United Way & Lights Camera Help!


Lights. Camera. Help., the premiere film festival
exclusively for non-profit and grassroots organizations, officially
opened its submission process last week.

Four prominent non-profit organizations, including United Way Capital Area showed their support for the festival by formally submitting their films at the Reel-to-Reality
event held at Southwest Key’s East Side Community Center.

Representatives from the American Cancer Society, United Way Capital Area, the
Capital Area Food Bank and Best Friends Animal Sanctuary spoke about
the value of the films-for-a-cause genre, showed trailers for their
films and then formally submitted their films.

This is the first annual Lights. Camera. Help. festival, where films
and videos with a cause directly related to a non-profit or grass
roots organization will be evaluated on a rigorous criteria by a panel
of judges. The films and videos will gain recognition by being
considered the best in one of several distinct categories. Proceeds
from the event with go to the organization that is the subject of the
winning video.

This festival is the first of its kind in the nation and reflects the
spirit of Austin, a city with prominent non-profit, grassroots and
activism communities. Non-profits, grassroots organizations and
filmmakers will use the festival to spread the word about their cause,
develop a community of followers, and expand the film-for-a-cause

It’s free to submit to Lights. Camera. Help. and any film or video is
welcome, so long as the emphasis of the video is on a non-profit or
grassroots organization.

“We really wanted to make sure that every non-profit organization is
able to tell its story, regardless of resources. A lot of film
festivals charge 50, 60 even 100 dollars to enter a film. We do not.”
– Co-founder David J. Neff

In its first year, Lights. Camera. Help. was conceived by three
friends, Aaron Bramley, David J. Neff and Rich Vázquez. “We created
Lights. Camera. Help. because we want to help non-profits and
grassroots organizations gain visibility through film and video,” said
Co-founder Aaron Bramley. “It’s a phenomenal way to tell your story,
and it doesn’t have to be expensive.”

“The idea was to give non-profit videos validity and merit by judging
them. We want people to see these videos, know they’re important and
say ‘hey, that’s a cause I want to support.’” – Rich Vázquez, Co-
founder of Lights. Camera. Help.

The Festival will begin on July 31st and up-to-date information can be
found at

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