Film Builds Neighborhoods -- Or Is It The Other Way Around?

New York City’s First Neighborhood Filmmaking Challenge Premieres Inaugural Screening This Month

by Rachel Farnham

In the wake of Sandy, a lot of us have had to rely on neighbors and reach out to the strangers across the hall for the first time. We've experienced or read about such amazing stories of positive community collaboration in our city. On My Block Films understands the importance of community and focuses on building stronger micro-neighborhoods through collaborative filmmaking and storytelling. 

OMB films is a filmmaking challenge founded by filmmaker Ryan O’Hara Theisen and executive producer Mary Crosse, kicked off earlier this year, calling participants to cast and crew only people and locations off their personal block to create a 5 minute short film. Time has come for the first screening of 16 films selected and handcrafted by citizens registered through all 5 boroughs.

For the many New Yorkers who are hard at work rebuilding their communities, here’s a chance to get out as our subway trains come back to life, and listen to both the behind-the-scenes and amazing bonding stories each film has brought to each block, as we head towards a newer year.

From 7:00 pm onwards, guests will enjoy beer and wine, a theater-themed concessions menu and the main event, the screening and awards. Located in DUMBO, Brooklyn, WHITE WAVE John Ryan Theater will have a large screen set up for an optimal viewing experience of the films.

Date:                      Wednesday, November 14
Time:                     7:00 pm Open Reception
                            7:45 pm Screening and Awards presentation

WHITE WAVE John Ryan Theater
25 Jay Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Seating is limited, discount tickets and info can be found at or at the door for $9. The top films will be screened November 14. Awards will be presented for Best Narrative Film, Best Documentary Film and Best In Show.

On My Block aims to create an opportunity for neighbors to meet each other, work together and develop trusting relationships through the collaborative filmmaking process. At its heart, the challenge serves as an opportunity for neighbors to get to know one another better through the collaborative process of filmmaking. The finished films will live on past the festival end date as a source of community pride, and as a living map of the world’s most creative city.

Rachel Farnham is the Press Director at On My Block Films. With non-profit, agency, international and luxury public relations roles, Rachel's dynamic background lends itself to projects like On My Block Films where she brings energized awareness to audiences while maintaining a personalized focus. Rachel lives in New York.