4th Annual South Orange Golf Invitational Returns May 23 to Benefit Cinema Ed

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From Cinema Ed

After being postponed last September due to Hurricane Ida, the 4th Annual South Orange Invitational is returning on May 23rd, to raise money for their beneficiary Cinema Ed, a local community-based nonprofit. Cinema Ed provides local under-represented high school students with a variety of intensive programs designed to teach them the skills they need to craft their own independent films and find work in the film and television industry. These programs also provide them with the opportunity to work on specific film projects with professional filmmakers while also focusing on their studies in all areas of their high school curriculum. The proceeds from this year’s event will go towards additional resources for students, such as mentors, MacBooks and iPads, that will allow CinemaEd’s programs to expand and reach a greater number of student filmmakers.

The full day golf event has already booked more than 80 golfers and will take place on Monday, May 23rd at the East Orange Golf Course, 440 Parsonage Hill Road in Short Hills starting at 1 pm. Founded in 2017 by South Orange Village President Sheena C. Collum and former Trustee Deborah Davis Ford, the South Orange Invitational was initiated to provide a fun day of friends, golf and dinner while raising money for nonprofit organizations serving the local community. Everyone is invited to attend and Davis Ford notes that “even if you are a non-golfer, you can still come in the evening an enjoy a wonderful dinner. There will be prizes for shots closest to the pin and longest drive among others, as well as a Silent Auction and Raffle. Please come out and support Cinema Ed, a wonderful local South Orange non-profit.” She notes that golfers as well as sponsors and dinner-goers can register ahead of time at so-invitational.org.

Founded in 2014, Cinema Ed is a 501(c)3 non-profit film and media organization that uses independent filmmaking as a teaching tool for secondary level students. Their essential programs and services include mentoring high developing and implementing film competitions for NJ high school students, and also designing weekend “bootcamps” where local artists teach filmmaking to NJ students. From 2016 to 2021 they collaborated with the SOMA Film Festival resulting in screenings to sold-out theaters and as well as virtual events. They have also presented panels to educate the public, in South Orange and elsewhere.

The Founder and Executive Director of Cinema Ed, Richard Stephen Bell, a former high school teacher, who is also a professional actor and screenwriter has a lot to say about education and the need to engage students on a whole new level in the digital era:

“An engaged student is a learning student, and being directly involved in the making of an independent film, learning from professionals how to tell a story, re-write a script, do a production schedule and budget, and actually shoot the film, is a powerful way to engage and provide students not only with the technical skills but also with self-efficacy, which improves their schoolwork in all subjects.”

Bell encourages everyone “to come out and enjoy a day of golf or just dinner in the evening. If you can’t come, we hope that you will check out the amazing films created by our students over the years at CinemaEd.org. Thanks so much to the South Orange Invitational and our forward-looking community for your support.”

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