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UNSTOPPABLE THE FILM PREMIERES AT L.A. LIVE FILM FEST

What happens when 50 diverse, powerful women come together to share their hopes, dreams, imperfections, resilience and unapologetic perfect selves?

UNSTOPPABLE The Film 

We premiered UNSTOPPABLE at The Regent Theater earlier this year and we’re now ready to hit the film festival circuit. First stop, L.A. Live Film Fest! We’re joining actor and filmmaker ‘Kash Hovey & Friends’ film block at Regal Cinemas on November 10th for an inspirational evening of powerful films.

In partnership with The Riot Life, an all female-identifying team (in front and behind the camera) came together to create a docu-style poetry short film celebrating empowerment told through the female gaze.

This short brought together 50 strong, diverse women including influencers such as Free2Luv Ambassador Stephanie Rice from The Voice, Actress Ali Chapman, Youtubers Catrific and Maiah Ocando, Musicians Bebe Huxley and Free2Luv Advocate Rie Daisies, and many more ambassadors for women’s empowerment.

We’re so proud of our Advocates and Ambassadors who were a part of this film and thank each of them for sharing their hearts with us. A big shout out and thank you to writer and director, Ella Lentini and crew for helping make this a reality.

After we hit the film fest circuit, we look forward to sharing this uplifting, empowerment film with all of you! Join our mailing list to follow our short film’s journey.

UNSTOPPABLE THE FILM PREMIERES AT L.A. LIVE FILM FEST

2018-11-10T16:59:21+00:00

Free2Luv 2018 DIFFERENCE MAKER Awards

Free2Luv Presents First Difference Maker Award at TOUR DE FORCE Benefit Event

Free2Luv launches their new DIFFERENCE MAKER awards on the red carpet at the UNSTOPPABLE: TOUR DE FORCE benefit event at the historic Regent Theater in downtown L.A. These prestigious awards will be presented annually to select Advocates who have played a vital role in advocating for Free2Luv and our mission in their communities.

The first award, DIFFERENCE MAKER was presented by host and Free2Luv Ambassador Jason Drucker to Free2Luv Advocate Lauren Suthers in recognition of her commitment and dedication to empowering youth and creating change in the world.

“Lauren has been an instrumental part of our Youth Advocacy program for the past four years and we are incredibly proud of the impact she is making in her community. Lauren facilitates our Free2BeME art empowerment workshops year-round for under-resourced youth providing them with a positive outlet for creative expression. Her magnetic personality and infectious enthusiasm allow her to connect with youth and peers alike on a heart level. A difference-maker by definition is ‘one who has an impact or effect; one who brings about change. We feel Lauren embodies the definition and we are very proud to be bestowing her with this honor,” says Tonya Sandis, Founder, and President of Free2Luv.

Free2Luv 2018 DIFFERENCE MAKER Awards.

Here are a few words from Lauren regarding the impact the Free2BeME workshop facilitation has had on her life:

“After facilitating a few of these powerful workshops, I found it life-changing. It’s so amazing to see kids open up and share what’s in their hearts when there are no rules or right or wrong answers. For many of these kids, feeling heard and understood is so important to them and in this supportive environment, they are encouraged to be their authentic selves. It is such a rewarding experience that I feel like I have found my life purpose and I look forward to continuing my outreach and volunteerism with Free2Luv,” says Suthers.

Lauren has also been awarded a BE INSPIRED Disney Citizenship grant through Youth Service America for her volunteerism with Free2Luv.

Congratulations, Lauren on this well-deserved honor. Thank you for sharing your big heart with our movement.

Free2Luv 2018 DIFFERENCE MAKER Awards

2018-11-07T02:40:35+00:00

UNSTOPPABLE: TOUR DE FORCE ANTI-BULLYING CIRQUE EVENT

What happens when young professional cirque artists collide with powerful music and join forces with youth empowerment nonprofit Free2Luv?

A TOUR DE FORCE!

Join us for a musical cirque spectacle as we embark on a magical journey of self-discovery.

Through acrobatics, contortion, high flying aerial, trapeze acts, music and thought-provoking storytelling, self-doubt and pain turn into power and unstoppable strength.

