WILMINGTON, NC, August 04, 2018 — Social change never comes easily. It is, in the end, a game of numbers. When a sufficient number of people mobilize around a common goal, changes happen. Many of us remember the pictures and films from the protests in the 50's and 60's. The gathering together – of tens of thousands of individuals – impelled those changes. Today, it is no longer necessary to plan marches or come together physically. Today's young people can join together to enact change through social media.
Many people see social media in a negative light, it is in fact the tool that will be used by the next generation to transform the human landscape. Multi-award winning selfie filmmaker Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, an innovator in the selfie film genre, sees selfies as the most important communication tool ever created.
“In an article about the movie 'Eighth Grade,' called 'A Girl's Life in a Funny, Scary World' by the New York Times, Kayla, played by Elsie Fisher, spends a lot of time tethered to a cellphone that serves as her touchingly imperfect portal to the world,” Holstein stated. “In the film she often puts up on selfies videos of herself on her online channel.
“The truth is, many of us of all ages are 'doing it'. That is, taking selfie photos and videos and placing them all over. We share, we embarrass, we learn info, we follow characters and strange unreliable news, be it new aliens from outer space or hidden treasure.
“Many have bemoaned and belittled the use of Selfies. As a Psychologist/Filmmaker I beg to differ. Even a fork is lethal if used in the wrong way. A Selfie photo or video is no more or less lethal. In fact it has great potential for kids, tweens and teens both artistically as #selfiesasfilm and politically, socially and morally, as #selfiefilmmakers.
“For several years I have been makings Selfie short films. My most recent, 'Conflict', focuses on drugs, alcohol and bullying as they affect the life and thoughts of a young teen. The 'girl' played by Megan Brown uses her smart phone, as does Kayla, in 'Eighth Grade' to share her pain, confusion and reactions to these problems. A powerful film, augmented in its effectiveness by the fact that the actress filmed scenes herself, unwatched by a crew and able to let loose just as kids do in real life in their bedrooms making a selfie video.
'The Selfie Project' began to emerge a year ago as I saw, as a psychologist, a need to not only make selfie films but a need for kids to have a stronger voice in society. So many problems and issues to face as they grow up, socially, emotionally, personally, academically, etc. How could they be helped? We know they want to contribute to solutions. A prime example of this is how voter registrations numbers have dramatically increased as the result of the efforts of the survivors of the Parkland school shooting in Florida.
“I realized that kids can be empowered if given a voice. Give people a voice, a way to ventilate and share what is on their minds and they thrive, and can even solve the unsolvable. We know that when people are suppressed and have to sit on emotions and thoughts they become discouraged, passive, sometimes violent, depressed, or even worse.
“Kids, tweens and teens needed a new voice. A voice that corresponds to today's culture. A voice beyond the hidden recesses of a diary or tears in a pillow. And that voice is here today for almost all kids. It is the selfie video.
“So I have developed 'The Selfie Project'. This is a project where we constantly encourage kids of all ages to make selfie videos in which they share their feelings, thoughts, concerns, suggestions, hopes and dreams. Kids now have a way to express their inner voices, their anxieties, feelings, thoughts, concerns, ideas for solutions, via Selfie Videos they can make on their own time, in their own ways. The trailer for 'The Selfie Project' tells a little of the story. My monthly podcast show in which I have kids with me or via Skype, Face Time or their Selfie videos discussing what is on their minds, is another outlet for their voices to go worldwide. Also, my website www.selfiesasfilmmakers.com is a great place to share their Selfies. Giving kids a chance to vent emotions in a sensible way of sharing and even problem solving is so critical for mental health and happiness.”
Holstein's short films have won numerous awards and accolades.
