FYI contest taps top pix

Awards ceremony will be held June 19

FYI — Film Your Issue, an issue-oriented shorts contest open to young filmmakers, has announced its 2006 winners.

Winning films are “Innocence Lost,” by Gabriel Veenendaal from Murrah, Utah; “Orphans in Africa,” by Tim Leaton of Midlothian, Va.; “Thumbs Down to Pity,” by Benjamin Snow of Woodland Park, Colo.; “Strike It Up,” by Molly Conners of Albany, N.Y.; and “It’s the Buzz,” by Brian Gonzalez of San Antonio, Texas.

An awards ceremony will be held June 19 at United Nations headquarters in New York City.

Winners were decided in part by public voting on MSNBC.com. More than 88,000 votes were cast, breaking the Web site’s record for a streaming video poll.

A panel of judges — including Walter Cronkite, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ellen Burstyn, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa — also helped choose the winning entries.

In addition to airing this summer on mtvU, MTV’s college network, the films will be part of the upcoming MacNeil/Lehrer Prods. program “Generation Next.”

“The goal of ‘Generation Next’ is to give young people a voice,’ according to Judy Woodruff, who will serve as executive editor and correspondent on the project. It will air late this year as a PBS documentary and in segments on “The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer,” as well as online.

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