“Paddle Together” about the Paradise City Dragon Boat team of breast cancer survivors and supporters will stream July 13 – July 24. 

For the ninth year, the festival will come to all PBS digital platforms and will feature 25 short-form independent films presented in five categories: culture, environment, family, humanity and race. 

Survivorship and sportsmanship

Small Forces is excited to bring “Paddle Together” to the festival in the culture category. The story shows the intersection of survivorship and sportsmanship. Brought together by their experiences of fighting breast cancer, the Paradise City Dragon Boat team offers year-round support and camaraderie, while also providing necessary muscle-building fitness in an exciting and rewarding sport. 

Starting July 13, viewers can watch, share and vote for their favorite film to win the “Most Popular” award. In addition, a distinguished panel of eight jury members will select their favorite film of the festival for the “Juried Prize.”

There are several ways to cast a vote for our film, and you’re welcome to do them all!

  1. Visit pbs.org and click on the “Heart” button
  2. Visit youtube.com and click on the thumbs-up icon
  3. Follow PBS Short Film Festival on Facebook here: facebook.com/PBSFilmFest, and “like” or “love” Paddle Together when it goes live on July 18th
  4. Simply watch the film on all platforms!

Most Popular Film

Last year, Small Forces was honored to win the “Most Popular Film” award in this festival with our film “BT Lives in the Stitch.” The festival allowed us to reach new audiences and provide a national platform for the story, which led to an increase in donations and interest in the BT Lives in the Stitch program. 

We’re excited for the impact that the 2020 festival can have for the Paradise City Dragon Boat team.

Thank you for watching, sharing, and voting for Paddle Together. We appreciate your support and hope you enjoy the selection of films in the festival!

You can follow along at the Small Forces Facebook page for updates throughout the festival.

Small Forces Film BT Lives in the Stitch will air on season two of Illinois Public Media’s Reel Midwest, an independent film series that helps to find and broadcast the best feature, documentary, and short films from Illinois and across the Midwest.

On March 26th, viewers across Illinois can tune into their PBS station to see the story of North Lawndale College Prep’s knitting program. The high school is located on the south side of Chicago, in a neighborhood notable more for urban blight than quality education. Then, teacher Dorothea Tobin introduced the BT Lives in the Stitch program, creating a much needed after-school program as well as an avid knitting circle amongst an unlikely group of teens.

The short film will screen alongside This Has Been To Space, a film that follows a group of kids and astrophysicists as they launch a high-altitude balloon—outfitted with cameras, GPS, a Geiger counter, action figures, seeds, and a Twizzler “payload” —and follow it across the country. Once reunited with their supercharged souvenirs, the kids watch their space video: the curvature of the earth, the perilous descent — and everyone gets a bite of the Twizzler.

Learn more here: https://will.illinois.edu/reelmidwest