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Local wins YouTube challenge 

Colorado Springs resident Christopher Harrell learned Monday that he is one of three winners of the Vancouver Film School/YouTube Scholarship Competition.

As such, the 25-year-old graphic designer will receive a full-tuition scholarship, valued at roughly $50,000, to the prestigious Canadian film school.

Hundreds of contest participants submitted three-minute films on the theme, "What Matters to You." The film school then narrowed the field to 10 finalists, which tens of thousands of YouTube viewers then voted on. The contest's other two winners hail from Mexico and Germany.

In Harrell's film (viewable at youtube.com/watch?v=fF5g2i8_HM8), which was nearing 100,000 views as of Wednesday morning, the filmmaker delivers a socially conscious monologue while sitting behind a desk. But through the three minutes, he interacts with holographs, ranging from rolling tanks to ticking clocks, that pop up all around him.

The visuals heighten the discomfort of statistics, such as the Earth's population growing at the rate of approximately one person per second. Other issues mentioned in the segment include the plights of Burmese refugees, displaced Palestinians and Africans affected by malaria.

The focus on human population growth and several countries' pandemic troubles stems from the artist's previous work with an international nonprofit. Harrell ultimately stresses there are many ways the common person can make a difference.

For Harrell, that means " ... using all the things that I love to make this world a better place."

  • Christopher Harrell will receive a $50,000 scholarship to Vancouver Film School.

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