• THE CALL was a winner at the Elmwood Park Public Library Shorts Film Festival in August 2017. The Head of Kids and Teen Services wrote: “We were impressed with your film and the time and effort it took to make it. You should be very proud of your hard work. We would like to recognize you as a winner of the festival.” This was the eighth time THE CALL has been honored by a festival. Thank you Elmwood Park Public Library!

    One of THE CALL’s producers, Felice Bassuk, brought THE CALL to Cuba in January 2017. Subtitled in Spanish, the film was viewed by teachers, students, and the principals of two middle schools. The kids were deeply moved by the film and especially by the fact that Americans would want to share its important message with them. The teachers promised to show the film in their classes every year and to use the Teachers Guide, translated into Spanish, to discuss the dangers of smoking with the students. THE CALL will also be broadcast on Cuban television during the day when students can watch it.
    Buy the DVD or Download it now:

    TEACHERS:  Have you ever wished for a super-engaging way to introduce a smoking prevention unit to your students, one that will motivate them to stay smoke-free for life?

    THE CALL is an award-winning film that will captivate your kids from the very first shot. It’s an emotionally powerful story of two young teens – a sister and brother – and how each deals with the illness of a loved one who is a smoker. It has no preaching, no statistics, and no scary graphics, but grabs kids on a personal level with characters they easily relate to.

    “THE CALL is such an amazing film. I’ve watched it like thousands and thousands of times, to be honest. This movie is like a one in a trillion and should be watched by every human being on this earth.”
    –Keerthana Rajeev, 9th grader, Thalassery, India

    THE CALL is an outstanding short with a great message on a lot of levels. I have shown it to my PE classes on rainy days. They get it. It’s very powerful.”
    –Lin Hancock, PE Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School, River Forest, IL

    The Teacher’s Guide is the companion-piece to the movie. It provides background info for the teacher, compelling discussion questions, creative activities, and two lesson plans.

    Now you can access a SUMMARY of the Teacher’s Guide, which includes everything in the Guide except the lesson plans. Go to thecallmovie.org/TeachersGuideSummary.pdf for a sneak peek at the program.

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    We’re excited to announce that The Call is now represented by five educational video distributors and school suppliers, spreading our message and distributing the program to schools in the U.S. and abroad. The companies are:

    Follett School Solutions: www.follett.com

    Distribution Access: www.distributionaccess.com

    NASCO: www.enasco.com

    Health Edco: www.healthedco.com

    NIMCO: www.nimcoinc.com

    French native speakers can now watch THE CALL subtitled in French!

    Our plan is to subtitle the film in Spanish and other languages as the demand arises.

    To download THE CALL with French subtitles, email us at:  [email protected]


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    It’s Back-To-School time, and THE CALL is appearing in more and more schools!

    We’re excited to announce that THE CALL now has 4 distributors. Nimco (KY) and Distribution Access (Canada) are our educational video distributors, and Follett (IL) and Health Edco (TX) are school suppliers who now carry our program.

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    On June 13, 2014, THE CALL was shown to a group of 5th and 6th graders in River Forest, IL. Screening and discussion were led by Susan Lucci, a facilitator of women’s and girls’ groups. Here are her comments:

    “It was a hit! All of their faces were glued to the screen the entire time. They absolutely got the message: do not smoke. Up to this point, the ‘Just Say NO’ message has been conveyed to them via statistics. They preferred this story format. They clearly identified with Becky.

    “Immediately after watching, I invited them to do a free write exercise (“First Thoughts”). After that, interestingly, they scrolled through the clipboard of handouts to the stats sheet and then automatically signed the anti-smoking contract. We talked through the stats and different pieces of the movie (guided in part by the Teachers’ Guide). Given the high number of adults they see smoking, they reported even higher stats about smokers, except among their peers, where they think only 1 or 2 students at their school smoke.

    “Since this group loves music, I asked about the significance of the music midway through, which of course they got. I also probed about the relationship between the siblings and pulled out some of the lines to see their reaction (“Everyone dies, kid” and “That’s stupid!”). I wondered if they caught the subtleties. They did.

    “Then we walked through the role playing and the girls’ answers in nearly every situation was very clear: NO! I reminded them about the vulnerability of their brains at this age and encouraged them to hold onto that position as they grow older and peer pressure increases.

