Student filmmakers get opportunity to shine

The next Steven Spielberg or Orson Welles could be sitting in a Michigan classroom right now. We're one step closer to finding out, as student filmmakers from high schools across Michigan will compete for over $20,000 in prizes as part of the Meijer Great Choices Student Film Festival.

Participants will submit 30-second public service announcements highlighting one of three positive themes: building character, promoting healthy lifestyles and celebrating diversity. The videos will be targeted to one of two audiences: K-6 students, and students in grades 7-12.

The deadline for submissions is Feb. 8.

Submissions will be judged by a panel of college film students, media professionals and others. Semi-finalists will be notified in May, and the film festival is tentatively scheduled for June 8 at Celebration Cinema North in Grand Rapids. Cash prizes range from $500 up to $2,000.

K-8 students are also eligible to participate in the Junior Student Film Festival, where participants will produce PSAs geared toward elementary students. Winners will receive classroom grants ranging from $200-$500.

The deadline for the junior event is Feb. 11.

For more information, contest rules and to view past winning entries, visit http://www.meijergreatchoices.com.