Posted in Innovation
06/23 2010

Nation’s First Cause-Driven Film Festival Call for Entries Almost Closed

Nation’s First Cause-Driven Film Festival Call for Entries Almost Closed

Last week for nonprofit community to submit films for consideration

06.23.2010 – AUSTIN, TX – Lights. Camera. Help., the premier film festival exclusively for nonprofits and cause advocates, is entering the last week for nonprofits to submit their films. Submissions need to be submitted by June 30 for consideration.

No other film festival brings together filmmakers and nonprofits to share their stories and promote their causes. Last year’s festival brought in over 140 submissions of documentaries, PSAs and short films focusing on cause-driven issues.

“We really want to foster the growth of this industry and offer a place where people looking to use their talents for good can collaborate,” said David J. Neff, creator and co-founder of the organization.

The submission form can be downloaded at the Lights. Camera. Help. Web site. The festival will be held July 29-August 1 in Austin, Texas.

“We believe that film and video are the best way for nonprofits and other cause-driven organizations to share their stories with the world,” said Rich Vázquez, Lights. Camera. Help. co-founder. “That’s the whole reason behind the film festival and, ultimately, the nonprofit organization overall.”

In July, Lights. Camera. Help. will judge the submissions based on the cinematic quality and the ability to tell the nonprofit’s story, among other factors. The winning films are then awarded the proceeds from the festival’s ticket sales.

About Lights. Camera. Help.
Lights. Camera. Help. is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to encouraging other nonprofit and cause-driven organizations to use film and video to tell their stories. They do this through education, volunteer match programs, screenings and an annual film festival.

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06/11 2010

Volunteer Gig: It’s Hot, can you help? Driving Kids in Austin

How easy is this? Consider helping this amazing cause out today, they are right here in Austin, TX and need your help.

“I teach a free ESL class for immigrant kids, which is open to children from about 39 countries.  The teaching is free, and I give them all their school supplies, and every time they come to class I give them a few books in English to take home to keep.  I am writing because I am hoping you may know someone who can help me with one problem I am having.

There are refugee kids who want to come but who don’t have transportation. They know how to ride city buses, but the closest one stops at least a mile from the class site, and they’d have to walk in July and August heat, and sometimes rain, plus walk over a railroad track.  These kids are all here legally (their families have escaped  from places such as Burma, Bhutan, and so forth, and then been invited here by the U.S. government), and their parents have SS #’s, I-94′s, etc.   The kids could be picked up at the 1700 block of Rutland, or at a central point amongst a group of apartments one block north of Lamar and Denson, or at a central point on Reinli one block east of I-35.

There are little groups of children at each location, and being able to include even a few kids of them would really be a good thing.  They have not signed up yet because they don’t have any way to get to the class.

The class begins on June 28th and ends on August 6th.  It meets on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 2 – 5 p.m. The class will be held at a community center on Duval Road, between 183 and Mopac.”
Can you help drive these kids during the day?”

Elaine M. Allan, B.S.,J.D., retired

cell (512)750-7730

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Posted in Info Tech, Innovation
04/26 2010

Do Non Profits Make Video? HELL YES

EDITORS NOTE: Taken from my post here. What’s the top thing you can do this year to engage your constituents? Both online and off? Quick, what springs to mind?

Well I’m here to tell you that it should be video. If you are going to do one new thing in 2010 to help get the word out about your organization’s mission, it should be to create a video.

Lights. Camera. Help.Now sure, as the creator and co-founder of my own nonprofit called Lights. Camera. Help., I may be a little biased! Lights. Camera. Help. is the world’s first nonprofit focused on helping other nonprofits do good through film. We do this through our education programs, volunteer match programs, screenings and our annual film festival. But what I am here today to do is share three tips to help you get your first project up and running.

1. Check out the Flip Video Spotlight from the folks over at Flip Video. This really cool program lets you buy cameras at a two-for-one price break. All you have to do is tell them, in under 500 words, why your nonprofit deserves to be in the program.

2. Now that you are starting to film, check out Creative Commons to find amazing work to build upon—not everything you shoot needs to be video. Find some amazing photos and even music to mix in for free over at And, they are a nonprofit just like all of us!

3. Now that you are starting to put together your first video, you may be starting to think “Where should it go?” Check out the amazing YouTube Nonprofit Program. I think having your video on the #2 search engine in the world would be a good place to start, right? Just be sure to check out the rules they have for nonprofits and the types of videos they accept.

So what are you waiting for? In the meantime, check out the Lights. Camera. Help. Film Festival for a little inspiration. Our 2010 submission process is now open. Films are free to submit and we are having cash prizes for the best feature film, the best short film and the best PSA. So if you already know of some great nonprofit and cause-driven films please submit them today, or go out and start shooting your own!

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1 comment
04/13 2010

NTC Re-Cap

Hey Gang,
I recently attended the Non Profit Technology Conference (NTC) in Atlanta GA. I had an amazing time learning and growing with my fellow NTC friends. I was also lucky enough to present on two panels.

Results here:

Results here:

More personal notes here:

NTC truly is one of those conference that can not only change minds (technology, strategy and practices) but can also change hearts (Mission, polar bears, cartwheels and youtube parties). That’s something that is a rare find these days.  My hats off to the NTEN crew who made this all happen. Please leave your thoughts and comments in the comments field below.

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