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"If I Had a Trillion Dollars..." Portland Students Share Ideas in D.C.

April 12. 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. - The thought of $1 trillion is hard for most people to fathom, but a group of students from Portland's Jefferson High School has attempted to put it into perspective.

The students produced a short film called, "Love is Louder than Guns," which was chosen to be featured at the "If I Had a Trillion Dollars" film festival to be held Saturday through Monday in Washington, D.C.

Robert Khasho helped produce the stop-motion animated piece with the students.

"The video shows how we would like the money to be spent. With the same amount of money, you could employ 20 million teachers or provide 174 million scholarships."

The Portland students' film was selected as one of the winners by a panel of judges which included actress Susan Sarandon.

Khasho says gathering facts for the film was a learning experience for the team, especially when examining the repercussions of the priority of war spending.

"Instead of cause destruction and damage, like male vets make up one-third of the homeless population. And 18 vets kill themselves a day."

The annual competition, sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee and the National Priorities Project, aims to shed light on the amount of money spent on wars and tax breaks for the wealthy.

The film is online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhKM6caC5Ms&feature=youtu.be. All entries in the contest are at http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC28E204D2178F0EF&feature=plcp.

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - OR