The Community Environmental Council, in partnership with Traffic Solutions, is calling for entries to the annual Green Shorts Film Festival.

Submissions for the festival are due March 26. Early entries (on or before March 19) will be entered into a raffle to win a solar iPod charger, a Santa Barbara Axxess Card, a surf print by Robert Heeley or a Soul Majestic CD.

Top-rated films will be previewed at a special screening event and awards ceremony at 7:30 p.m. April 16 at the Lobero Theatre. Winning films will receive great prizes, including a MacBook computer, gift certificates to Samy’s Camera and more. The films also will be aired on Channel 17.

Tickets for the event will be $7 at the door. Click here to purchase them in advance. (Tickets are subject to $1.50 per ticket facility fee.)

The festival will culminate at the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. The Santa Barbara Earth Day 40 Festival will be April 17-18 in Alameda Park in Santa Barbara.

The Green Shorts Film Festival is an annual online film festival about saving the planet, helping the environment and being green. The 2010 contest theme is “Bringing it Home” (also the theme of the Earth Day celebration).

Organizers hope to solicit compelling and entertaining commentaries regarding sustainable living, eating and growing local food, sustainable transportation, energy independence and a green future without petroleum. This is a chance for concerned citizens to share the ways in which we can all reduce consumption of fossil fuels, reduce traffic congestion, protect the environment and reduce the carbon footprint.

Videos are limited to two minutes in length. Only residents of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties are eligible to submit entries. Winners will be selected by a panel of judges.

General Prize Categories

» Grand Prize — MacBook computer, sponsored by Samy’s Camera

» Second Place Prize — $300 gift certificate to Samy’s, sponsored by the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District

» Third Place Prize — $200 Samy’s gift certificate, sponsored by APCD

Student Categories

» Age 11 or younger — $100 Samy’s gift certificate, sponsored by the Alliance for Sustainable and Equitable Regional Transportation

» Ages 12-18 — $100 Samy’s gift certificate, sponsored by the Coalition for Sustainable Transportation

» College Award — $200 Samy’s gift certificate, sponsored by the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition

» Traffic Solutions Award — Video camera. This award will be given to any movie that focuses on sustainable transportation such as commuting, bicycling, walking, carpooling, taking transit, vanpooling or telecommuting. This award will be judged and selected by Traffic Solutions staff.

To enter, filmmakers should:

» Register for the film festival.

» Click here to upload a movie to the Green Shorts Film Festival Vimeo site and share your movie with your friends and family.

» Mail or drop off your movie to the Community Environmental Council.

Filmmakers who need access to video, audio and lighting equipment can take advantage of Santa Barbara Channels equipment and studios. Click here for more information.

Click here for more information about the contest, or call the Community Environmental Council at 805.963.0583 x105.

— Megan Diaz is an energy program associate for the Community Environmental Council.