Emerging filmmakers across the country joined the fight against cancer by turning their cameras on the disease.August 24, 2008 – Stand Up To Cancer (www.standup2cancer.org), a new initiative to raise philanthropic dollars for accelerating ground-breaking research, today announced the winners of their online film challenge. The top three honors went to Jesse Ash and Ryan Dennie for “Magical Cure,” Justin Rubin for “No Next”
and Amanda Boggs for her entry, “Dance.” The winning videos premiere today on Stand Up To Cancer’s website, alongside content produced by top filmmakers, journalists and performers.
First place film challenge winner Jesse Ash, 24, of New York says that his animated short was based on his own true story of losing his dad two years ago and his aunt four months before that to cancer. The former New York University student said, “When you lose a parent you feel defenseless against the world in terms of how really vulnerable we are as human beings, so I thought telling it through a child’s eyes was the way to go.”
Challenge entries were judged based on aspects of emotional impact, artistry and technical merits. The only rule for submission was that each film focuses on the subject of cancer, being affected by cancer, and/or the battle against it.
After all, cancer affects all of us. It kills more than half a million people a year in America alone.
The submissions were then judged by some of the industry’s top filmmakers and producers, including Laura Ziskin (Producer, Spider-Man, As Good As It Gets, Pretty Woman), Robert Greenwald (Director/Producer Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism), Julie Taymour (Director Across The Universe) and Lauren Shuler Donner (X-Men 1 & 2, Secret Life of Bees, Semi Pro) and Sherry Lansing (Former CEO of Paramount Pictures).
On September 5, 2008 (8 p.m. EDT and PDT) ABC, CBS and NBC will donate one hour of simultaneous commercial-free primetime for the nationally televised fundraising event aimed at rallying the public around the goal of ending cancer’s reign as a leading cause of death.
The special will feature stars from film and television who will perform as well as present filmed content giving viewers insight into cancer. Various screening tests will be demonstrated in novel and entertaining ways.
Network news anchors Charles Gibson, Katie Couric and Brian Williams will report on potentially life-saving research, speaking with both patients and scientists.
“Stand Up To Cancer is an initiative of the entertainment industry and entertainment industry executives, so a film challenge was uniquely appropriate, since our whole ethos is about using creative expression and the media to galvanize the public to take action,” says Ziskin, producer of the September 5th televised special as well as one of the founding members of Stand Up To Cancer.
About Stand Up To Cancer
Stand Up To Cancer is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and was established by a group of media, entertainment and philanthropic leaders, whose lives have all been affected by cancer in significant ways.
Stand Up To Cancer’s leadership team includes Katie Couric; Laura Ziskin; the Entertainment Industry Foundation, represented by Board of Directors Chairperson Sherry Lansing (who is also Founder of the Sherry Lansing Foundation), CEO Lisa Paulsen, and Vice President Kathleen Lobb; the Noreen Fraser Foundation and its executives Noreen Fraser (who is also a cancer survivor) and Woody Fraser, and Rusty Robertson and Sue Schwartz also of the Robertson Schwartz Agency; and nonprofit executive Ellen Ziffren, whose husband, noted L.A. attorney Ken Ziffren, played a pivotal role in bringing together the three networks for the broadcast special.
Stand Up To Cancer’s innovative approach to research is designed to eliminate barriers that have traditionally inhibited creativity and collaboration by enabling the best and brightest investigators from leading institutions across the country and internationally to work together. These collaborative “Dream Teams” will pursue the most promising research, accelerating the discovery of new therapies for cancer patients and advancing efforts in cancer prevention research.
Stand Up To Cancer monies will also be used for some high-risk, high-impact cancer research proposals, which are often not supported by conventional funding sources.
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the oldest and largest scientific organization in the world focusing on every aspect of high-quality, innovative cancer research, will conduct expert scientific review of the research projects and administer funds raised through the initiative under the direction of a Scientific Advisory Committee.
Many leading philanthropists, organizations and corporations support the Stand Up To Cancer mission, including the Sidney Kimmel Foundation as well as Major League Baseball, Amgen, AARP, Bloomberg Philanthropies, GlaxoSmithKline, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Revlon, Wallis Annenberg & The Annenberg Foundation, Alliance for Global Good, Lee Jeans, New York Giants, Philips, Saks Fifth Avenue, Steve Tisch, Stonyfield Farm, The Island Def Jam Music Group and many others.
In addition to ABC, CBS and NBC, SU2C major media partners include AOL, Condé Nast Media Group, eBay Inc., Facebook, Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., Hearst Corporation, Los Angeles Times, Meredith Corporation, Paypal, The New York Times Company, Time Inc., and WebMD.
Tara Settembre, Weber Shandwick