Dr. Holstein, a psychologist/filmmaker and originator of a unique Selfie Film concept, writes award-winning books, plays and produces short films that offer solutions to problems that impact today’s teens and tweens
WILMINGTON, NC, September 07, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ — A recent article on the CNN website entitled “Suicides under age 13: One every 5 days” presented a statistic that is not only sobering – it is frankly terrifying. According to the article 1,309 children between the ages of 5 and 12 committed suicide from 1999 through 2015.
What does this mean? It means we must collectively do something. Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, Positive Psychologist, award-winning author and pioneer of the selfie film concept helps teens, tween and parents understand and deal with the emotional turmoil that can lead to anguish, mental stress and, in extreme cases, suicide.
“Suicide at any age is a terrible waste of a human being,” Dr. Holstein stated, “but suicides of children 13 and under is almost unimaginable. Yet it is happening in our society. In addition to the CNN piece, another headline stated recently: ’13 year old boy wants to commit suicide after yearbook bullying’. Fortunately, he was saved in time. How can these actual or near encounters with death for young children be so frequent in our society?
“Each case has many reasons why a child reaches that terrible emotional point where living no longer matters. For some children it is the bullying that takes place in the school yard, on the school bus, in back yards and even in the classroom. For others it a combination of emotional problems and family stresses.
“As a positive psychologist constantly looking for ways to help children and adults live fulfilling lives, lives of purpose and meaning, I have ventured into many arenas including websites, radio shows, TV shows, books, plays, and now Selfie Films. All have served a purpose and brought information and education and I believe inspiration to the public about how to have better mental health.
“However, of all my endeavors, it is the concept of #selfiesasfilm that I believe has the most potential to help kids and adults prevent and better understand the emotional turmoil that can lead to self destruction at its most extreme forms and the needless anguish in less extreme circumstances.
“This is because #selfiesasfilm are a way to take what millions of kids and adults are doing on a daily basis anyway, i.e. the video functions of their cell phones, and end up with an intimacy of feeling that the cell phone allows both the giver and the receiver. The product could be simply one child telling the world that bullying has hurt her or a narrative film such as I am making, in which the ‘girl’ (based on my books, ‘The Truth’ and ‘Secrets’) gets a chance again and again to film herself and speak her mind and emotions. Whether that video is then uploaded to a social media site, sent to a friend, sent to a stranger or just a new form of diary is for the viewer to ponder. Also for the viewer to ponder are the many powerful psychological subjects brought up in my films induce discussion and thought after viewing the film.
“Psychologists understand that if people take the time to process and understand issues, dilemmas, problems, deep feelings, hurts, etc. then less tragedies will happen. We learn and we change. This is the gift of being human. I am excited, both as a Positive Psychologist and a filmmaker, to create films that are set up to dramatically encourage the beginnings of change. As for the horror of suicide in kids – Kids who are understood and helped and protected way before dark thoughts and feelings settle in don’t commit suicide.
“I’m excited to announce that ‘Secrets, A Coming of Age, Selfie Film’ is an Official Selection of the Golden Door International Film Festival and will be premiered in Jersey City on October 5, 2017.
“Also, ‘The Truth, A Short Film’ is an Official Selection of the Roselle Park Shorts. Film Festival and will be shown September 23rd. ‘The Truth’ is now available to families, schools, libraries, etc. to stream. It is distributed by Cinecosmos.net which brings a universe of diverse independent content right to consumers. Cinecosmos specializes in historical, medical, parody, and psychological storylines.
“Finally, we have started our countdown calendar to begin filming my newest #Selfiesasfilm film, tentatively called ‘Help From Beyond, A Coming of Age Selfie Film’. In this film, the ‘girl’ is now 15. Megan Brown is playing her once again. The themes are amazing and right on target with today’s issues, including bullying, drugs, and more.”