Get ready to be moved, inspired, and engaged by the ensemble cast of Troupe Du Cirque, young artists who have been seen on television and graced some of the world’s largest stages.

The day’s festivities will be hosted by Free2Luv Ambassador and actor Jason Drucker, star of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul and the highly anticipated Transformers spin-off, BumbleBee.

Saturday, November 3, 2018
The Regent DTLA
448 S Main St. Los Angeles, CA 90013
BIG TOP Pre-Show 12 – 1 p.m.
Event 1 – 3 p.m.

Proceeds raised from TOUR DE FORCE benefit Free2Luv’s youth empowerment initiatives for underserved youth. We’re excited to be hosting 6 under-resourced youth groups to experience UNSTOPPABLE: TOUR DE FORCE so even if you can’t attend, we’d love for you to sponsor a teen or donate to support our efforts.

BIG SHOUTOUT to all of our sponsors who are supporting UNSTOPPABLE: TOUR DE FORCE and our youth empowerment initiatives. THANK YOU for being agents for change with us! If you’d like to join these awesome companies and be a DIFFERENCE MAKER, we’d LUV to hear from you! Email us at sponsor@free2luv.org.

UNSTOPPABLE: TOUR DE FORCE ANTI-BULLYING CIRQUE EVENT

2018-11-04T04:28:11+00:00

PIECE OF CAKE MOVIE

Download the Award Winning LGBT Short Film Starring Shannon Beveridge & Ella Lentini Today!

Did you know 9 out of 10 LGBT teens have reported being bullied at school because of their sexual orientation and 40% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBT? Can you imagine not loving your child based on their sexuality? Coming out isn’t always a PIECE OF CAKE. We’re delighted to have co-produced the award-winning PIECE OF CAKE movie with The Riot Life to support LGBTQ youth. YouTube star of NowThisIsLiving channel Shannon Beveridge and actress and filmmaker, Ella Lentini shine in this movie that has raised over $10,000 to date to support our youth empowerment programs and LGBTQ youth.

In celebration of National Coming Out Day and over 1,000,000 trailer views on YouTube, Free2Luv and The Riot Life are excited to announce the award-winning LGBT short film, Piece of Cake is

AVAILABLE TO RENT NOW FOR A LIMITED TIME!

Click to download Piece of Cake Movie from the Riot Life.

FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, THIS MOVIE RENTAL INCLUDES NEVER BEFORE SEEN DELETED SCENES AND BEHIND-THE-SCENES MOMENTS FROM THE SHOOT!

Official PIECE OF CAKE Movie Trailer

PIECE OF CAKE movie has met with critic acclaim, winning several film festival awards and the feedback from fans is overwhelming and moving.

Official Selection Awards include:

  • Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival 2017
  • Portland International Film Festival 2016
  • Catalina International Film Festival 2016
  • Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival 2017

PIECE OF CAKE was written and directed by Ella Lentini who plays Alex, the free-spirited girlfriend of Jessie, a sarcastic and complicated girl. Jessie is played by Shannon Beveridge, the YouTube star from NowThisIsLiving. Opposites attract as cupid’s arrows are blind. For both girls, it was love at first sight. After a year of dating paradise, things go awry when Jessie’s parents, who are unaware that Alex is a girl, arrive in town for their anniversary. At a crossroads, Jessie must decide between revealing her sexuality to her parents or losing the love of her life.

“The LGBTQ community has finally given me the chance to feel like I belong. That is a power of honesty in stories. And building community,” says Ella Lentini.“As a storyteller, that is why I feel this immense responsibility to create stories with diverse, LGBTQ characters that are authentic. I was tired of never seeing a “girl next door” who was like me. I was tired of seeing stereotypical LGBTQ characters whose only purpose were the comedic relief or plot twist. We relate to the protagonists we see on screen. Imagine never seeing anyone else like you? No wonder so many kids think loving someone can be wrong. Or living their truth isn’t an option. We need representation in stories to connect. To navigate. And inspire.”

