Ocean Film Festival 2011
Student Winners of the
Robert O. Levitt
Emerging Filmmaker Awards
Savannah College of Art and Design student Gabriella Garcia-Pardo won the Ocean
Gold Robert. O. Levitt Emerging Filmmaker Award for her film, "Whose Wilderness is It?" during the 2011
Gray's Reef Ocean Film Festival.
Ten student films were entered in the competition for the Robert O. Levitt Award
during the ninth annual film festival held Sept. 22-25.
Garcia-Pardo's film won over the panel of seven judges for its quality videography
and thoughtful writing, said Keenan Smart, retired director of the National Geographic Television & Film's
Natural History Unit and senior advisor to the Gray's Reef Ocean Film Festival. Smart leads the panel of
judges which includes several filmmakers associated with National Geographic.
"It was just a beautiful film," Smart said.
The film "The Tree Climbers," by producer director Jackson Notier took Ocean
Silver while the film "Sea Turtles: A Second Chance," by producer director Taylor Jenlins took Ocean
The Levitt Award is named for Dr. Robert O.
Levitt, a Savannah area internist, who
loved SCUBA diving. He was a pioneer in dive medicine, writing several professional articles in the 1970s to help other physicians understand the rigors of recreational scuba diving and the health issues their diving
patients might face. He taught SCUBA for many years and wrote the first diving instruction text books used
by the YMCA's diving instructors. Levitt was an advocate of using film to inspire conservation of the
oceans. Kathryn Levitt carries on his interest in and concern for the ocean world today with her continued support of the Gray's Reef Ocean Film Festival.
Officials from the Gray's Reef Ocean Film Festival announced the dates September
20-24, 2012, for next year's 10th anniversary festival. The 2012 festival will include a selection of
utstanding films, an environmental photography contest and exhibit and a performance by the Savannah
Philharmonic among other events.