Shine a Light on Loneliness, an Emerging Public Health Issue
Our goal with the first annual Creatively Connected Online Film Festival is to give you a chance to add your videographic voice to the timely conversation about the burden of loneliness and isolation. Studies show that over 30% of individuals are affected and that loneliness contributes to a mortality rate equal to that of smoking. Simply put, it has become one of today’s major public health issues—and it’s getting worse.
Fortunately, a body of compelling evidence indicates that for many, engagement with creative arts expression can fight back against loneliness, connecting those affected to themselves and others. It promotes a shared sense of belonging and meaning.
Avenues for creative expression expand beyond the well-recognized art forms of music, dance, painting, photography, and writing to also include culinary arts, sewing, knitting and even gardening. All provide opportunities for delight and discovery in making and sharing.
The Online Film Festival subject matter will clarify, amplify and celebrate this power of the arts to fight against loneliness, while also giving you the opportunity to have your work seen and heard by a wide audience.
While creativity and connection can be found everywhere, the Festival is focused on stories found in these especially affected groups:
- Older adults making sense of their remaining years
- Individuals with major illness, along with their caregivers
- Veterans and their loved ones struggling to achieve successful “homecoming”
- Adolescents and young adults exploring identity in a sometimes alienating digital world
- The LGBTQ community working to establish and legitimize identity
- Immigrants and refugees finding their way in a new place.
The Festival will have a juried review of submissions, selection of top submissions and awarding of various prizes. We encourage all filmmakers, seasoned professionals, new filmmaking students (or anywhere in between!) to consider participating.
We welcome submissions in two categories:
- A run time of five minutes or less–Submission fee of $25*
- Longer work not to exceed 30 minutes– Submission fee of $40*
College Undergraduates: You can submit your work in this track, whether studying film or not. The submission fee will be waived and there will be special judging and awards! Email your current ID to [email protected] for a waiver.
* A scholarship fund has been established to defray submission fee expenses for submitters who qualify. Email us at [email protected] for guidelines.
Judging and Awards
Submissions should explore the challenge of loneliness and isolation and how creative expression could or does reduce that burden for either individuals or groups.
Submissions will be reviewed by a committee of judges with a wide variety of relevant backgrounds, including celebrated accomplishment in the arts, recognition in the filmmaking industry, and expertise and knowledge in social issues, medicine, and community health.
- The Event co-host, Mike Paseornek, President of Production, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, will be one of the judges.
A portfolio of awards will be bestowed, recognizing the important artistic work submitted and its potential to promote health and wellbeing for individuals and society. There will also be distribution opportunities to facilitate expanded and focused viewing of the work.
The Online Film Festival will hold a public health outreach conference and celebratory event in New York City on May 9, 2017 (venue TBD). We’ll come together to share in the learning, excitement, and potential for creative engagement and the stories that can be told about its power.
Simultaneously, the Festival will also include an online showcase to facilitate and encourage wider distribution and promote sustained community engagement and participation.
Submission time frame
- Now through April 1, 2017
New York City Conference and Celebration
- May 9, 2017, New York University Law School in the West Villiage