Holstein’s short films have won numerous awards and accolades. ‘The Truth – A Short Film’ premiered at the Garden State Film Festival and its song, ‘On The Edge of Something New’ won the award as the best pop song of 2016. The short two minute film by Dr. Holstein, ‘The Truth, A Short Short Film’, premiered at FilmOneFest in July. The film was chosen as an Official Selection in the Chain Film Festival held in Manhattan on August 13, 2016. The film was also selected by the Jersey City International Television and Film Festival (JCITFF), and was shown on November 5, 2016 at the Jersey City International Television and Film Festival. ‘The Truth – A Short Film’ was officially selected for the Golden Door International Film Festival held in September 2016. Recently, it was shown at The Grove Film Festival in Jersey City and on May 21, 2017, the shorter version was shown at The Hang On To Your Shorts Film Festival in Asbury Park, New Jersey. ‘The Truth – A Short Film’ was an official selection for the virtual Female Filmmakers Film Festival held on the web. There was a public voting of favorite films and ‘The Truth’ came in 12th of 92 films.
The second film, ‘Falling in Love, A Coming of Age, Selfie Film, is detailed in a new ebook: ‘A Selfie Film – Falling In Love’ by Dr. Holstein. This ebook details many of the issues and stories behind the creation of Dr. Holstein’s “selfie films”, which utilize cutting edge New Media technology. These films are Selfie Films assisted by a professional camera crew, resulting in an intensity and intimacy of performance. The topics and questions for discussion in the book can be used by a group of two, a parent and a child, or a group of hundreds as the universal subjects of growing up and handling tough issues are discussed.
‘Falling in Love’ was an official selection at the Brightside Tavern Film Festival in Jersey City in early March, nominated for several awards, including ‘Best Experimental Film’ and ‘Best New Jersey Short’. It came in second place for ‘Best New Jersey Short’.
‘Falling in Love’ was an official selection also at The Hang On To Your Shorts Film Festival in Asbury Park on May 21, 2017. It was nominated for several awards, including Best Experimental Film, and Best Concept Film. Megan Brown, a high school freshman, who stars in ‘Falling in Love’ received the ‘Rising Star Award’ for her acting performance in ‘Falling in Love’ at this Festival.
On June 19, 2017, at 7:00 PM, ‘The Truth’, and ‘Falling in Love’ was shown at the Monmouth County District Library in Shrewsbury, followed by a talk and Q&A led by Dr. Holstein. Megan Brown, the star of ‘Falling in Love’ spoke alongside Dr. Holstein about making the film and how exciting and emotionally boosting it was for her to be able to take charge of her scenes and redo them in privacy when she wasn’t satisfied.
Recently Dr. Holstein attended for the sixth time, Author’s Day at the Ocean Township Intermediate School where she presented film excerpts from both ‘The Truth’ and ‘Falling in Love’ to sixth graders. They were able to watch at the same time, yet separately on their tablets. Comments included how genuine the girl’s emotions were, how parents can’t always be there to protect or understand, how hard it is to move to a new town, the real issues of having a crush, and suggestions as to how we can handle problems.
Dr Holstein presented her Selfiesasfilm concept at the American Psychological Association meetings in early August at a Symposium: Novel Directions: Novel Directions: Four Practicing Psychologists’ Atypical Pursuits. The audience watched her film,’The Truth, A Short, Short Film’ and the 30 second trailer to her newest film, ‘Secrets, A Coming of Age, Selfie Film’. On the panel also were Dr. Russell M. Holstein, Dr. Lauren Behrman, and Dr. Elaine Rodino.
Dr. Holstein requests that any verified charitable organization interested in raising funds contact her via email. She is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at [email protected] . Both the film and the ebook are available at http://www.payhip.com/drbholstein. All of her books are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and all other online retailers. More information is available at her website at http://www.NewShortFilmTheTruth.com.
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, internationally known Positive Psychologist is the creator of The Enchanted Self , a positive psychology method for happiness. Dr. Holstein’s Enchanted Self website was just included as one of the best websites in positive psychology. She is in private practice in Long Branch, New Jersey with her husband, Dr. Russell M. Holstein.
Dr. Barbara can be found on the web, interviewed, writing articles and posting video ‘TED’ style talks on Happiness, Positive Psychology, Relationships and Parenting.
She has been a contributor to Heart and Soul, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Redbook, Real Simple, The Wall Street Journal, Time on line, the Today Show and Family Circle Magazine.
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