Today, the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) organization, and Warner Bros. Entertainment announced the release of four anti-smoking public service announcements (PSAs) produced by young filmmakers. The PSAs are designed to encourage teenagers to abstain from using tobacco products and to educate audiences about the risks and health impacts of smoking. Two of the four PSAs were created by youth filmmaking teams in partnership with Ghetto Film School, a non-profit founded to educate, develop, and celebrate the next generation of great storytellers, and their full-service boutique production company, Digital Bodega, which is run by alumni of the program. The other two PSAs were created by filmmaker, producer, and actress Anna Akana, who through her digital influencer status will help engage youth between the ages of 13 and 17.
The notion of peer-to-peer communication was central in the development of the PSAs. With this fresh approach targeted at the core youth age group, young talent set out to pitch, write, and produce the PSAs. “Cats Can’t Deal” and “Time Travel” were written and developed by Akana, who has 1.4 million YouTube subscribers and reaches millions of viewers with her weekly YouTube show. “Life,” featuring popular 19-year-old Canadian singer-songwriterAlessia Cara’s song Seventeen, and “No Smoke Squad” were written and developed by youth from Ghetto Film School’s Digital Bodega. Beyond delivering anti-smoking messages, these PSAs also further the growth of young filmmakers by fostering creative development and distributing their work to new audiences.
“We are reaching audiences in a new way – this is not your average anti-smoking PSA and I’m excited to get this message across using comedy,” said Akana.
“Working with Warner Bros. and EIF to develop anti-smoking PSAs has truly been a great opportunity for our team,” said Iasmel Vasquez, Executive Producer at Digital Bodega and an alumnus of Ghetto Film School. “From the initial pitch process to post-production, this has been an experience we’re all extremely proud of, and we can’t wait for the final product to reach viewers.”
The PSAs will be distributed on DVDs from Warner Bros. and other major studios before youth-rated films that depict smoking. They will also be distributed on national and regional TV networks and stations, on out-of-home outlets, and through digital channels – reaching millions of target-demographic viewers annually – beginning this year.