For Immediate Release
17-Year-Old Wins National Peace Video Contest for Second Year Running
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Teenager Erik
Choquette has created a remarkable animated video to claim the $1,000 first
prize in the 2009 Swackhamer Disarmament Video Contest for the second year in a
Called The Nuclear Genie,
the three minute video uses inventive graphics to connect nuclear weapons
history with a way to "get the genie back in the bottle" through
public participation in the democratic process.
The top three videos, as well as the four receiving honorable mention,
can be viewed on line at:
Choquette, 17, had a clear strategy for this
year's competition. "I focused on a call to action and how this
issue has influenced our society for so long," he said. "It's an
issue that many people simply ignore, never fully realizing, or wanting to
realize, the possible effects of using a nuclear weapon again especially in our
There were 120 videos submitted to this year's Swackhamer
competition. They displayed a variety of approaches from animation to
claymation to live action drama. There was even one nuclear disarmament rap
- "War on Nuclear Warheads" - which ended up getting
"The judges and the staff of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
were all overwhelmed at the research, creativity and countless hours that went
in to each of the videos," said Rick Wayman,
Director of Programs for the Foundation and contest coordinator. "It was
difficult to pick the winners for this year's contest; there were many
videos contesting for the top spots. We honor each and every one of the
entrants for their commitment to the cause."
Choquette enters his senior year at Santa Barbara High School
this fall. It promises to be a very busy time in his life.
"I'm applying to roughly 9-10 major film schools
like USC, NYU, and UCLA. My dream school is USC, but it's going to take a lot
to get in. For now, I'm starting to focus on narrative filmmaking. I'm starting
production soon on a film I wrote several months ago which will act as an
application film for colleges, but also as a film to enter into
Second prize, and $750, went to the animated video,
"Numbers of Destruction" by Tyler Short of Portland,
Oregon. Third prize, and $250, was awarded to "Beautiful World"
by Calvin Brue of Fergus Falls,
All videos had to be three minutes or less.
The topic for the
contest was: "Breakthrough:
Putting the Nuclear Genie Back in the Bottle -- How
can we achieve a world free of nuclear weapons by the year 2020? Once this is
achieved, how can we make sure that the "nuclear genie" stays in
the bottle forever?"
video contest will be held annually. There will be an announcement about the next
contest in March 2010.
Please contact Steven Crandell, 805 965-3443 for interview requests