14-Year-Old’s Kids Film Festival Taking Off
Encourages the future generation of film makers
Teaches kids about philanthropy
$32,000 Raised in first year for the Michael J. Fox Foundation
CLEVELAND –14-year-old Ryan Levine has a passion for making movies and didn’t think there were many festivals that encouraged kids to step out and share their work. He also wanted to show his peers that their passion could make a difference for a charitable cause. He chose the Michael J. Fox Foundation because his grandmother has Parkinson’s disease and Levine, a long admirer of Michael J. Fox as an actor and advocate for Parkinson’s research, decided to merge the two interests and create an international kids film festival called the Kids Film It Festival.
This year, in only its second year, the Kids Film It Festival, has over 100 submissions from around the country. The event was open to children ages 8-18, with three different age groups and three categories; animation, music, and film. Winners in each category and age group will be announced at the Festival itself on Friday evening, November 10th at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Doors open at 7 p.m. to walk the red carpet. A DeLorean, reminiscent of Michael J Fox’s Back to the Future role will be on the plaza beforehand to take pictures with. Tickets can be purchased through the website http://www.kidsfilmitfestival.com with 100 % of ticket sales going to the MJFF.
The Rock Hall, which also hosted the festival last year, believes that arts give people of all ages a microphone to speak to the world and has the power to bring people across generations and nationalities together. The Rock Hall continues to support and encourage rockers of all agers through events like the Kids Film It Festival and annual High School Rock Off, award-winning education programs, and more.
Three Hollywood executives are enthusiastically participating in the Kids Film It Festival. Todd Lieberman, most recently producer of Wonder and Stronger, Marc Buckland, Emmy Award winning producer and director, and Ivan Schwarz, currently President of the Greater Cleveland Film commission are this year’s judges.
Levine raised $32,000 for Team Fox in the first year of the Kids Film It Festival. Levine has had celebrities ranging from Shaq to Holly Robinson Peete to Michael J. Fox himself post on social media, encouraging kids to show their creativity and enter. In 2017, Levine launched the Second Annual Kids Film It Festival, this time, with Stern Advertising developing a one-of-a-kind campaign for entries, that took four young filmmakers “Back to the Future” and turned them into famous movie directors; Spike Lee, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, and Alfred Hitchcock.
“It would be impossible to overstate the hard work, passion and creativity that Ryan has poured into the Kids Film It Festival over the last two years,” said Liz Diemer, Senior Associate Director, Team Fox. “In doing so, he has raised critical funds and awareness for Parkinson’s research and inspired a new generation of story tellers, nationwide, to use their passion for good! The Michael J. Fox Foundation is honored to be a partner in this incredible effort.”
“Michael J. Fox is an incredible actor but what he has done for Parkinson’s disease is even more impressive,” explained Levine. “I love movie making but there aren’t many festivals that encourage movies made by kids and we want to teach kids that they can put their passion to good use, raising money for a cause. We want this to be like Sundance or Tribeca but for kids and for charity.”
All sponsorship fees from the Festival will go to Team Fox, the grassroots fundraising arm of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF). MJFF’s mission is to help speed better life-changing treatments, and ultimately a cure for Parkinson’s disease, through high-impact research programs.
In addition to funds raised from sponsors, such as Regal Cinemas, Stern Advertising, Orville Redenbacher, the Cleveland Clinic, sports organizations around the country have donated a list of unique experiences to put on Charity Buzz to raise additional funds for Ryan’s Festival and MJFF. Charity Buzz is an online auction site that promotes uncommon items. An example of some of the items donated: Oklahoma City Thunder player meet and great and Russell Westbook signed shoes, Chicago Blackhawks post-game locker room tour, Celtics meet and greet with Coach Brad Stevens, and the Red Sox and Falcons are donating VIP experiences.
For more information, please contact:
Lisa Bercu Levine: 216-406-8989 or [email protected]
About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
As the world’s largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson’s research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson’s disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson’s patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers. In addition to funding more than $600 million in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson’s research, the Foundation forges groundbreaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic scientists and government research funders; increases the flow of participants into Parkinson’s disease clinical trials with its online tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes Parkinson’s awareness through high-profile advocacy, events and outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world.