“We’re incredibly proud to be a part of PIECE OF CAKE and be able to share this very raw and real story with our community. It’s so important that our LGBTQ youth see stories that represent our rich diversity of experiences and share characters that are fully developed with often times complex relationships. It’s been very rewarding to be a part of this short film that has been so well received. Viewers have shared how relatable the story is. It has opened up doors for more conversations around coming out, navigating the sometimes-rough terrain of interpersonal relationships with family and friends and the process of coming into your true authentic self. Every time content like this is created, we break down more barriers and start more conversations. We have been very moved by the response to this film and thrilled that it is resonating with viewers on a deep, soul level,” says Free2Luv Founder and PIECE OF CAKE Co-Producer, Tonya Sandis.

PIECE OF CAKE stars Ella and Shannon are big supporters of the LGBT community and like Free2Luv, strongly believe we should all be free to love. They produced the PSA below in support of our movement.

Watch Shannon Beveridge’s & Ella Lentini’s PSA

“Proud to stand with Free2Luv and be a part of a film that gives back to a cause that means so much to me.” ~ Shannon Beveridge

Ella and Shannon also lent their support by standing up to bullying and rockin’ Free2Luv’s #MillionSignMission. We are on a mission to unite one million people to advocate for kindness and take a stand. Join Shannon and Ella and be one in a million with us!

Alongside the Free2LUV #MillionSignMission, we also want to invite you to share your story and feel the power of connection. Sharing is a powerful way to remind ourselves that we are not alone. The whole cast and crew believe every story matters and here at Free2LUV, we would love to share your story and continue to remind everyone that their and your story matters.

FIERCE IS THE NEW BEAUTIFUL! Free2Luv and Shannon Beveridge teamed up to film PIECE OF CAKE.

Ella, one of the stars and the director of the movie wrote a heartfelt, beautiful letter to LGBTQ youth and anyone who may be struggling with their identity to highlight that we all “Tell ourselves stories to live” and to remind us that we all have within us a story to tell, a song yet unsung.

SIGN UP for PIECE OF CAKE updates along with other LGBTQ content today.

PIECE OF CAKE Reviews & Inspiration

Below are a selection of reviews and inspirational statements that we have received in regards to the PIECE OF CAKE movie and what this film means to the LGBT community and each individual that has watched the film. Continue to share your love, tell the Free2Luv community what the film meant to you on Facebook or Twitter. You matter, and we would love to hear from you.

~ “Just came out to my mom and I feel SO MUCH BETTER. You don’t even know how much you’ve helped me. Can’t say thank you enough!”

~ “An absolutely amazing and strong story … love it! You guys did a great job!!”

“You slayed this short film. What a powerful 16 minutes! Thank you!”

~ “Just finished watching PIECE OF CAKE. Amazing! Great job at raising awareness!”

~ “PIECE OF CAKE is one of the best short films I’ve ever seen. Thank you for this masterpiece.”

~ “Loved PIECE OF CAKE! So beautifully executed! Very, very proud.”

~ “I have no words for the masterpiece that is PIECE OF CAKE.”

~ “Can’t thank you guys enough for making content like this for those struggling!! Makes us feel like we’re not alone.”

What to read more peoples inspirational quotes and reviews? Scroll down past the never-before-seen pictures and continue to read what others are saying about the film.

Never before seen PIECE OF CAKE images

“Gotta support such a great film that I can resonate so much with.”

“I’m absolutely in love with PIECE OF CAKE. I wish there was more! Shannon and Ella, thank you for the difference you both are making!!”

“Absolutely loved PIECE OF CAKE LGBT film. It was beautiful! Congrats and thank you, Ella and Shannon. Love you both! #LoveIsLove”

“Ella, this is such a beautiful short film. Thank you for putting your time and heart into creating something that so many will be able to relate to.”

“This film is amazing, It does a great job at depicting the challenges that people often face.”

“I don’t know if you know this but you probably just saved someone’s life. Thank you for being you. You are truly inspiring.”

“I was so emotionally taken by your work in PIECE OF CAKE, Ella. Thank you for creating such an amazing piece of art.”

