HEADLINES

Norwalk Students Place in the 2nd Annual Envision Kindness Film Contest

Envision Kindness is excited to announce that students from the five Norwalk Housing Authority After School Learning Centers won Second Place, Middle School Division, in the 2nd Annual Envision Kindness Student Film Contest for their film Being Kind is a Way of Life. The program will receive a prize of $250. 

The contest challenged college, high school and middle school students from across the state of Connecticut to conceive and produce original, light hearted, short films using kindness as the central theme. The Learning Centers’ film can be seen at http://bit.ly/2kl8Bk1. All winning films can be viewed on the Envision Kindness You Tube Channel  http://bit.ly/2kP0HOs.

A total of 40 films were received, reflecting the contributions of hundreds of students. These films were viewed over 43,000 times and more than 8,500 votes were cast by the public to select contest finalists. Winners were selected by an esteemed group of award-winning actors, acclaimed filmmakers, producers, directors and journalists including Trey Ellis, Dave Goetsch, Janet Grillo, George Norfleet, Ann Nyberg, and Jennifer Westfeldt, all of who have ties to Connecticut and volunteered their time.

“The mission of Envision Kindness could not be more necessary or relevant at this particularly dark moment in our nation and in our world. The compelling evidence that Envision’s programs promote, engender and actually increase kindness and empathy in their young participants is something to celebrate, and get behind,” said actress and filmmaker Jennifer Westfeldt. “I was honored to have had the opportunity to support this incredibly worthy cause.”

“Congratulations to the contest winners for their inspiring work. Their expressions of what kindness means to them are critical to strengthening empathy and compassion and inspiring acts of kindness, which are so needed in society today,” said David Fryburg, M.D., president and co-founder, Envision Kindness.

Research has shown that exposure to positive, kind acts and kindness-centric content makes people more likely to be less stressed, healthier and happier. It can also make people feel more connected, optimistic and give them a more accurate and well-rounded view of the world.

By sharing still and video images of kindness, Envision Kindness hopes to stir and inspire the innate kindness that each person is born with. Scientific studies have shown that kindness can have a powerful impact on both mood and overall health, which can foster stronger communities.

“I was very excited to hear that NHA won. The kids put a lot of work into their skits and had a lot of fun doing it! Kindness truly is a "way of life" and I think that the lessons on kindness that the children learned while filming will continue to impact them on a regular basis,” said Ariane Rasmussen, Media Coordinator and Videography Educator, Norwalk Housing Authority Learning Centers.

Here’s a full list of winners:

MIDDLE SCHOOL WINNERS

First Place $500 Chain Reaction

Shepaug Valley Middle School, Washington

Students: Eliza Slastushinskaya, Sierra Wilson, Emma VandenBosch, Sage Baker, Mary Carew-Miller, Kayleigh Hendy, Roxanne Edel, Jaxen Griggs, and Lydia Hagen.

Teacher: Breanne Pitt

Second Place $250 Being Kind is a Way of Life

Norwalk Housing Authority's After-School Learning Centers

Students: Norwalk Housing Authority, Norwalk

Teacher: Ariane Rasmussen

Third Place $125 Cocoa and Kindness

Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Middle School, Hartford

Students: Caitlin Bernstein, Christian Feliciano, Hannah Spivey, and Sully Viveros

Teacher: Greg Scalzo

Best Cinematography $100 If the Shoe Fits

East Lyme Middle School, East Lyme

Students: Gianna Thibeau and Alaina Crowell

Teacher: Michelle Jeff

Best Music $100 If the Shoe Fits

East Lyme Middle School, East Lyme

Students: Gianna Thibeau and Alaina Crowell

Teacher: Michelle Jeff

 

HIGH SCHOOL WINNERS

First Place $500 Color Your World with Kindness

Rectory School, Pomfret

Student: Jeffrey Wang

Teacher: Ryan Finnegan

Second Place $250 Be Kind

Shepaug Valley High School, Washington

Students: Tia Phon and Katie Lecher

Teacher: Breanne Pitt

 

Third Place $125 Everyone Deserves Kindness

The Norwich Free Academy, Norwich

Students: Maggie Peter and Alyssa Friedrich

Teacher: Cheray Fitzgerald

Best Music $100 Perspective

Guilford High School, Guilford

Students: Rebekah Calderon, Josh Rodes, and Amanda Beitel

Teacher: Nicholas Ripa

Best Cinematography $100Perspective

Guilford High School, Guilford

Students: Rebekah Calderon, Josh Rodes, and Amanda Beitel  

Teacher: Nicholas Ripa

 

 

COLLEGE WINNERS

First Place $500 Kindness Video

Three Rivers Community College, Norwich

Student: Catalina Anzola

Professor: Kevin Amenta

Second Place $250 Message of Kindness

University of Bridgeport Shintaro Akatsu School of Design, Bridgeport

Students: Woojoo Shin and Taewan Kim

Professor: Lani Asuncion

 

Third Place $125 One Act of Kindness

University of Bridgeport Shintaro Akatsu School of Design, Bridgeport

Student: Mellissa Foster  

Professor: Lani Asuncion

Best Music $100 One Act of Kindness

University of Bridgeport Shintaro Akatsu School of Design, Bridgeport

Student: Mellissa Foster

Professor: Lani Asuncion

Best Cinematography $100 Message of Kindness

University of Bridgeport Shintaro Akatsu School of Design, Bridgeport

Students: Woojoo Shin and Taewan Kim

Professor: Lani Asuncion

 

OVERALL POPULAR CHOICE $100  It Only Takes One Person

Jonathan Law High School, Milford

Students: Abby Williamson, Basima Karzoun, Tia DiBlase, and Lexi Fisk

Teacher: Christopher Kulenych

“Regardless of political or religious beliefs or what news channels you subscribe to, I think we can all agree that kindness makes the world a better place,” said Fryburg.  

Envision Kindness is grateful for support from generous donors, the Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, and the Petit Family Foundation for making the Student Film Contest possible.

Envision Kindness has multiple programs for 2017 and beyond.  These include Envision Kindness’ Arts & Letters Contest in which middle and high school students and teachers in New London County are challenged to create a wave of kindness through art and writing. For more information about this contest, please visit:  www.envisionkindness.org/programs/arts-letters-program.

About Envision Kindness

Envision Kindness is a nonprofit organization based in East Lyme, CT with a simple mission: to promote and inspire acts of kindness, compassion, and empathy. Many Envision Kindness programs focus on youth engagement because young people can be powerful catalysts for change in our communities. Based on the neuropsychology of how images affect people, Envision Kindness collects a diverse array of representations of kindness and shares them with the public to stir the inborn predisposition to kindness.  Founded by David Fryburg, M.D and his eldest son Jesse Fryburg, Envision Kindness pictures the world as a better place through kindness, compassion, and empathy. For more information, please visit www.envisionkindness.org and follow @EnvisionKindness on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #pictureabetterworld

Subscribe

Follow Norwalk HamletHub

CT Bites - Your Guide to Great Food