PSA Film Winner Announced


Credit: Kira Bixby '19

For the past two years, the film club has invited the entire school to participate in a unique contest: creating your own commercial. This year’s winner is Edward Bergham.

A freshman from North Salem, New York, Edward’s idea, about sensitizing students about plastic waste, was announced as the winning entry on March 22. Production with a professional film crew will begin on Saturday, April 13, and the PSA will debut at the 12th Annual Williston Film Festival on Thursday, May 9.

The chosen subject reflects a problem that is sadly ignored around the country. Less than 9% of all plastic in America gets recycled in America, according to National Geographic. The growth in plastic waste is directly correlated to the increase in plastic production, but the problem lies with the decomposition.

According to the Telegraph UK, a plastic water bottle takes more than 450 years to decompose. Put it this way; if the founders of the Massachusetts Bay Company had arrived with a boatload full of plastic, in 1628, chances are the plastic would still be lying around.

Edward knows that the crisis is critical in the country and felt the need to address the problem. When he was given the opportunity to use a platform to spread the message, he jumped on the opportunity.

“I try to be environmentally conscious, and at some point, I definitely want to live in a self-sustainable way,” Edward explained. “The environment is so easy to ignore and put on the back burner, and the U.S is very dismissive about the issue.”

Mr. Hing oversaw picking a winner along with Dan Phakos ’06, a director and former student of Hing’s. Hing and Phakos “went over about half a dozen final contenders, making the final decision based upon strength of concept and the ability to execute within our resources, time frame, and budget,” Hing said. Ultimately, Edward was announced as the winner during an assembly.

The PSA will be filmed by a professional film crew from New York, giving Edward an opportunity to experience a real crew and real pro equipment.

Funding for the PSA is provided as part of the alumni Grum fund, which funds a number of programs within the Arts department, including bringing artists to campus.

While many weren’t aware of the developing project, it caught the eye of lots of people on campus.

“I think it’s cool that a guy my age wants to talk about something this controversial,” Alex Poulson ’21 said. “It’s a great topic and I look forward to seeing how it turns out.”

The advertisement will be played at a school-wide assembly once the editing crew is done.