Student filmaker takes first with anti-gambling ad

Sara Schlueter

Film student senior Zack Arostegui portrayed the harmful effects of gambling through his brief yet informative 30 second film titled “Gambling Runs Rampant.” Using stop motion techniques, he made a deck of playing cards move across a table into the pocket of an unsuspecting victim to take away money in order to get across the message of how gambling wastes your money.

He submitted his film to Videos to Beat the Odds Multimedia Competition. In order to spread awareness of gambling problems, the Minnesota Department of Human Services hosted the film competition between college and high school film students created public service announcements depicting the dangers of gambling.

Films from across the state were reviewed by a panel of judges who ranked them in three categories: relevance to competition theme, creativity, and overall presentation/technical quality. Arostegui’s film did well in all the categories, and ultimately earned him a first place spot. The judges that viewed his film had comments such as “technically strong” and “great stop motion.”

Arostegui made the project all on his own in class, and all of his ideas were completely original. “I am very proud of his creative independence in this film. I am glad that he is getting recognition for his hard work,” said Film Studies teacher Mr. Tom Backen.

“This was the single greatest achievement of my life,” said Arostegui. As the first place winner of this competition, Arostegui won a $300 Best Buy gift card, and his film was posted on

According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, his video “exemplifies the struggle that one may have with the gambling condition. His hard work and dedication to this competition and creating awareness about this issue are very important and much appreciated.”

In addition, Mr. Backen believes that “Zack should pursue his film making abilities and creative talent in the future.”