The second annual Green Shorts Film Festival for Santa Barbara’s 40th Earth Day celebration is now accepting submissions from the community.

Festival organizers anticipate that film entries will emphasize sustainable lifestyle choices in keeping with this year’s theme, “Bringing it Home.” The contest is open to the entire Santa Barbara community and aims to promote universal “green thinking” at the Earth Day Festival.

According to Megan Diaz, outreach coordinator for the Community Environmental Council, the competition is a way to get more community members involved in Santa Barbara’s Earth Day celebration.

“Our aim is not to merely present an event to the community, but rather to get people jazzed for Earth Day,” Diaz said. “It’s a great way for the community to get engaged in the issues we’re trying to address, and it’s just going to be a great few days.”

The Community Environmental Council encouraged contest participants to consider topics such as transportation, energy consumption and sustainable living in their films.

“The theme is vague enough to lend itself to the creativity anyone is capable of coming up with when talking about environmental issues,” Diaz said.

Participants are eligible to win a MacBook and the opportunity to have their film aired on Channel 17, KCTV. Other organizations– such as Traffic Solutions — have also offered awards as added incentive for contest participants.

“We definitely want to encourage people who may be intimidated by the prospect of producing a film,” Diaz said. “For last year’s winner, it was the first film she had ever made.”

The Film Festival will act as an opening event for the Earth Day celebrations. According to senior outreach associate and Earth Day organizer Suzanne Feldman, the event is expected to be bigger than years past, providing a larger audience for film screenings.

“This is the first time in our 40 years that we’ll have Earth Day for two days,” Feldman said. “We team up with a bunch of organizations and they show how they are working to make local and personal change. The theme is as simple as it sounds, it’s how to take global environmental issues and bring them home.”

According to Diaz, the growth in popularity of the Earth Day celebrations led to the creation of the environmental film festival.

“Last year, when we moved the Earth Day Festival to its new location at Alameda Park, it became physically bigger and we had to decide how to make it bigger event-wise — so in came the Film Festival.”

In addition to the green films, Earth Day Festival attractions will include live music and locally grown food. Valet bike parking and free MTD buses and shuttles will also be available.

The deadline to submit films is March 26.