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Film focuses on beach butts

READ MORE: Film focuses on beach butts

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- We told you last month about a local woman who won a contest to make a movie about cleaning up Wrightsville Beach. This week, she and her family have been filming with an award-winning director.

One small action can make a huge difference. New Hanover County resident Danielle Richardet has proven just that. Her project "Butts on Wrightsville Beach" won Brita's Filter for Good Film Project contest.

Her idea is simple: pick up the cigarette butts and other litter on Wrightsville Beach.

"We've been out 29 times since August 9, and we've picked up 11,594 cigarette butts off of Wrightsville Beach," Richardet said.

Richardet and her family take 20-minute "litter walks" down the beach, collecting the trash they see. Now that temperatures are dropping, the walks are less fun but she says still necessary.

This week, award-winning director Destin Cretton is in town to film Richardet's project to show at the Sundance Film Festival. He says Richardet could motivate others to make a difference in their own community.

"The amazing thing about her is that she is a normal person who is passionate about something, about a problem that she saw every single day, and she just decided to do something about it," Cretton said.

Richardet says all it takes is a little time and effort to make a difference.

"Just 20-minute litter walks, and we'd just pick up the litter that we'd see in 20 minutes. Really, it's nothing amazing," Richardet said.

But Cretton says even though Richardet doesn't like being in the spotlight, she is bringing change.

"She was so passionate about seeing cigarette butts in area that her kids play in that she wanted to do something about it, and she did," Richardet said.

You can follow Richardet's progess of the beach cleanup and find updates about the film at

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