New York.- (GreekNewsOnline)
“Wear a Mask New York Ad Contest” that was launched on May 5th by New State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and overseen by his daughter Mariah Kennedy Cuomo, asked New Yorkers to create and share a video explaining why they should wear a mask in public. The state collected more than 600 video submissions from across the state, and there were 186,000 votes cast in the contest and at the end, only 500 votes split the first place winner “We Heart New York” created by Bunny Lake Films and the second place You Can Still Smile” by Natalia Bougadellis and Emory Parker. As a result Governor Cuomo decided both winning videos to run as public service announcements.
HALC did a last hour push mobilizing Greek Americans to cast their votes for Natalia.
“We launched the Wear A Mask New York contest to help spread the word about the importance of wearing a mask, and frankly this contest generated much more energy and excitement than I even anticipated,” Governor Cuomo said. “The tremendous level of participation demonstrates that people understand that a mask can be the difference between life and death. This is about their lives and this is about their community, and they’re engaged — because they are New York tough, smart, united, disciplined and loving.”
“We asked New Yorkers to create ads about the importance of wearing a mask in public, and we received over 600 video submissions from across the state,” Mariah Kennedy Cuomo said. “Congratulations to our winners and thank you to everyone who submitted ads, who voted, who shared ads, and helped spread this important message that it’s absolutely critical to wear a mask in public. And we’ll be continuing to reach out to New Yorkers for help in spreading the message about how we can get through this together because New Yorkers are clearly ready, willing and able to help.”
Natalia Bougadellis is a cinematographer and producer, known for The Owls (2016), The Book of Ruth and The Perfect Fit (2018).
Loulou Chryssides wrote at givemeastoria.com (https://www.givemeastoria.com/2020/05/21/astoria-based-directors-finalists-for-the-wear-a-mask-ad-contest-vote-now/) that Natalia Bougadellis & Emory Parker are the Founders of Blue Slate Films and NXM Photography & Videography. Blue Slate Films creates content for underrepresented voices in film, including those of women and the LGBTQ+ community. The duo have also extended this mission into their commercial work for companies including NBC, Bravo, Nike, Pepsi, and more. Prior to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Bougadellis & Parker were slated to begin production on their first feature film, ‘Whirlpool‘. Unfortunately due to the current circumstances, production on the film was forced to postpone.
However, the filmmakers did not allow COVID to press pause on their creativity and immediately decided to participate in the #NewYorkTough PSA challenge. The aim of the contest is to highlight the importance of wearing a mask in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“I always try to look for the silver lining. Yes, gigs have been cancelled. Yes, shoots have been postponed. Yes, we don’t know where our next paycheck will be coming from, but we are so grateful for our health and the opportunity to continue doing what we love. It’s really a privilege to entertain, educate, and engage with people during such a turbulent time,” Parker explained.
They spent a week driving around the state collecting heartfelt responses from loved ones and strangers. ‘You Can Still Smile’ features cinematic footage of New York and its residents, while conveying the message to take care of one another.
“We are, first and foremost, storytellers. It is so important to capture what New Yorkers are going through—to see it in their eyes and hear it in their own words,” said Bougadellis.
In addition their work on the PSA, Blue Slate Films has also launched a digital series, The Slate. The Slate features artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and more who have made a difference within their respective industry.