Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Feb. 8, 2023

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Battle Ground student wins Next Generation Angels film contest

The Columbian

BATTLE GROUND — The Better Angels Society recently announced six winners of its 2022 Next Generation Angels Awards, the annual prize established in coordination with National History Day to recognize historical filmmaking by students across the United States. One winner is a local student: Aubrey Grier an eighth-grader at Chief Umtuch Middle School in Battle Ground.

Grier directed a film “Whaling Rights: A Moral Debate of Cultural Preservation.”

The winners will have opportunities in the coming months to discuss their films during mentorship events with acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, as well as with winners of the Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film. All winning films will also be available to watch on Ken Burns UNUM, Burns’ digital history project that traces themes throughout American history. At the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, Burns and the UNUM team curated an UNUM Playlist based on National History Day’s theme, “Debate and Diplomacy,” to inspire the students’ projects. The playlist includes scenes from Burns’s past films as well as new videos from modern-day thought leaders, including Imani Perry and Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.

“These impressive young students represent the next generation of documentary filmmakers who are already contributing to our greater understanding of our country’s complicated past,” said Ken Burns. “Now more than ever, well-researched documentaries about American history are critical to the health of our democracy. I’m immensely proud of these student filmmakers for their countless hours of hard work that went into the research, planning, and execution of their films — and for so effectively engaging and educating audiences on their chosen topic.”

The winning filmmakers will each be provided with official copyrights for their films during a virtual ceremony in October, when their projects will be entered permanently into the Moving Image Section of the Library of Congress.