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Chelmsford native's anti-bullying video among finalists in filmmakers contest

Posted by Liam O'Kennedy  October 11, 2012 06:00 PM

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Chelmsford native Sophia Haywood's anti-bullying video is a finalist in the Aspiring Filmmakers Contest.

The following was submitted by Shea Communications, LLC:

OnBuzz™ and the Film Society of Lincoln Center have selected the top five finalists in a national search for top young filmmakers, ages 13 to 17, who created three-minute ‘micro-movies’ on smart phones as part of the first Reach for the Stars – Aspiring Filmmakers Contest.

Winners of the contest will be announced at an October 13 red carpet awards ceremony as a featured part of this year’s celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Film Society’s New York Film Festival. October is National Bullying Prevention Month and, coincidentally, bullying was a common theme for many of the videos -- three of the award-winning videos focused on this subject.

“It is profound that three of the six winning videos focused on the trauma of bullying and the need to prevent it,” said OnBuzz™ CEO Alan Elias. “OnBuzz seeks to leverage technology and entertainment for social good, and we are proud to be associated with these young filmmakers.  We will continue to advance our technology and entertainment platform to provide a positive impact for families.”

The five finalists include Sophia Haywood of Chelmsford, MA, for “Bullying;” Sam Griffith of Brooklyn, NY, for “Poke Butt;” Sophie Somorff, of Brooklyn, NY, for “Me;” Devin Dupre of Houma, LA, for “True Friends;” and Jackson Shane of Brooklyn, NY, for “The Debate.” In addition, the judges discovered Malach Campbell, who produced a five-minute video on bullying and will receive an “Honorary Director’s Choice” award.  

Developed by OnBuzz™ in cooperation with the Film Society, the Reach for the Stars – Aspiring Filmmakers Contest is designed to demonstrate the convergence of technology and entertainment, and to highlight and encourage a new form of rapid filmmaking that is being produced by young people with smart phones, tablets and other media devices for distribution via social networks and the Internet. 

OnBuzz™ is a first-of-its-kind family entertainment social network that links families to one another and to virtuous entertainment and products. The contest is the first in a series of efforts by OnBuzz™ to explore the convergence of technology and entertainment. The theme of this initial contest is how family and friends can connect through mobile devices and social networks to share powerful, uplifting and encouraging entertainment in a buzzworthy way. 

Teens ages 13 to 17 nationwide were asked to enter original three-minute short videos shot on a mobile device. The panel of judges then chose the top five finalists based on criteria including creativity and originality; overall quality and appearance of videos, and relevance to the family and connectivity contest theme.

The top five finalist film winners, along with two family members, will be given a free trip to New York City for the October 13th red carpet award ceremony at 4:00 pm in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at the 50th Anniversary of the New York Film Festival. Each finalist will walk the red carpet and premiere their film in front of distinguished guests made up of movie producers, media executives, business leaders and media. 

"Our core mission is to recognize and support new filmmakers and to enhance awareness and accessibility and understanding of the art among a broad and diverse film-going audience. The Film Society is excited to partner with OnBuzz™ in our first-ever effort to enable aspiring teen filmmakers to showcase their talent through the convergence of technology and entertainment." 

“Technology and entertainment are converging at breakneck speed, dramatically changing the way we communicate and create,” said Elias. “No group is more in the forefront of this convergence than teenagers, and no platform is more vital to its development than mobile phones with powerful video capability and access to social networks and the Internet. It is critical to understand how this convergence is changing our world and to support it in a positive way.” 


OnBuzz™ is America’s first family entertainment social network linking families to one another and to virtuous entertainment and products. OnBuzz is the unique convergence of technology and entertainment where the two come full circle and become one. 


Under the leadership of Rose Kuo, Executive Director, and Richard Peña, Program Director, the Film Society of Lincoln Center offers the best in international, classic and cutting-edge independent cinema. The Film Society presents two film festivals that attract global attention: the New York Film Festival, currently planning its 50th edition, and New Directors/New Films which, since its founding in 1972, has been produced in collaboration with MoMA. The Film Society also publishes the award- winning Film Comment Magazine, and for over three decades has given an annual award—now named “The Chaplin Award”—to a major figure in world cinema. Past recipients of this award include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, and Tom Hanks. The Film Society presents a year-round calendar of programming, panels, lectures, educational programs and specialty film releases at its Walter Reade Theater and the new state-of-the-art Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. 

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