Eighteen finalists have been named in the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) “Flu-Fighting Festival” video and poster contest. Californians have until Monday Jan. 31 at 11:59 p.m. to vote for their top picks at http://cdphfilmfest.org.
“I am pleased to see so many young people from across the state participating in public health,” said CDPH’s Director Dr. Mark Horton. “The videos and posters that these finalists have created for their peers will help communicate the simple but important methods of flu prevention – wash your hands, cough into your sleeve, stay home when you’re sick, and get vaccinated.”
Meet the finalists:
Three finalists hail from the Los Angeles area:
• Myles Hacock, 18, attends Royal High School in Simi Valley and his poster is “Combat the Flu!” He says that he’s been studying realistic drawing and wanted to portray that in his entry, but also wanted to throw in something funny – comedic flu germs – to attract people’s attention.
• Noha Dandachi, 19, is studying graphic design at Cal Poly, Pomona. His inspiration for submitting the poster “Vaccination Comic Strip” was to be a part of something involving graphic design that could help people.
• Samuel Frank, 31, lives in Los Angeles, and his video, “Good Reasons,” illustrates that people know that getting a flu shot is a good idea, but many people make up excuses. “It always seems like people have a good reason to avoid it, but in the end, the reasons are never very good.”
Max Jeffrey, 16, attends Marysville Charter Academy of Arts in Marysville and created a Spanish video entitled “Stay Home if You’re Sick.” “My inspiration for the video was what impact the flu would have if it affected a member of a family,” he said. “My teacher is a director and he helped me script it out – we thought it would be fun to do something like this.”
Two San Diego students made the grade:
• Gabrielle Gutierrez, 18, is a student at Southwest High School. Regarding her video “Quick and Easy Tips” she says, “I’m really more into photography and I saw a video with animation using stop motion so I thought that was a perfect combination – all I needed was a story line and the contest already provided that. The video is made more to visually attract the viewers, then to eventually take the viewers through an adventure. The girl walking is supposed to create movement and then stop at points where a brief message would be delivered. Eventually in the end the viewer would get the overall [flu-prevention] message.”
• Shaelyn Washburn, 16, attends High-Tech High Media Arts School. She has both a video and poster up for voting. Her video is called “Flu PSA” and her poster is “Laves las Manos,” a Spanish finalist. Regarding her inspiration she said, “My mom is a total germaphobe. She taught me how easily germs are spread and I decided to go ahead and make a poster and video of it because I think it’s an important topic, especially during flu season.”
Students ranging in ages 12-15 from Montera Middle School in Oakland came up with the idea for their video, “ACPHD Fights Flu.” They wrote the script, starred in it and recruited an Oakland Tech student to help them film. Zerlyn Ladua, who works in public health, helped the students produce a video “by adolescents for adolescents.” Ladua stated, “In health education, it’s important to respect and engage your audience, it becomes a more powerful message.”
Mai Nguyen, a 19-year-old student from Fremont, created the poster “Stop that Flu!” She says that she took a lot of inspiration from retro 1950s design. “I thought it was a really great eye-catching way to get people to want to get vaccinated.”
Six San Jose students made the cut:
• Catrina Alderete, Piedmont Hills High, Daniel Morales, Leland High, and Micha Orozco, Branham High, all 17, met at CCOC, a facility where students go to learn about careers. Their video “Flu PSA” illustrates how easy it is to pass the flu from one person to another.
• Marissa Alava, 21, a student from San Jose State created her poster “How to Keep the Flu from Getting You” as part of a class project. “My main inspiration was the community and trying to relate to them,” she says. “I give a lot of credit to my professor who suggested to our class that we participate.”
• Candy Ramiro, 22, also a student at San Jose State, said that her poster “Feeling Ill? Sit and Chill” was part of an extra credit project. “I was supposed to model for the photo, but I thought that my dog looked better, so I put him in instead!”
Jaime Betters, 33, from Vacaville created a Spanish video with her two children entitled “Stop the Flu Superhero.” Regarding her inspiration she said, “I work in health care and I really wanted to emphasize being clean and washing hands frequently. This contest looked like a great way to spread a good message, and the kids had a lot of fun making it.”
Jason Boyte, 38, of Berkeley created the Spanish poster called “A Birdie Told Me.” He says he hopes people takes its advice because the flu can be prevented if people get vaccinated.
And, Judy Measell from Madera submitted posters from her entire class and two students were selected as finalists -- Jaime Magallanes,18, and Charles Torrez, 16, from Endeavor Secondary School entered “Covering up When You say Ah-choo!” and the Spanish “Piensa en la Gripe” respectively. "I thought the boys' ideas were very clever and the whole class really enjoyed participating," said Mrs. Measell.
The contest challenged Californians to create a short video or poster in English or Spanish that highlights the steps to prevent the flu. Four winners selected from two language categories will each be awarded a $250 gift card provided by the non-profit California Immunization Coalition.
After the public vote, final winners will be identified by state officials and will be announced during Preteen Vaccine Week, February 13-19. Preteen Vaccine Week is an opportunity to remind parents and guardians about the importance of an annual preteen doctor visit to ensure that children are up-to-date on their immunizations, and that they are protected against dangerous viruses and bacteria, including the flu.