SOS Announces Tenth Annual The Big Pitch Film Festival

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Jan. 28, 2013) – Today Stamp Out Smoking announced the kickoff of its tenth annual The Big Pitch Film Festival.  The contest invites students to film, star in and produce their own tobacco-free themed TV commercials.  All middle, junior and high school students in Arkansas are eligible to create a 27-second commercial that expresses their creativity and showcases their talent while promoting a tobacco-free lifestyle.  Students will compete for the opportunity to win exciting prizes for themselves, and money to buy new video equipment for their schools. During its 10 years, the contest has acted as a unique program designed to educate Arkansas youth about the dangers of tobacco use. Last year, the contest had the highest participation ever with 79 submissions and 470 participants in 26 counties.

For the third consecutive year, SOS will host a private event to screen qualifying commercials and present awards to contest winners. There will be a first-, second-, and third- place winner in three category divisions: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The “People’s Choice” award returns for a sixth year, after nearly 3,500 votes were cast to select last year’s winner.

Again this year, SOS will award specific placement categories – Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Editing, Best Representation of Topic and Rookie of the Year, awarded to a first-time participating school.  New to the 2013 contest is the “Best Behind the Scenes Use of Social Media” award. The award is designed to encourage students to share the behind-the-scenes experience of their commercial through social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  The winning commercial of each division will be considered for professional production to air in the SOS statewide media campaign.

The Big Pitch Film Festival challenges students to work with their peers by recruiting team members, researching the health dangers of tobacco, determining the best messaging strategy and putting it all together in a 27-second commercial.  An out-of-state panel of judges will determine the winners, and all eligible participants will be invited to the private screening event to see their finished products.  Details for the event will be distributed to qualified participants after submissions are received.

Contest guidelines and details can be found on  In order to be considered, entries for the contest must be postmarked by March 8.  Voting for the “People’s Choice” award will be available beginning March 18 and ending April 15, and all finalists will be announced on by 5 p.m. on April 22.

Prizes for each category division, beginner, intermediate and advanced will be awarded as follows:

The Big Pitch Film Festival contest is a tobacco prevention program for the SOS media and public education campaign.  For official entry forms or more information on The Big Pitch Film Festival, visit or contact Allison Lafargue at or (501) 975-7253.  For additional information on other tobacco prevention programs in your area, contact the Arkansas Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program office at (501) 661-2362 or visit  For a program to help you quit tobacco, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.