Skaneateles High School students produce grand prize-winning Speak Truth video

Two groups of Skaneateles High School students were among finalists in the Speak Truth to Power national video contest with Veronica Ryan, bottom left, Catherine Cramer and Bridget Neumann earning the school's first grand prize recognition. Ruby Ramsgard, top left, Dana Palmer, Kelsey Ibach and Greta Weiss finished third overall.

SKANEATELES — After several years of submissions, Skaneateles High School has produced a grand prize-winning piece in the Speak Truth to Power national video contest thanks to students Veronica Ryan, Catherine Cramer, and Bridget Neumann.

Each year, students in Kate Hardy’s Honors 10 English class submit videos to the contest with projects finishing in the runner-up position the last two years but never winning the grand prize.

That all changed this year with Ryan, Cramer and Neumann producing “LGBTQ Rights: A Documentary.”

The grand prize-winning team was notified of their result via Skype with Speak Truth to Power committee members. As grand prize winners, all three students are invited to attend New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival, where their video will be featured before the film festival audience.

Hardy’s class not only produced this year’s grand prize champion out of some 800-plus video submissions. It also produced a third-place finish nationally for the team of Ruby Ramsgard, Greta Weiss, Kelsey Ibach and Dana Palmer with their video “Frank Mugisha: I Am a Friend.”

Sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers, Tribeca Film Institute and RFK Human Rights and based on Kerry Kennedy’s book "Speak Truth to Power: Human Rights Defenders Who Are Changing Our World," the Speak Truth to Power middle and high school filmmaking competition encourages students to become engaged in human rights through video production.

The two videos from Skaneateles High School were judged by a celebrity panel including Kerry Kennedy, acclaimed film director Oliver Stone, actor and producer Matt McCoy, and more.

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