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SDFF Winner

Local iReporter Wins Award at San Diego Film Festival

Above: Chris Morrow accepting her Award at the SDFF, to her right is artist Robert Wyland, the subject of her documentary.

The 8th annual San Diego Film Festival wrapped up this past weekend with the Best San Diego Film award going to photojournalist Chris Morrow for her documentary "Wyland: Earth Day."

Morrow, one of the premier ireporters on CNN's ireport.com, chronicled the artist Robert Wyland and his work creating the largest portrait of Earth. Titled, "Earth: The Blue Planet," Wyland completed the project covering the 2.8 acre roof of the Long Beach Arena in just 2 days in celebration of Earth Day 2009. The rooftop project completed his earlier work of Planet Ocean which surrounds the exterior wall of the Arena. Wyland is renowned for his artwork depicting whales and scenes of nature on a grand scale. Wyland completed his 100th "Whaling Wall" in Beijing China for the 2008 Olympics. Some local residents may remember watching him create one of his murals at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in 2006.

The documentary "Wyland: Earth Day" does a remarkable job of capturing the idea, creation, and completion of "Earth: The Blue Planet." Shot over 2 days with zero budget, the film conveys a lot of the creative excitement and immensity of this monumental project. It also captures the moments when nature artist Wyland is frustrated by Mother Nature and must re-think his project with his deadline looming just hours away. Because of the damp air, Wyland must change his painting technique of using pressure washers filled with paint like giant air brushes to what Wyland describes as a "Jackson Pollack technique" of splashing five gallon drums of paint across his “canvas.” Wyland uses thousands of gallons of environmentally-friendly paint donated by Dunn Edwards. Using common push brooms like paint brushes, Wyland is able to put on the final touches and complete his project for Earth Day 2009. Earth: The Blue Planet is an amazing depiction of the beauty of our world and testament of one person’s vision. Chris Morrow's "Wyland: Earth Day" documentary allows all of us to share in the experience.

--Aaron Watanabe is a Marketing and Creative Business Development consultant. He’s worked in Licensing and as an Editor at Time Warner Entertainment. Past projects include Transformers, X-Men, and video game properties such as EverQuest. He enjoys movies and pop culture.

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