WASHINGTON, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Concluding an extensive national call for submissions and thorough review process of over 150 screenplay entries, BET, the Black AIDS Institute and the Kaiser Family Foundation proudly announce today that Beverly Abbott, Casey Arrillaga & Wyndle Jordan of Reseda, California won the 3rd Annual Rap-It-Up/Black AIDS Short Subject Film Competition (RIU/BASS) for their outstanding screenplay entitled ODICIE.
The phenomenal writing team of Beverly Abbot, Casey Arrillaga and Wyndle Jordan not only exemplified extraordinary screenwriting, but a personal knowledge and understanding to the importance of educating the public about HIV/AIDS. Their powerful screenplay entitled "Odicie" depicts a young, African-American girl of the same name who bridges her family together and helps to erase the negative stigma of HIV/AIDS when she discovers her uncle is afflicted with the disease. "Odicie" will be produced into a short film to debut on BET coinciding with World AIDS Day (December 1, 2006) in commemoration of the international observance.
The RIU/BASS Film Competition launched in January 2004 to raise awareness about HIV prevention, testing, treatment and the impact of HIV/AIDS in Black communities in the United States. This unique competition tackles sexual health issues ranging from sexual identity and HIV/AIDS testing to interpersonal relationships. Previous Rap-It-Up short film winners WALKING ON SUNSHINE, TANGY'S SONG, MULTITUDE OF MERCIES and LET'S TALK have all been recognized and rewarded for their realistic depiction of HIV/AIDS in the Black community and its impact on BET viewers.
"BET continues to lead the competition in producing pro-social and educational content in a refreshing and appealing way," said Kelli Lawson, BET's executive vice president of corporate marketing. "The network has a proven track record of drawing millions of viewers to specifically-tailored public affairs programming geared to raising social awareness and evoking public and personal action."
"In its third year, the RIU/BASS film competition has become the vehicle to providing an effective medium to raise awareness to HIV/AIDS issues," stated Phill Wilson, Executive Director of the Black AIDS Institute. "It is great to see the impact previous Rap-It-Up films have had on the public, and interesting to see how these films have contributed to the overall HIV/AIDS discourse in Black America."
"As HIV/AIDS continues to disproportionately impact African Americans, stories like 'Multitude of Mercies' and 'Let's Talk' help raise awareness and reduce stigma," said Tina Hoff, Vice President and Director of Entertainment Media Partnerships at the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The RIU/BASS Film Competition is a part of BET's Rap-It-Up HIV/AIDS corporate initiative, a public education partnership with the Kaiser Family Foundation that has been informing young adults about HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) since 1998. To date, BET's Rap-It-Up has tested over 8,500 young people for HIV, managed over 1.1 million calls to the Rap-It- Up toll-free hotline and distributed over 404,000 sexual health information guides, hosted teen forums for over 10,000 youth in over 29 markets nationwide, and have attracted more than 13.3 million viewers through pro- social programming, including award-winning news specials, documentaries and public service announcements (PSAs).
ABOUT BET NETWORKS
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom, Inc. (NYSE:VIA) (NYSE:and) (NYSE:VIA.B) , is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 81 million households according to Nielsen ET media research, and can be seen in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of businesses extensions: BET.com, the Number 1 Internet portal for African Americans; BET Digital Networks - BET J, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; and BET Mobile, a service venture into the lucrative world of ring tones, games and video content for wireless devices.
ABOUT THE BLACK AIDS INSTITUTE
The Black AIDS Institute is a training and mobilization center focused exclusively on Black people. The Institute's mission is to stop the AIDS pandemic in Black communities by engaging and mobilizing Black institutions and individuals in efforts to confront HIV. The Institute interprets public and private sector HIV policies, conducts trainings, offers technical assistance, disseminates information and provides advocacy from a uniquely and unapologetically Black point of view.
ABOUT THE HENRY J. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation is a non-profit, private operating foundation dedicated to providing information and analysis on health issues to policymakers, the media, and the general public. It is not associated with Kaiser Permanente or Kaiser Industries. Information on HIV/AIDS is available at http://www.kff.org/, and a daily news summary report on developments in HIV/AIDS is available on http://www.kaisernetwork.org/, the Foundation's free health information service.
Source: BET Networks