AARP and the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television forged an innovative collaboration this year in the hopes of creating a movement for change in our nation’s health care system, or lack thereof. AARP President Emilio Pardo explains the idea, which started with the Divided We Fail campaign, as meant to “tap the power of storytelling and understand that if we’re together we can make a difference. The movement is about collecting as many voices as possible so we can deliver a message to the next President of the United States and make a difference.”

Pardo teamed up with UCLA and invited their graduate filmmakers to create films dealing with the issue of health care and financial security. The “Stolen Dreams” film competition gave entrants from May to August, to write, produce, shoot, edit and complete their films. Four finalists were chosen and screened for an impressive panel of judges: 10-time Emmy winner Steven Bochco, writer/director/producer Curtis Hanson, AARP’s Pardo and BET’s founder Reggie Hudlin.

Each judge eagerly congratulated the finalists and commended their efforts, which were “enormously impressive,” according to Bochco.

“The fact is, this is something that affects all of our lives,” said Hudlin, “and it’s great to see students encouraged to make movies about real issues.”

The winner, Anthony Onah and his film The Cure, about a single, insurance-less mother whose young son suffers a horrific accident, won the $7,500 prize and will have his film shown as part of the Divided We Fail campaign.

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