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Winners of the FREE THE BOWL From Big Al (Big Alcohol) 2010 Video Contest

CONTACT: Michael J. Scippa (415) 548-0492
Jorge Castillo (213) 840-3336

Winners of the FREE THE BOWL TM From Big Al (Big Alcohol) 2010
Video Contest for Youth Announced at World Premier

Message to Big Alcohol: Free the Super Bowl from Big Al’s Ads

San Rafael, CA (February 4, 2010) --- Seven young people ages 10 to 25 were awarded prizes this evening for their compelling counter-alcohol ads at the Free The Bowl From Big Al (Big Alcohol)TM 2010 World Premiere in San Rafael, California. The competition drew entries from 19 different states yet all shared the same core message: seductive alcohol ads shown during the Super Bowl are inappropriate for the millions of vulnerable young viewers who watch the event.

Marin Institute launched the contest a year ago for Super Bowl 2009 so youth could counter the annual barrage of foreign-owned Anheuser-Busch/InBev’s exploitative beer consumption messages. It has been estimated than 30 million underage football fans watch the event.

“In this year’s contest we asked young people for help identifying “Big Al’s” many faces, especially those that encourage underage drinking,” stated Marin Institute Advocacy Director Michael Scippa. We challenged young filmmakers to show us what Big Al looks like, where they see Big Al, and how Big Alcohol harms them, their friends, and families.”

Research estimates 85,000 American deaths are caused by alcohol consumption annually while economic costs exceed $220 billion. More than 10 million underage youth drink alcohol every year, while 7 million binge drink. As a result, 5,000 youth under age 21 die, while hundreds of thousands more suffer alcohol-fueled sexual assaults, serious injuries and diseases and academic failure. Meanwhile, Big Alcohol (global beer, wine, and spirits companies) will place 2 million alcohol ads on TV this year. Foreign-based alcohol corporations will spend half a billion dollars advertising during TV sports programs alone.

“Underage drinking is a very serious problem in this country, stated Mark Fishkin, Executive Director of the California Film Institute and one of the Free the Bowl? 2010 judges. “As a parent, there is nothing more troubling than waiting up for your child, praying that they will come home safely. “The California Film Institute has always looked at film as a powerful medium to inspire, motivate and educate,” Fishkin added. “It’s wonderful that so many young adults have been able to use these short films as a social medium to send a powerful message”.

Winners of the country’s second Free the Bowl video contest are:

10-20 Age Group

  • First Prize – Ren Reed, 16, Pleasant Hill, CA for “No Second Chances”
  • Second Prize – Tanner Mitchell, 17, Grand Prairie, TX for “Big Al’s Big Play”
  • Third Prize – Gabrielle Lewis, 18, Post Falls, ID, for “The Near Future” (tied with)
  • Third Prize – Michael Huet, 17, Hollywood, FL, for “Alcohol Companies Want Your Kids”

21-25 Age Group

  • First Prize – Justin McBride, 24, Phoenix AZ, for “It’s Time”
  • Second Prize – Eric Henriksen, 22, Oswego, IL for “Break the Hold”
  • Third Prize – Matt Fiedler, 21, Branchburg, NJ for “A Big Disappointment”

The videos can be found at FreeTheBowl.com and background information on the effects of alcohol advertising on youth at MarinInstitute.org

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