2015 Big Pitch Film Festival Winners Announced

Har-Ber High School has been selected as the advanced division winner of the twelfth annual Big Pitch Film Festival. Stamp Out Smoking (SOS) received 129 video entries and 29 storyboard entries for the festival. The film festival gives Arkansas students the opportunity to film, star in and produce videos promoting a tobacco-free lifestyle. For the first time, the contest also offered a storyboard category, allowing students to illustrate their video concept. This year’s theme, “Be a ‘Reel’ Role Model,” encouraged students to inspire their peers and members of their communities to advocate against Big Tobacco and join a youth-driven movement that seeks to create a healthier, tobacco- and nicotine-free present and future.

“The Big Pitch Film Festival continues to serve as a creative, effective way to engage Arkansas students and communities in advocating against Big Tobacco and its efforts to target youth,” Dr. Gary Wheeler, Chief Medical Officer of the Arkansas Department of Health, said.

“The tobacco industry spends an estimated 107.4 million dollars on marketing in Arkansas each year. This marketing seeks to target children and teens and recruit a new generation of tobacco and nicotine users. It is important that our youth recognize that they are more than ‘replacements’ for the thousands of Americans who die each year from tobacco use. They are unique, possess strength, and have the power to inspire change,” Wheeler added.

First-, second- and third-place winners for the beginner, intermediate and advanced divisions were recognized for the following videos along with their corresponding schools:


  • First-place: Cave City High School, “Nicotine”
  • Second-place: North Little Rock High School, “The Face of Secondhand Smoke”
  • Third-place: Bentonville High School, “SOS by Aaron Cheesman”


  • First-place: Batesville High School, “$O$”
  • Second-place: Caddo Hills, “You Wouldn’t Do That”
  • Third-place: Lakeside High School, “Life Flies By…”


  • First-place: Har-Ber High School, “Side Effects May Include”
  • Second-place: Springdale High School, “Dig Your Own Grave”
  • Third-place: Valley Springs High School, “Speak Up”

First-, second- and third-place winners were also recognized for the following storyboards along with their corresponding schools:

  • First-place: Ozark Junior High School, “How Life Reely Is!”
  • Second-place: Ozark Junior High School, “The Reel Truth”
  • Third-place: Ozark Junior High School, “Tractor Dip”

For the eighth consecutive year, SOS requested the help of Arkansans to select their favorite video entry through the “People’s Choice” Award. Videos were posted on www.SOSProjectPrevent.com for voting until April 6th.

After receiving more than 1,600 votes, the public selected Beebe High School’s spot “Honest Abe” as the winner of the 2015 “People’s Choice” Award.

SOS hosted the fifth annual award show and screening event to recognize the participants’ hard work and to showcase their videos and storyboards on the big screen. Students and teachers attended the event, which was held at Little Rock’s Heifer International Village. Additional awards were given for video entries in the following categories:

  • Best Actor – Benton High School, “The Trial”
  • Best Actress – Bentonville High School, “Smoking is Ugly”
  • Best Editing – Marshall High School, “Breathe”
  • Best Representation of Topic – Lakeside High School, “Poetry Slam – Stand UP”
  • Best Use of Behind the Scenes Social Media – Dardanelle High School, “The Short Life of a Smoker”
  • Rookie of the Year – Salem high School, “Obnoxious Smoke”
  • Best Use of Special Effects – Lakeside High School, “Tobacco Brain”