WASHINGTON, July 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Culminating an extensive national call for submissions, BET Networks, the Black AIDS Institute (The Institute), and the Kaiser Family Foundation are proud to announce the 10 finalists in the 3rd Annual Rap-It-Up/Black AIDS Short Subject Film Competition (RIU/BASS), who are now eligible for the next level of competition from which the winning entry will be selected.
The RIU/BASS film competition seeks to highlight the issue of HIV prevention, testing and treatment, and to help raise awareness about the magnitude of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Black communities. Screenwriters were encouraged to use their creativity to evoke a "fresh" and culturally unique angle on these issues in a way that will resonate with African Americans and other minority communities. This film competition is especially important this year, as the world commemorate 25 years of fighting HIV/AIDS and acknowledging the people who've worked tirelessly in the struggle.
Over 150 entries were received and reviewed by a select group of judges from across the country, and the ten finalists are: Beverly Abbott, Casey Arrillaga & Wyndle Jordan (Reseda, CA), Odicie; Mya Baker (Brooklyn, NY), An Angel Scorned; Blu Fox (North Hollywood, CA), The Gift; Menelek & Tafari Lumumba (Los Angeles, CA), In My Skin; Layla Mashavu (Los Angeles, CA), Lemonade; Johneshia McCray (Philadelphia, PA), In Memory Of; Jerry McGill (Phoenix, AZ), Degrees Of Anger; Elliot Porter (Chicago, IL), Draft Pick; Cassandra Riddick (Washington, DC), Shining Star; and Kimberly Singleton (New York, NY), Conscious.
"The RIU/BASS film competition is one of the only vehicles that is able to integrate two very different elements: film and health," commented Phill Wilson, Executive Director of the Black AIDS Institute. "Through this effective integration, up and coming screenwriters are not only given the opportunity to showcase their skill, but also tackle the disturbing subject of HIV/AIDS and educate uncountable persons on its devastation within the Black community."
"In its third successful year, BET is extremely proud of the community response and positive impact the RIU/BASS film competition has had on our young viewers," said Kelli Lawson, BET's Executive Vice President of Corporate Marketing. "This competition has not only opened the door to potential filmmakers, but has also created a platform for families, educators and communities to discuss the various issues surrounding HIV/AIDS and raise awareness to effective preventive methods."
"Each year this film competition receives an impressive mix of powerful stories illustrating the magnitude of HIV/AIDS among African Americans throughout the U.S.," said Tina Hoff, Vice President and Director of Entertainment Media Partnerships at the Kaiser Family Foundation. "The screenplays are a powerful inside look at the epidemic in African-American communities."
This year's RIU/BASS film competition follows two successful years of notable awards and accolades for previous winning films, "Walking on Sunshine;" "Tangy's Song!;" "Multitude Of Mercies;" and "Let's Talk." The 2006 RIU/BASS film winner will be announced on August 1, 2006, and their winning film will televise on BET around World AIDS Day (December 1, 2006).
BET continues to lead the pack with its long-standing commitment to providing fresh, culturally-unique and issues-targeted public affairs programming. Whether it's a poignant short film about HIV/AIDS or a new public service announcement featuring today's hottest celebrities giving advice on healthy lifestyles, the network consistently exhibits innovative ways to educate its viewers on the important health and social issues impacting young adults today.
ABOUT BET NETWORKS
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom, Inc. (NYSE:VIA) (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 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
Web site: http://www.bet.com/