    “I framed this subject in the context of HABITS. When do habits turn into addictions, I wondered? We had a fascinating discussion.

    “When considering how great a percentage of smokers are in lower income, they raised a tough question – how can these folks be educated/supported to quit without education and support systems?

    “Also, the girls wondered how they can convince their parents’ friends to stop smoking. They are trying tactics I remembered doing at their age – flushing cigarettes and citing stats.

    “Finally, they expressed that they would love to have their peers be shown this movie.

    “Thank you for letting me experience this program with them!”


    Some comments from the girls:

    “It was easy to relate to and made me feel sad, how smoking tears people apart.”

    “I realized that it affects not only you but the people you love.”          

    “Watching the movie made me feel more confident in not smoking.”

    “I feel more informed now!”

    Susan Lucci, Circle Facilitator, www.2big4words.org



    Hi Friends,

    We’re very excited about a write-up of our project that appeared in yesterday’s  Palisadian Post. The Post is the village paper of Pacific Palisades, where many of the key people connected to our project live – Director Stephen Messer, Director of Photography Peter Smokler, Composer Lucy Schwartz, Music Producer David Schwartz, Sound Designer Wouter van Herwerden, Crane Operator Devin Atwood, Production Coordinator Jett Gelber, and our young actors Asher Moore and Ailey Marler. Have a look at the article and the pic of Stephen, Peter, and Wouter on the Palisadian bluffs overlooking the breathtaking view of the beach and ocean where our movie was shot. For more info about our grassroots campaign, please click here.




    Sea Song LLC’s goal is to reach kids at the critical age when they’re deciding whether or not to smoke, and to get them to understand, at a gut level, that it’s really not worth it. In fact, that it’s cool to be tobacco-free.

    Chicago, IL (PRWEB) November 20, 2013

    Producers of a unique smoking prevention program are spearheading an ambitious campaign to get their award-winning film and program into 1000 middle schools nationwide. The message to young people across America – it’s “cool to be tobacco-free.”

    Each year nearly half a million Americans die prematurely from smoking – and many more suffer from a smoking-related disease. “Our vision,” says Director Stephen Messer, “was to produce a short dramatic film that gets young people to understand, on a gut level, the ultimate cost of smoking. Because as every parent knows, the only way to make a message impactful to today’s sharp-but-always-headstrong teenagers is for them to discover the significance of that message firsthand.” (Messer radio interview)

    The film has won numerous awards and has been warmly received at seven film festivals. Michael Thun, MD, of the American Cancer Society, notes: “This film has the potential to open kids’ minds to the emotional costs of smoking at a stage when they can still hear this lifesaving message.”

    An innovative curriculum was developed that reinforces the themes of the film with discussions, activities, and the film’s soundtrack. Says Producer Felice Bassuk, “Students learn how tobacco addiction happens, how ads and the media lure young people to start smoking, and how to stand strong in the face of peer pressure. And since 4000 American kids light up for the first time each day, it’s clear whom we need to reach.”

    Reactions to the film by middle school students and teachers have been overwhelmingly positive. Teachers find it “powerful” and “moving.” Typical responses by students after watching it are, “Anyone who smokes is stupid.” “They’re killing themselves.” “I’d never start.”

    But the film is not for kids only. As Elzbieta Maciejowska, of Chicago, IL, states: “I was thinking about watching this movie for a couple of months but I was not ready. Finally I watched it and it changed my life. I realized that I want to be there for my family and my little boy. I am now smoke free for 6 weeks. It was easy for me after seeing this movie. I started running every day and I plan to run a marathon next year.”

    Donations start at $5 and supporters can choose from an array of rewards based on the amount they pledge. For a donation of $35, the Program will be distributed free of charge to a school designated by the donor and gifted in his/her name.

    Interested parties can make a tax-deductible donation and learn more about the Program at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-call-cool-to-be-tobacco-free.

    About Sea Song LLC
    Sea Song LLC, located in Chicago, IL, was founded in 2011 as an independent film company to produce THE CALL and all materials related to its smoking prevention program. Its mission is to help create a tobacco-free world using multimedia materials. Its goal is to stop kids from smoking before they begin. For more information, visit https://thecallmovie.org.




    Watch this great video which has gone viral on YouTube!!!