After receiving some beautifully creative submissions for the Fight On video competition I'm happy to announce we have a winner! I returned from a week-long trip to the Middle East to see the final votes that had been submitted by our wonderful panel of judges with experience ranging from independent filmmaking to social entrepreneurship. The judges were:
Sophia Chang has spent over 20 years in the music business, working with Paul Simon, Atlantic Records, Jive Records, and the Wu-Tang Clan and has expertise in many areas including management, marketing, publicity, talent scouting. Most recently, she managed Ol' Dirty Bastard (RIP), the RZA, and Raphael Saadiq. She has coordinated fashion shows for designer Vivienne Tam, was an account executive at digital advertising agency, Sarkissian Mason, and is writing a screenplay for HBO.
Cheryl Dorsey is President of Echoing Green, a pioneer in the social entrepreneurship movement. The mission of Echoing Green is to unleash next generation talent to solve the world's biggest problems. In 2009, Dorsey was named one of "America's Best Leaders" by US News & World Report and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School. And in 2010, she was named as one of The Nonprofit Times' "Power and Influence Top 50."
Lysa Heslov is a successful independent film producer & humanitarian whose experiences working with children in Darfur compelled her to create Children Mending Hearts, a nonprofit that uses the creative arts to help children suffering from conflict abroad. In the last two years Children Mending Hearts has worked with children in the US, Haiti and Democratic Republic of Congo, Lysa and her husband, writer/director/producer Grant Heslov, have two children.
Jason Pollock is the writer/producer/director of the award winning documentary The Youngest Candidate which follows four teens running for public office in America. It was the first ever documentary produced by David Letterman's company Worldwide Pants, which partnered with Oscar winner Lawrence Bender and Balance Vector Productions, and won 'Best Non-Fiction Film by a New Filmmaker' at the Traverse City Film Festival and had its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June of 2009.
While all of the top five submissions had interesting and compelling narratives, I was moved to find upon my return from the Persian Gulf that the winning video tied in themes from the U.S. & recent events in the Middle East. The winner of the $4500 prize is Spencer Wilkinson of RebelTV333 in the Bay Area:
I had a chance to interview Spencer this week. Here are his words on his win:
Our video was inspired by communities throughout the world that struggle for democracy and empowerment. The song is about everyday people who "Fight On" and are part of this global movement for social justice and equality. From a gathering of Oakland/Bay Area community leaders to the national movement in Egypt for democracy, this video features inspiring people who "Fight On".
Rebel TV 333 and Take Back the Mic Bay Area thank the organizers of the "Fight On" contest and Soulfége for the opportunity to participate and our wonderful community that supported and voted for us. The crucial funds from this project will go towards new equipment, new productions and an updated website in the new year.
Congratulations to Spencer & to all of the participants!