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by Caroline Fenn
June 25th, 2013

You may have heard of On My Block Films—it’s a New York City film project that brings neighbors together to tell short stories on film. The casts and crews are made up entirely of the filmmakers’ real neighbors, and they seek to highlight unique communities across all of the city’s boroughs, among not just houses and apartments but also religious centers, senior centers, coops, and prisons.

OMB has just announced its second annual filmmaking challenge.  Beginning on July 1st, 2013, New York City residents from across the five boroughs will collaborate to complete one- to three-and-a-half-minute length short narrative or documentary films on their block using only neighbors as their casts and crews.

New this year is a Kickstarter campaign, launched on June 19th to fund the season of OMB.  The goal is to raise $10,000 for an updated website, promotional material, festival venue fees, and prizes for the winning filmmakers.  Additional funding beyond this goal will be allocated towards the expansion of OMB into other cities.  The Kickstarter campaign will end at midnight on July 19th, so contribute while you can!

All eligible films will be posted and screened online from the time they are finished until October 31st, 2013.  During this time, viewers will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite short film on Vimeo.  During the first week of November, a panel will judge the top 40 films as voted by the viewers, the top 20 of which will be entered into the festival.

These 20 films will be screened at an awards event located at the SVA Theater on November 11th, which will acknowledge the Best Narrative Film, Best Documentary Film, and Best in Show, in addition to adding a new category for films made outside of New York City to kick off the global expansion of the program.

Here are the important dates to remember:

June 19-July 19 Kickstarter campaign

July 1-October 31 Films shot, edited, and uploaded to Vimeo

July 1-October 31 Public voting opens

November 6 Judging panel votes

November 11 Top 20 films screened at festival

Here are some logistics:

To contribute to the On My Block Kickstarter campaign, visit this page. Backers of the project will receive rewards for their contributions ranging from T-shirts to free festival tickets to Founding Member Status of On My Block.

All filmmakers must sign up on the On My Block site and complete the application before the finished film is submitted.  For additional information including submission guidelines, neighbor recruitment tools, tips for writing and producing, or to sign up as a filmmaker or sponsor of On My Block, please contact Mary Crosse at mary@onmyblockfilms.com or visit www.onmyblockfilms.com.  To view last year’s films, visit www.onmyblockfilms.com/video.  For updates on the festival, follow @onmyblockfilms on Twitter.

Happy filmmaking, New Yorkers.  We’re excited to see what you create for the On My Block Filmmaking Challenge.

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About Rooftop Films

Rooftop Films is a New York based non-profit whose mission is to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations, producing new films, coordinating youth media education, and renting equipment at low cost to artists.

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