FOCUS and Dynamic Catholic Announce Winners of Imagine+Nation

Video contest highlights powerful short films of Catholic truth, beauty and grace

Limit Break - BMX
Rob Kaczmark

Who Do You Want To Become?
Cameron O’Hearn

Ayuda
Steven Tralongo

Unexpected
Matt LaFont

DENVER, Colo., July 7, 2014— Leading Catholic organizations FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, and Dynamic Catholic announce the winners of Imagine+Nation, a national video contest launched to promote the next generation of Christian storytellers who desire to redeem the arts, specifically through video. The top three winners received cash prizes totaling $10,000, and can be viewed at focus.org.

Voting was based on how fully and compellingly the video conveys its subject matter, effectiveness in reaching young adults, and originality and creativity in presentation. The top three winning submissions are:

1st Place: Rob Kaczmark – “Limit Break – BMX”
2nd Place: Cameron O’Hearn – “Who Do You Want To Become?”
3rd Place: Steven Tralongo – “Ayuda”

“We hope this video will inspire people to let their love for God be the source of their love for all things in life,” said first place winner Rob Kaczmark of Chicago, Ill., who produced the documentary “Limit Break – BMX”. “There’s a big need for role models, since we can often feel uninspired to strive for something greater. Mike’s trust in God goes beyond Sunday, it influences everything that he does, including his passion for BMX and his medical school studies.”

“The Imagine+Nation videos connect directly to the Church's call for a New Evangelization with themes relevant to the younger generation,” said Curtis Martin, FOCUS President and Founder. “We are honored to assist these great young artists, as they spark conversations about faith in Christ. We are grateful for their efforts to promote that which is authentically true, good and beautiful.”

“We thought about the situation college students are in, making career decisions and putting themselves in a certain box for the rest of their lives,” said Cameron O’Hearn of St. Paul, Minn., producer of second place winner “Who Do You Want to Become”.

“We wanted to communicate that our childhood dreams have timeless truths and bring the viewer face-to-face with God, who wants them to be a saint.”

Steven Tralongo of Venice, Calif., won the third place prize for his narrative, “Ayuda,” which means “help” in Spanish. His film portrays the human struggle to forgive oneself in the midst of personal failure. He explains, “The film conveys being present to the opportunities in one's life, how we move forward with our emotional baggage, and also to explore why it is easier to forgive others than one's self.”

Apart from the top three winners, Imagine+Nation also hosted a People's Choice Award where the general public was able to vote for their favorite video submission. “Unexpected” by Matt LaFont was the People's Choice winner.



About FOCUS:
FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) is a national outreach founded in 1998 that invites college students into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church, inspiring and equipping them for a lifetime of Christ-centered evangelization, discipleship and friendships in which they lead others to do the same. More than 434 missionaries work on 100 college campuses in 34 states. FOCUS missionaries are typically recent college graduates who devote two or more years of their post-collegiate lives to reach out to their peers on campus. Through genuine friendship and personal investment, FOCUS missionaries invite students into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the fullness of life found in the Catholic Church. www.focus.org.


About Dynamic Catholic:
The Dynamic Catholic Institute was founded in 2009 to re-energize the Catholic Church in America by developing world-class resources that inspire people to rediscover the genius of Catholicism. Their vision is to be the innovative leader in the New Evangelization helping Catholics and their parishes become the-best-version-of-themselves. Over the past four years, The Dynamic Catholic Institute has developed a series of programs and resources designed to re-engage disengaged Catholics and transform marginally engaged Catholics into dynamic Catholics. www.dynamiccatholic.com.

Contact:
Shaun Garrison
303-630-1006
shaun.garrison@focus.org


About FOCUS:

FOCUS is a national outreach that invites college students into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church, inspiring and equipping them for a lifetime of Christ-centered evangelization, discipleship and friendships in which they lead others to do the same. www.focus.org.

CONTACT:
John Zimmer
FOCUS
303-630-1003
john.zimmer@focus.org