The Truth A Short Film:
Garden State Film Festival Premier – Best Pop Song 2016
Golden Door Int. Film Festival – Official Selection – September 2016
Grove Film Festival – Showing – May 2017
Female Filmmakers Film Festival – Official Selection – 12th of 92 films
Roselle Park Shorts Film Festival – Official Selection – September 2017
The Truth A Short Short Film:
FilmOneFest Premier – July 2016
Chain Film Festival – Official Selection – August 2016
Jersey City Int. Television and Film Festival – Official Selection – November 2016
Hang On To Your Shorts Film Festival – Official Selection- May 2017
Secrets A Coming Of Age Selfie Film:
Alice Guy-Blache Women In Cinema Award – Nomination – October 2017, Golden Globe International Film Festival
NewFilmmakers, Manhattan- Official Selection, January 24, 2018
Brightside Tavern Shorts Fest Film Series – Best Experimental Film nomination – March 2018
Brightside Tavern Shorts Fest Film Series – Best New Jersey Short nomination – March 2018
Brightside Tavern Shorts Fest Film Series – Best Concept nomination – March 2018
Hang on To Your Shorts, Official Selection – April 2018, Nominated for Best New Jersey Drama and Best Experimental Film
Shown March 1 1018 as one of 6 outstanding women's films at the Behane Center in Jersey City, for Women's History Month by Golden Door International Film Festival.
Brightside Tavern Film Festival, Season 7 – Best Experimental Film – March 2018
Jersey Shore Film Festival, August 2018, Selected and Nominated for an award.
Actress Megan Brown nominated as Best Actress for Medium Short Films, Brightside Shorts Film Festival, August, 2018
Falling In Love A Coming Of Age Selfie Film:
Brightside Tavern Film Festival-March 2017- Best Experimental Film Nomination, Second Place Award as Best New Jersey Film Short
Grove Film Festival, Official Selection-May 2017
Hang On To Your Shorts Film Festival – Best Experimental Film nomination – May 2017
Hang On To Your Shorts Film Festival – Best Concept Film nomination – May 2017
Hang On To Your Shorts Film Festival – Megan Brown Rising Star Award – May 2017
Love Shorts Film Festival – Official Selection – February 2018
Official selection premiered at the New Jersey International Film Festival at Rutgers University on June 9th, 2018
Semi-finalist in the JELLY Fest Film Festival, June, 2018
Official selection for the Brightside Tavern Film Festival, early August, 2018
'Secrets' was selected for inclusion in “Passages: Women in Transition,” Women In Media – Newark's 2018 Women's History Month film festival, held on March 27 – April 5, 2018 at Rutgers University Newark, New Jersey, and at various satellite venues in the area.
'Falling in Love, A Coming of Age, Selfie Film, is detailed in a new ebook: 'A Selfie Film – Falling In Love' by Dr. Holstein. This ebook presents issues and stories behind the creation of Dr. Holstein's “selfie films”, which utilize cutting edge New Media technology. Topics and questions for discussion can be used by a parent and a child, or a group of hundreds as universal subjects of growing up and handling tough issues are presented.
'Secrets, A Coming of Age, Selfie Film,' has been selected for screening at the Jersey Shore Film Festival in early August and has been nominated for an award.
Official Selection for the Brightside Tavern Film Festival in early August, 2018
Dr. Holstein was featured as an Entrepreneur in the Asbury Park Press, June 11, 2018.
Dr. Holstein makes a number of her books and films available to be used as fundraising tools. She requests that any verified charitable organization interested in raising funds contact her via email. She is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at [email protected]. More information is available at her website at http://www.SelfieFilmmakers.com.
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, internationally known Positive Psychologist is the creator of The Enchanted Self ®, a positive psychology method for happiness and a pioneer in Selfies as Film. Dr. Holstein's Enchanted Self website was included as one of the best websites in positive psychology. She is in private practice in Long Branch, New Jersey with her husband, Dr. Russell M. Holstein.
Dr. Barbara can be found on the web, interviewed, writing articles and posting video 'TED' style talks on Happiness, Positive Psychology, Relationships and Parenting.
She has been a contributor to Your Tango, Heart and Soul, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Redbook, Real Simple, The Wall Street Journal, Time on line, the Today Show and Family Circle Magazine.
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