The Plastic Bag Store – Opening at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA)

May 9 , 8:00 am September 2 , 5:00 pm EDT

The Plastic Bag Store is a public art installation and immersive film experience by Brooklyn-based artist Robin Frohardt that uses humor, craft, and a critical lens to question our culture of consumption and convenience — specifically, the enduring effects of single-use plastics. Opens May 9, 2024, at MASS MoCA. Runs until September 2.

Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S) and Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC) are now accepting submissions for “PLASTIC KILLS!”—a horror short film competition designed to highlight the terrors of plastic pollution and its toxic effects on our bodies, our children, our pets, and our planet.

Mutilated bodies! Melted brains! When it comes to killers, no one and nothing is quite as demented, as twisted, as prolific as…PLASTIC! Eat your heart out, Freddy Krueger. (But be warned: there’s probably plastic in it.)

Plastic pollution and microplastics haunt every aspect of life on earth. Plastics have been found in the stomachs of whales, fish, and birds. Microplastics have been found in human blood, hearts, lung tissue, placentas, and even breast milk. Plastic pollution has unfortunately become a permanent part of beaches and shorelines, with more washing up daily, like ghosts hauntingly reminding us of industries’ out-of-control plastic production. The plastic pollution horrors persist, but if we collectively work to highlight these issues, we can Flip the Script on Plastics and work towards a plastic-free future.

How It Works

Tell whatever story you want in a short 1-3 minute horror film. The tone can be straight horror, comedic horror, thriller, or suspense; just remember, we’re dealing with a killer here.

There is no entry fee. The deadline for submissions is Friday, October 13, 2023. The winning film will be awarded $2,000. HH&S and PPC will announce the winner on Halloween, October 31, 2023. 

To enter, visit the PLASTIC KILLS SHORT FILM COMPETITION portal 

Rules and Guidelines

The short film must highlight the horrors and/or toxic effects of plastic and plastic pollution in a creative way.

• All submissions must pass The Begley-Cohen Test, meaning:

(1) No single-use plastics appear on screen (i.e., the film/show is set in a time with no plastic, or plastics are replaced with refillable, reusable, or package-free options), or…

(2) If a single-use plastic item appears on screen, it is portrayed or discussed as problematic.

Horror or horror-adjacent genres only: The tone should be fitting for Halloween. 

1–3 minutes total run time.

• Films must be submitted in .mp4 files.

Original, scripted material only. Documentaries, “unscripted” content, montages, reels, or trailers will not be accepted.

• Films must be in English or subtitled in English.

Submissions

• Entrants must submit the following materials through the online submission form

▫ .mp4 file of film completed and available for online viewing by the time the contest period ends.

▫ One sentence logline for the film.

Awards

Grand Prize Winner receives:

• Cash prize of $2,000

• Special invitation to the Hollywood, Health & Society Sentinel Awards in Los Angeles, California

• Special invitation to a Plastic Pollution Coalition VIP event in Los Angeles, California, in May 2024

• Film screening during the annual Hollywood, Health & Society Sentinel Awards, attended by press and entertainment industry professionals

Top Five Finalists Receive:

• Plastic Pollution Coalition plastic-free swag bag

• Promotion and shares across Plastic Pollution Coalition and Hollywood, Health & Society newsletters, pages, and social channels

Judging Panel

Jack Bender – Producer and Director: Lost, Child’s Play 3, From

Ian Brennan – Executive Producer: Dahmer, The Watcher, Scream Queens 

Alan DiFiore – Co-Executive Producer: Grimm, The Expanse

Esteban Gast – Comedian, recently named as one of Grist’s 50 Fixers

Paul Grellong – Executive Producer and Writer: The Boys, Revolution, Hawaii Five-O

John Herrera – Writer and Producer: Handmaid’s Tale, The Purge

Liv Hewson – Actor: Yellowjackets, Santa Clarita Diet, Under My Skin

Peyton List – Actor: School Spirits, Cobra Kai, Light as a Feather

Jill Mazursky – Producer and Writer: Exposure, Gone Fishin’, Golf Punks

Jonathan Penner – Writer and Actor: The Bye Bye Man, Let the Devil Wear Black, Horror Cinema

