A North Texas college student's energy-saving message has made her the winner of a statewide film competition.
Katherine Yarbrough, a senior at the Art Institute of Dallas, won TXU Energy's Light Up the Red Carpet Film Contest.
More than 50 young filmmakers created short films showing their vision of the future of energy. Yarbrough used her own personal experiences to send a humorous message about energy conservation.
"Queen Kill-A-Watt is a kind of funny, nightmarish film about two roommates, one of them who is a light hoarder," said Yarbrough. "I have had some eco-villain roommates."
She portrays them in her film as the character "Queen Kill-A-Watt," who likes to keep all the lights on. The character's roommate complains about the electricity bill being too high, turns off all the lights, and switches to an energy-efficient CFL bulb.
"The reaction has been really awesome, and I'm really excited that people have gotten to see it and that people actually care," said Yarbrough.
Online voters made Yarbrough's movie a finalist in the film contest and landed her three screenings at the Dallas International Film Festival.
"The information was timely, and it is what people do. We do tend to over-consume here in our society, but she had a solution that came in and delivered an energy conservation message," said Donna Egen, TXU Energy's brand and promotions manager. "What we've got here is an emerging generation that's going to be paying a lot of attention to energy and their use of energy and perhaps not burning through resources."
Yarbrough won $7,500, which she has to split with her school. The prize money will give her film career quite a boost as it will pay for her expenses during an internship at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in May.