Congratulations to Clear The Air Film Fest Winners and Finalists!

Program | Photos | Finalists' Videos | Press Release

Over 75 films were submitted to Breathe California's Clear The Air Film Fest this year and 18 finalist films were screened on March 4, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. at the New People Cinema in San Francisco. The Film Fest, now in its sixth year, strives to inspire young people to be a voice for their community and lend their unique perspectives to important lung and environmental health issues, using film as a medium for change. Here are this year's winners and finalists:

PSA Category – Sponsored by CVS Health - “#BeTheFirst”

  • First Place and $300 Prize:  “Don’t Erase Your Life Away” - Lorcan McSharp, John Lamm, Alex Kong, and Dao Lee
  • Second Place and $200 Prize:  “Breaking the Chains” - Donovan Toney, Savanna Soto, Samantha De Alba, Alisa Moran, Logan Torosian, Angela Wesson, Nicholas Jackson, Alondra Carillo, Esperanza Ayon, and Leslie Alonso
  • Third Place (tie) and $100 Prize:  “Don’t Smoke Your Breath Away” - Mitchell Rusitzky
  • Third Place (tie) and $100 Prize:  “Stop Asthma” - Isabel Rusitzky, Christabel Campbell, and Mitchell Rusitzky

Fifty PSAs were submitted to the Breathe California/CVS Health statewide “Be the First” competition at the Breathe Youth Media Awards in Sacramento on February 25th and we are delighted to announce that “Breaking the Chains” took home the statewide 1st Place title in the Middle School category!

Youth Category

  • First Place and $1,000 Prize:  “Put a Stop to Asthma” - Isabel Rusitzky, Christabel Campbell, and Mitchell Rusitzky
  • “Save the Planet” - Najeeba Shaikh and Xochitl Coleman
  • “Smoke or Choke” - Tyler Van Note, Meghan Van Note, and Colleen Van Note
  • “Redo” - Jordan Smith
  • “Air Quality” - Rishiraj Chowdhary and Ayaan Shah

High School Category

  • First Place and $1,000 Prize:  “The Plastic Bottle Controversy Explained” - Jeffery Chen
  • “The Cigarette” - Patrick Yldefonzo and Will Karp
  • “Their Future” - Christopher Yldefonzo
  • “Better Days”- Emelia Arnheim
  • “The Grasp of Smoking” - Malia Jenkins
  • “We Are One” - Mandy Chan, Qixin Chen, and Angel Wu
  • “All Expenses Unpaid” - Shaun Riel
  • “CoZone” - Walter Zhao, Jack Phillips, Erick Liu

General Public Category

  • Winner and $500 Prize:  “Fever Reliever” – Green Ninja team: David Chai, Maaike Scherff, Keith Silva, Mark Wanninger, Michael Salmassian, Crystal Cheng, Mike Cascino, Jordel Hurlow, Rikuto Sekiguchi, and Mark Sho

Audience Favorite Category

  • Winner and Gift Card to Borrow Lenses:  “All Expenses Unpaid” - Shaun Riel

Overall Festival Winner

The Overall Festival Winner, “The Plastic Bottle Controversy - Explained” by Jeffery Chen from Burlingame High School, was announced by Rachel Caplan, Executive Director of the San Francisco Green Film Festival.  Jeffery’s film will now be screened at the San Francisco Green Film Fest in April!

What Our Past Judges Say

2015 Judge Mark Ruffalo

I was pleasantly surprised by these film makers and all the ways they chose to express themselves. From very high tech pans and low light photography to making a film on an Iphone, animation, pristine editing, moving interviews and personal stories were all used to great effect. We are in the brave new world of story-telling. These young people with these message-based films are the cutting edge of a new generation of film artists.

Mark Ruffalo Academy Award Nominated Actor and Director

2016 Judge Pablo Gomez

Young people make up 20% of our state’s population. It is a large demographic with game-changing potential. See, we live in a special set of circumstances that sets us apart from previous generations: we do not have the luxury of sticking to the status quo. We cannot afford inaction. It is with this sense of urgency that we work on climate, to find long-lasting solutions and innovation in our everyday lives that can lead to a more sustainable future.

Pablo Gomez Alliance For Climate Education

2017 Sponsors


Executive Producer

Community Partners