Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Dr. Barbara Beckher Holstein, Positive Psychologist And Pioneer In The Selfie Film Movement, Creates Award Winning, Touching And Educational Selfie Films

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

Mental health is a major issue in the US today for people in all age groups, especially young people. Nothing could be more important than helping young people develop powerful coping skills and help them adjust to reality in ways that lay the foundations for creative, fulfilling and happy lives. That is a complex challenge, as young people face pressures and problems today that are unlike the issues faced by previous generations. Sadly, they are often reluctant to seek out help for fear of being labeled, or perhaps because they feel alone.

A recent article on the NJEA website presented a unique idea - a school Mental Health Awareness Fair that allowed students to meet mental health professionals in a fun, non-threatening environment. It worked. To give young people an opportunity to create positive self esteem is the primary focus of Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein's books, plays and films. As a pioneer in the selfie film genre, she recognizes that selfies are becoming part of the art form of film and also stand on the threshold on being great tools to educate, teach and help improve the mental health of kids and adolescents - in ways that allow them to relate to these issues using tools that are, for many, a centerpiece in their own lifestyle.

"I am thrilled to be making Selfie films that can successfully compete artistically in film festivals and then can also be used as important educational tools in and out of the classroom to assist in opening the doors to better mental health for kids, tweens and teens. Let me give an example, 'The Truth, a Short Film' is made up of sixteen scenes that are filmed by the star, Cassidy Terracciano, on her cell phone. Directed by me, but ultimately left by herself to film, using her iphone the scenes, adapted from my book, 'The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween', we experience an intimacy with the actress that is amazing.  Like most of us, left alone in the shower we reach our ultimate singing voice, I believe that directing but then letting kids do the filming by themselves without a crew watching, is to the advantage for the audience,the material and the actor."

"I present the kinds of issues, that left unchecked and not understood by the child and/or family members, can lead to depression, eating disorders, panic attacks, poor grades, drugs and even the ultimate worst, suicide.  That's because nothing is trivial when we are growing up.  A crush that goes bad, a decision to move to a new town, friends left behind, parents fighting or maybe a divorce, friends teasing or bullying, all of these situations and many more can lead to a mental health crisis for a particular child." 

"However, I do not tell a dark story.  My films are uplifting and entertaining.  The central characters find workable and uplifting solutions to their problems.  The audience laughs, groans, remembers when they were that age, and are ready to start important conversations.  I believe that combining potentially serious developmental subjects in a new form of filmmaking will result in happier kids, more successful parenting and mental health care when necessary in a more timely fashion."

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' will be shown at the Monmouth County District Library in Shrewsbury, followed by a talk and Q&A led by Dr. Holstein.

'The Truth, A Coming of Age, Selfie Film' is now available to download.  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.

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 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 drbarbara@enchantedself.com . 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, www.enchantedself.com, 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.

Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
170 Morris Ave.,
Long Branch, New Jersey 07740