Lights. Camera. Help!

Austinites, do you all know who David Neff is?

Of course you know David. He’s probably the most well-connected person I know here in Austin, and possibly, the world.

I call David my Networking Genie! That’s because at least once a month, I receive an email from him that says, “YOU TWO SHOULD MEET,” with an important person CC’d. He is a master connector with a crazy Twitter following, a social media trainer to non-profits, and on top of all that, a co-host for a local TV show about ghosthunting in Austin. Facebook like button, meet my finger.

So when David wrote me a few days ago to ask if I’d get the word out about his organization’s upcoming film festival, I said: No.

Just kidding, I said yes, a thousand times yes, David.  Because who could say no to that face? NO ONE, that’s who.

It helps that I really like the film festival.

David and his buddies run Lights. Camera. Help., a non-profit that teaches other non-profits how to use film and video.  Last year, they launched the Lights. Camera. Help. Film Festival, the world’s first fest dedicated entirely to cause-driven films. This year, it has expanded from one day to three days, 20 finalists to 35. ALL proceeds from tickets ($12 for one-day pass, $30 for all three days) will be donated to the organizations featured in the winning films.

Now, a word on those films. I didn’t know what a “cause-driven” film was, so I looked at the line-up.  We’ve got:

Children reading in Queens
A goat being rescued
-Gay people getting married!
-People with cerebral palsy being included in their families’ lives
-Hungry people eating
-I’m not very good at describing these

I know! Let’s look at some trailers. The first is produced by EcoViva, an organization that promotes sustainable development in El Salvador; the second is for Daraja Academy, a girls’ school in Kenya. I LOVE that one.



Do you see what I mean? Those girls’ smiling faces pull at le heartstrings, non?

If the goal of this film festival is to inspire viewers, then it worked, because I immediately hopped onto Daraja Academy’s website the first time I watched that trailer. “I wonder how feasible it would be to fly to Africa and teach girls MATH?” I thought.  And I don’t even like math.

That’s why this is a genius film festival.

Lights. Camera. Help. Film Festival kicks off tomorrow, and runs through Saturday. To buy tickets, click here.