Paula Poundstone – Comedian and Author: Home Movies, Inside Out, Hyperspace

Sean Reycraft – Co-Executive Producer and Writer: Mayfair Witches, Coroner, Killjoys, Vampire Diaries

Paul Robinson – Mixed media, photography based artist 

Sarah Yarkin – Actor: School Spirits, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Happy Death Day 2 U

Resources:

Inspiration:

Learn More & Get Involved

Learn more about Flip the Script on Plastics, including additional resources and latest news on how we’re helping Hollywood eliminate single-use plastics from sets and storylines. To get involved with our initiative, contact Amelia@PlasticPollutionCoalition.org.

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Plastic Pollution Coalition’s incredible and growing group of Artist Allies are channeling their creativity to inspire positive change on the issue. Together, this diverse group of creators illuminates plastic pollution facts and solutions across a wide range of mediums, from performance pieces to giant sculptures made of discarded plastic stuff.

Let’s explore a few of our Artist Allies’ recent projects that shine a light on the plastic pollution crisis—and the solutions we need to solve this urgent problem.

Alvaro Soler Arpa

Alvaro Soler Arpa (Spain) is an artist who uses his knowledge of anatomy, talent for drawing, and interest in organic forms to express concern for human impact on the planet and its inhabitants. His creations, especially his sculptures made of animal bones, wires, and plastic waste collected in landfills, convey the struggle of survival on a planet plasticized by people. Emphasizing the consequences of mass consumer culture for wildlife and the planet, Soler Arpa honors the struggle of nature to move forward, despite all odds. Creatures from his “Toxic Evolution” series (2011–2016) were recently shown at Himmel Unter Berlin in Germany.

Pam Longobardi

Pam Longobardi (U.S.) is a mixed-media artist who uses plastic recovered from beaches around the world to depict how consumerism is transforming the ocean and planet. In her most recent project, she has catalogued photos of plastic artifacts and testimony from her expeditions and beach combing between 2005 and 2021, with contributions from others who have similarly interacted with plastics on shorelines: Ocean Gleaning (2022).

We are remaking the world in plastic, and many objects found on beaches are hauntingly creaturelike, humanlike, or stonelike—natural, even though they are unnatural pieces of plastic. I do think the ocean is communicating with us through this plastic. The ocean is giving these messages to anyone who wants to pay attention.

— Pam Longobardi

Nicole Stott

Nicole Stott (U.S.) is retired from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and was the first astronaut to paint watercolor in space. She is a veteran of two space flights, logging 104 days living and working aboard both the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. Witnessing the beauty of the world from the perspective of space is something Nicole wishes to share to motivate people to appreciate and care for our planet. She is a founding member of the Space for Art Foundation which works to inspire children experiencing personal and planetary challenges to imagine and create a positive future for themselves through art.

My hope is that we can all embrace we are crew, not passengers, here on Spaceship Earth.

— Nicole Stott

Tomfoolery

Tomfoolery (UK) is a poet and filmmaker who uses spoken word and visual storytelling to create captivating viral videos about real-world issues. Recently, he partnered with Plastic Pollution Coalition to create The Plastic Age, the story of humanity’s relationship with plastic, from extraction of its fossil fuel ingredients, to production, disposal, and pollution in the environment and our bodies. Tomfoolery also highlights the solutions we need to solve it—and offers encouragement as we forge ahead.

Benjamin Von Wong

View on Instagram: @vonwong

Benjamin Von Wong (Canada) creates visually stunning, monumental mixed-media sculptures designed to arrest the attention of viewers. He is well known for his creations “Turn off the Plastic Tap” and “Skull of Satoshi,” which bring attention to the dangers of continued plastics production and bitcoin mining’s climate impacts. Ahead of the second negotiating session of the UN Plastics Treaty (INC-2), held in Paris, France, in May, Von Wong created a 15-foot “Perpetual Plastic Machine,”  commissioned by Greenpeace, to communicate “the toxic relationship between fossil fuels and plastic production.” Von Wong illuminated his piece with fire to help further connect the dots between fossil fuels and plastic pollution—and the fact that real solutions go beyond simply cleaning up, recycling, or incinerating (burning). 

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