. Have a Fashion Show,” featuring haute couture by three designers who craft a clothing line out of recycled plastic bags.
  • Third place, $300. Juliana Leckszas, Atlee High School, Mechanicsville, for “Top 10 Bag Countdown” in which bags are used to cover bicycle seat covers, collect Halloween candy and pick up pet poop.

Recycle Category

  • First place, $1,000. Thomas McNulty, Steven Duffy and Ryan Williams, Yorktown High School, Arlington, for “A Bag’s Life” using animation to show that a bag has feelings, too, about being trashed.
  • Second place, $500. Sam Gorman from Nelson County High School and Hannah Peterson of Albemarle High School, Charlottesville, for “Bag-Man” in which a superhero saves the day by rescuing bags to be recycled. 
  • Third place, $300. Victoria Gambriel, Atlee High School, Mechanicsville, for “Three Bags on a Journey” using stop-motion, bags are first thrown away in the trash and then take a journey to other places where they can be recycled.

In all, nearly 14,000 votes were cast in the contest, which kicked off on America Recycles Day in November 2010 at the Capitol, with the help of A Bag’s Life partners Keep Virginia Beautiful, the Department of Environmental Quality, the Office of the Secretary of Natural Resources and the Virginia Retail Federation.