Post by Laura Li. Li is a West Carleton High School student and member of the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library Teen Advisory Group. She has also blogged on the Ottawa Public Library website as Teen blogger in Residence.
While the rest of Ottawa settled in for a regular Thursday evening, young directors and future Hollywood big-shots gathered around intently at the Nepean Centrepointe Theatre to attend the fifth annual screening of the Teen Tech Awards – an event organized by the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) that allows teens all over the city to express their inner creativity through a camera lense.
Each year, teens aged 13 to 18 are given the opportunity to create a book-inspired short video.The genres of these videos vary greatly, from heartwarming rom-coms to nail-biting thrillers. Entries were then looked over by a panel of judges consisting of teen services librarians, Teen Advisory Group (TAG) members, and teen filmmaking professionals.
This year, over 40 entries had been submitted, which was met at the awards night on April 28 with an impressive turnout of attendees. Families and friends of the contestants as well as passionate film-watchers flooded the auditorium, eager for the big reveal of the top 10 videos.
“It’s greatly rewarding seeing the overall quality of these videos every year,” says Tim Tierney, Chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board. “The amount of devotion and enthusiasm these individuals have for their work is very impressive.”
Activities and spectacles were held throughout the night in order to warm up the audience, including a “human bingo,” a dance performance put on by students from Woodroffe High School, and several door prizes. A brief message from last year’s Teen Tech Awards winner, grade 12 student Adriana, and the top 10 finalists’ videos were screened.
“I really enjoyed watching everyone’s videos and seeing the different techniques others used for them,” says grade 12 student, Chris, whose own entry had placed into the top 10.
Voices hushed and lights finally dimmed as the announcement of the final 3 winners were announced. The prizes were awarded, including a Best Buy gift certificate and SAW video t-shirt as well as an iPad mini for the first place winner.
“Although I really wish I could’ve placed this year, I’m still really happy for the [Teen Tech Award] winners,” says grade 10 student Alison, who has taken part in the event three years in a row. “It’s been an amazing experience – as always – to see what cool ideas people come up with each year, and tonight definitely did not disappoint me.”
See below for the top three winning videos:
3rd Place: Sur le seuil by Mika Coderre
Winner of a $75 gift certificate for Best Buy and a SAW Video t-shirt
2nd Place: Crank by Parnika Rajaghatta
Winner of a $150 Best Buy gift certificate and a SAW Video t-shirt and handbook
1st Place: Goodnight Moon by Ian Kemp
Winner of an iPad mini, SAW Video t-shirt and a SAW Video workshop package and basic membership
The Teen Tech Awards took place on April 28, 2016. For more pictures, check out the Facebook page.