IMAX Continues To Invest In Young Filmmakers: Student-Made Documentary Challenge

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IMAX Continues To Invest In Young Filmmakers With Kick-Off Of Second Annual Student-Made Documentary Challenge
Company Awards a Total of $25,000 in Grants to High School Film Programs in Ongoing Campaign
IMAX Logo. (PRNewsFoto/IMAX Corporation) IMAX Logo. (PRNewsFoto/IMAX Corporation)
NEW YORK, Nov. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- IMAX Corp. (NYSE: IMAX) today awarded $5,000 grants each to five U.S. high school film programs as part of its broader effort to educate students about key environmental and societal issues impacting the world and to inspire them to become advocates for change through filmmaking. Each student film program has been challenged to create inspiring documentaries to further IMAX's commitment to drive awareness of the global issues outlined in the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The grants are being awarded for the school's participation in IMAX In Focus, a multi-faceted philanthropic program unveiled by IMAX last year to benefit the student film programs and help the next generation of filmmakers develop their creative abilities and use the power of film to drive positive change.

This year's participants for the 2017-18 school year, listed below, encompass a diverse cross-section of American high school students geographically, demographically and economically:

Cedar Crest High School; Lebanon, Penn.
Digital Arts & Cinema Technology High School; Brooklyn, N.Y.
A collaboration of The Marvelwood School in Kent, Conn., and Stamford Academy in Stamford, Conn.
Henry J. Kaiser High School; Honolulu
The Kinkaid School; Houston
Launched in October 2016, In Focus arose from IMAX's unique private-public partnership with UN Environment, the UN's agency that oversees environmental issues, which seeks to educate audiences about key societal and environmental issues impacting the planet.

Each school will create an eight-minute documentary and related social media content on one of the UN's 17 SDGs, which range from eradicating poverty and promoting gender equality to ensuring universal access to clean water and modern energy.

To ensure that a robust library of student-created content is available for global audiences, IMAX has chosen to address three new goals:

Zero Hunger, the collective endeavor to end hunger, ensure access to safe food supplies, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.
Good Health and Well-Being, efforts to promote healthy lifestyles and overall well-being for all – regardless of age or domicile.
Sustainable Cities and Communities, the quest to make cities and other population centers inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
"We are honored to work with another group of talented and deserving student filmmakers to help them unlock their creative abilities and see, first-hand, the power that the big screen can have in promoting positive change," said IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond. "We're proud to continue and expand the In Focus program, and fulfill IMAX's commitment to empowering the next generation of filmmakers."

Since starting the program last year, IMAX has worked with the All-American High School Film Festival to identify exemplary schools, with IMAX ultimately selecting the final five schools to participate in the In Focus program.

"Our partnership with IMAX proves that the industry is invested in the next generation of talented filmmakers," said All American High School Film Festival Executive Director Tom Oliva. "This unparalleled opportunity offers students real-world education, a chance to create content with purpose and a platform to share their unique perspective with the world."

In June, IMAX released five thought-provoking documentaries made by the 2016 inaugural class of the In Focus program. The students explored issues ranging from poor air quality in D.C. and water pollution in the Everglades to the declining honeybee population and angst in some U.S. cities over dwindling sources of drinking water.

The young filmmakers deployed an array of film techniques, including creatively interspersing interviews with officials from the EPA, the National Parks Service, the NOAA, the Coastal Watershed Institute, and state legislators. The full library is available on the IMAX website.