SEVEN Fund Announces Winners of its Cinéma Prospérité competition
December 16, 2008—Cambridge, Massachusetts - The Social Equity Venture Fund - SEVEN - is pleased to announce the winners of its Cinéma Prospérité competition. The competition recognized outstanding use of film to tell the stories of entrepreneurs who have overcome obstacles and created entrepreneurial, for-profit businesses in their communities.
Cinéma Prospérité received more than sixty entries from filmmakers around the globe; entries were submitted from North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Almost 3000 people signed up to follow the competition and vote. The finalists were chosen through a competitive two-week online voting process. The winners, competing for a first prize of $20,000; a second prize of $10,000; and a third prize of $5000, were selected through competitive review process that includes a jury of entertainment, development, and business experts.
"We received sixty entries, featuring truly compelling stories of entrepreneurs," said Andreas Widmer, co-founder of the SEVEN Fund. "The winners represent compelling narratives that we hope will inspire future innovators in the fields of business and film."
Grand Prize Winner: Tom's Shoes presents "One for One"
Description: Walking is the primary mode of transportation in the third world and a child's daily walk to get clean water or to go to school can be miles. All odds were against him... he had no experience in the fashion or shoe industries; no one was willing to invest in his project; factories, shoe and fabric makers told him it would be impossible. Everyone told him he was crazy to give a pair of shoes away every time he sold a pair, and that he would never make a profit. Blake Mycoskie founded TOMS Shoes in 2006, creating a compassionate and revolutionary business model: One for One.
Second Prize Winner: Open Blue Sea Farms presents "Feed the World"
Description: As the 3rd generation of his family working in the seafood industry, Brian O’Hanlon began witnessing the early warning signs over the growing global seafood supply crisis at a very young age. At 17 years old, he decided to do something about it and set out to pioneer the development of one of the world's first open ocean fish farms. Today, O’Hanlon is beginning to realize that vision as his farm scales up from the proof of concept phase to an economically viable business.
Third Prize Winner: m ss ng p eces films and The Moving Windmills Project presents "Moving Windmills"
Description: In late 2001, William Kamkwmamba, a remarkable young man from a remote village north of Malawi's capital city, was forced to drop out of school due to lack of funds. Turning to self education, William saw a picture of a windmill in a textbook and decided to build one to power his family's home. Using found materials and scrap yard parts such as a broken bicycle, tractor fan, melted plastic pipes, bamboo and used copper wires, he built a series of windmills which would change his life. His is the story of how imagination and ingenuity can change a family, a village, a nation.
SEVEN also wishes to congratulate our finalists, whose films are presented below:
- Humble Strength
- Out of the Box
- At the Brazilian Savannah
- An Entreprenerus' Heart
- Dentista do Bem (Dentists for Good)
Selected Judges for Cinéma Prospérité
Richard Banfield is an experienced entrepreneur and business development specialist. Richard's career has been focused on technology and Internet related businesses. He has served in a broad range of positions such as Founder, CEO, CMO, and VP of Web Channel. As CEO of Fresh Tilled Soil (www.freshtilledsoil.com) he has lead the company to deliver design and marketing solutions to over 150 clients across several industries since the start of 2005. He has delivered high-level business strategy, global marketing campaigns and materials to clients in the US, UK, Europe and Africa. Richard also lectured on the subjects of marketing and online advertising and has authored guides to sales, account management, global business development and search marketing. His experience ranges from raising institutional and private financing to starting businesses from the ground up and leading them to million dollar revenues. Richard has a Bachelor of Science from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Marylee Graffeo Fairbanks
Marylee Graffeo Fairbanks
Marylee Graffeo Fairbanks was a musical theater actress in New York City and in Broadway Productions around the world. She is the mother of a three year old son, and a teacher and developer of Chakras Yoga (chakrasyoga.com) in the Boston area.
Anne Morriss is Managing Director of the Concire Leadership Institute, which she recently launched with a team of Harvard Business School professors to help organizations compete on service excellence. Prior to founding Concire, Anne worked with the OTF Group to expand its entrepreneurship practice in Latin America and the Caribbean. She led OTF's partnership with the World Bank to advise leaders in forty countries on using business incubation to drive dynamism and innovation in local economies. As part of this work, Anne used film to expose policymakers to the impact of grassroots entrepreneurship movements. Anne's career has included leading the campaign finance team for Representative Marty Meehan (MA) and acting as the South American Director for Amigos de las Americas, an international NGO that promotes rural development in Latin America. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
Jeff is an Emmy Award nominated writer, director, and editor whose films have been broadcast on HBO, Cinemax, PBS, Channel 4 in the UK, the BBC, Current TV, and BET, as well as theatrically distributed throughout North America, Europe, South America, Australia and Asia. Jeff´s work has been featured at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Massachusetts, the Museum of Fine Art in Boston and the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. Favela Rising, which he wrote, directed, shot, edited and produced, was shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Feature Length Documentary in 2005, and among the 36 international awards it has won are Film of the Year by the International Documentary Association, Best Film at the Sydney International Film Festival and Leeds International Film Festival, as well as Best Director at the Tribeca Film Festival. Favela Rising (www.favelarising.com) was theatrically exhibited in five continents, held over in theaters in the United Kingdom for six months, and theatrically released by ThinkFilm and HBO in 34 cities in North America. Favela Rising was also nominated for a 2007 Emmy Award.
Entrepreneurs create products, services and jobs. They expand economies, improve people's lives, provide employment (high and rising wages) and bring about competition. A competitive environment, in turn, gives rise to efficiency, meritocracy and further innovations and entrepreneurial drive.
The potent combination of entrepreneurship and technological innovation can forge an environment that is conducive to further enterprise, involving even government policy in supporting entrepreneurship and innovation.