*I attended the 4th annual “Imagination Lunchbox International Children’s Film Festival,” founded by multi-award winning Baltimore prodigy actor (PBS, DreamWorks) and filmmaker (One Nation, Naga Pixie) Anthony Michael Hobbs, presented by the Eubie Blake Center via Zoom video conferencing. The international children’s film festival via Zoom attracted attendees from as far as Spain and Japan.
The idea started in 2016 at the Arbutus Fire House Community Center in Baltimore by Hobbs after screening a short film, Agent Hollywood, which his company, Imagination Lunchbox, LLC, produced for his coach. The next year in 2017 he decided to launch his own film festival that screens primarily short films made by kids like him. That year the “Imagination Lunchbox International Children’s Film Fest” was launched at the Arbutus Fire House Community Center as a red carpeted event for kids screening and awarding shorts made by youth and for kids from around the world. In 2018 “ILICFF” was held at the Parkway Theatre in Baltimore and it was held twice in 2019 at the Shake & Bake Family Fun Center and the Eubie Blake Center in Baltimore. Hosted by Founder Hobbs and radio personality Doresa Harvey (Magic 95.9FM), “ILICFF” is sponsored in part by Imagination Lunchbox, LLC, the Eubie Blake Center, “Uplifting Minds II” and The Baltimore Times Foundation, Times Community Services.
I attended all of the events throughout the years, not only because Anthony Hobbs is a client of mine via my business/public relations consult company Freelance Associates, but he is my grandson. Not because I am his grandmother, however, but I think holding “ILICFF” via Zoom was an exceptional idea because it allowed the audience to be internationally represented. The event was forced online because of the U.S. health pandemic, but it seems it was a blessing in-disguise for this event allowing the filmmakers from other countries whose shorts were screened to attend.
The “ILICFF” event opened with a welcome from Eubie Blake Center director Derek Price and then went on to screen 21 films made by kids and for kids. Four awards – “Best Film Made By Kids,” “Best Film Made For Kids,” “Most Uplifting Film,” and “Festival Choice” – were presented at the end of the program. The short films screened came from the U.S., Hungary, Spain, Japan, Taiwan, India, Germany, and Australia. The winners included two from the U.S., one from India and one from Japan.
In between the screening of the shorts made by kids and for kids a trivia contest was held and the winner Anne-Sophie from the U.S. received a gift of branded merchandise (hoodie, tank top, soaks, coffee mug) from 15 year-old “ILICFF” founder Anthony Michael Hobbs’ company Imagination Lunchbox, LLC. The short film winners included Director Abner Sharma (India), “Best Film Made By Kids,” for the dramatic short “Don’t Kill for Fun” that has a message about killing animals for sport; Director Nicola Rose (United States), “Best Film Made For Kids,” for the emotional short “Gabrielle” about a teen rejected by her dance teacher because of her weight; Director Ellis Clark (United States), “Film Fest Most Uplifting,” sponsored by the ‘Uplifting Minds II” entertainment conference, for the philosophical short “The Truth of Beauty” which explains that beauty is not any one type of look, and Director Satoshi Takahashi (Japan), “Film Festival Choice,” for the funny short “The Peak,” about what goes through the mind of a child when they have to use the bathroom very badly. The audience, by using the “raise hand” feature on Zoom, voted on the first two awards, “ILICFF” founder Hobbs selected the festival choice award and I, Eunice Moseley, founder of the “Uplifting Minds II” entertainment conference selected the most uplifting award. www.ImaginationLuncbox.com www.EubieBlake.org www.BaltimoreTimes-Online.com www.UpliftingMinds2.com
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice Moseley, MS, MBA, MPhil has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com. EVENTS: “Uplifting Minds II” Entertainment Conference (ULMII), founded by Eunice in 1999, is into its 21st year. Next events are coming to Los Angeles Saturday, November 7, 2020 via Zoom Video Conferencing and to Baltimore Saturday April 17, 2021 at Security Square Mall. The ULMII event is a free conference offering an Entertainment Business Panel Q&A Session, a Talent Showcase and Talent Competition (vocal, songwriting, dance and acting) where aspiring artists have a chance to receive over $15,000 valued in prizes/product/services. Log onto www.UpliftingMinds2.com for more information or to RSVP for Zoom Access email info@ThePulseofEntertainment.com.