Video about recycling earns Latvian top prize in U.S.-sponsored contest

A short video created by a 25-year-old Latvian about the importance of recycling to society has won a grand prize in a contest sponsored by the U.S. State Department, a spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Rīga has announced.

Gints Amoliņš, who works as foreign news correspondent for Latvian State Radio, won the prize in the second annual ExchangesConnect video contest. His video, “[?] CYCLE,” was entered in the category for international contestants older than 18.

The theme of the contest was “Change Your Climate, Change Our World.” Each video had to be no longer than two minutes.

The video created by Amoliņš presents several facts about recycling and includes a shot of the Rīga skyline.

The contest was organized by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. As a grand prize winner, Amoliņš will receive an all-expense-paid, two-week cultural exchange program to the United States, according to contest rules.

From all entries, 40 finalists were selected.  The video by Amoliņš was one of two from Latvia to make it into the Top 40. The other one was “Legacy,” created by Zigmunds Ziemelis.

Other grand prize winners in the contest were Bruna Monteiro do Nascimento of Brzail in the “International, 14-17” category; Lan Li in the “United States, 18+” category; and Rebekah Austin in the “United States, 14-17” category.

The video created by Amoliņš may be viewed by visiting

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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