The second annual Protect Our Wetlands, Protect Ourselves film competition will debut its winning entries at the 2009 Voodoo Music Experience. The No Coast, No Music Theater at Voodoo's Five Minute Films Festival, screens Edward Holub and Christian Roselund's grand prize-winning The Human Cost, which documents Hurricane Gustav's impact on the Native American community at Pointe-Au-Chien and the residents of Chauvin, La., as well as the oil industry's impact on the Gulf coast.
Second prize-winner Jared Arsement's Paradise Faded: The Fight for Louisiana, discusses the causes, effects and solutions to the loss of Louisiana's coastal wetlands. Third prize-winner Pouria Baladi's The Cypress Graveyard: Restoring the Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle examines the loss of cypress swamp outside the Lower 9th Ward due to the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, and how to restore the area. The Student Prize went to Claymation Nation Summer Camp students' Protect Our Wetlands. Matt Faust earned the Judges Prize for Home, a short film on the post-Katrina lives of Gulf coast families.
Filmmaker Walter Williams and members of the Charitable Film Network and the Gulf Restoration Network judged the competition. Finalists won prizes from Whole Foods Market as well as VIP passes to the festival. — Alex Woodward