PIECE OF CAKE MOVIE

2018-10-24T03:29:43+00:00

WE TELL OURSELVES STORIES TO LIVE

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live…” I remember reading that recently in The White Album by Joan Didion. Immediately my head went into a spiral. I’ve always proudly lived by the idea that stories are how we live. How we understand each other, and ourselves. Suddenly it was like the world had shifted its axis. Everything turned upside down. Yes, we tell ourselves stories to live – the kind of stories that make people want to love harder and be heroes – but we also tell ourselves lies {lies told so well, they can become stories} in order to live. Lies in order to be loved. Lies in order to feel accepted. Lies to feel like we belong.

This is probably one of the hardest stories I’ve had to write. In fact, it’s not even really a story. It’s more of a letter. I’ve grown accustomed to hiding behind characters and plot lines to speak my own truth, avoiding sharing first hand what I’m actually feeling.

Before I was comfortable in my own identity, I did A LOT of pretending. I told myself this narrative that being bisexual wasn’t real or was “wrong” and I told it to myself so well that I believed it. What I didn’t realize was how damaging pretending was. How this toxic story I was telling myself was dictating my life to the point where I realized one day the life I was living didn’t feel like mine. That is why I choose to label myself; although there are times I wish we could live in a label-less world, society isn’t there yet. I noticed the more I spoke out about my experiences, the more other people spoke out too. The more I identified as bisexual, the more other friends felt comfortable to share they too were. Or even felt safe to explore their sexuality. That is the power of honesty in stories. And building community. The LGBTQ community has finally given me the chance to feel like I belong.

As a storyteller, that is why I feel this immense responsibility to create stories with diverse, LGBTQ characters that are authentic. I was tired of never seeing a “girl next door” who was like me. I was tired of seeing stereotypical LGBTQ characters whose only purpose were the comedic relief or plot twist. We relate to the protagonists we see on screen. Imagine never seeing anyone else like you? No wonder so many kids think loving someone can be wrong. Or living their truth isn’t an option. We need representation in stories to connect. To navigate. And inspire.

My love for the arts & storytelling led me to discover Free2Luv. I started working with them as an advocate when I was directing my first short film. I wanted to work with Free2Luv to reach younger kids, who may be struggling with their identity. Or feel like there’s no place for them in the world. There is power to giving someone the tools to create and share their story. I appreciate so much how the outreach program within Free2Luv empowers youth through the arts.

This letter is mainly for anyone out there who wakes up every day thinking they will never come out. I was you. I know how painful that feeling is and how the “it gets better” seems so far away. Sometimes too far away. But it really does. This is for anyone who feels alone. You are not. There are amazing organizations like Free2Luv out there, ready to provide support and resources. Remember, you have the right to be happy. To live your life to the fullest, authentically. And to tell YOUR story. Happy Pride month!

We invite you to join Ella and help us support LGBTQ youth. Together we can change lives.

Contributed by Free2Luv Advocate, filmmaker and activist, Ella Lentini @ella_lentini

WE TELL OURSELVES STORIES TO LIVE 2018-10-11T16:06:25+00:00

National Bullying Prevention Month Starts Here

October is National Bullying Prevention month and we challenge you to put kindness into action and be a ‘kindness warrior’.

Our words and actions can lift others up or be weapons of destruction, hurting other’s self-esteem and being. Sometimes, just taking a breath and thinking before we speak, act or type can make all of the difference. And pausing to reflect ‘how would I feel?’ can change everything.

We are standing with our Advocates and schools and communities across the country to share our empowerment initiatives because we know each time a child is empowered, we are one step closer to putting an end to bullying and youth suicide.

Get Involved

It’s easy!

Post an anti-bullying and/or kindness post on social media and include #Free2Luv. Every post you tag us in will give you another entry to WIN a Free2Luv swag pack and Starbucks gift card.

Take our kindness pledge. Then challenge your friends to join you.

Be one in a million and unite for kindness. Rock our #MillionSignMission and when you post on social media this month, you’ll be automatically entered to WIN a Free2Luv kindness pack and gift card to MOD Pizza!

In the very wise words of Brene Brown, “If you want to make a difference, the next time you see someone being cruel to another human being, take it personally. Take it personally because it is personal!” It’s up to each of us. We are truly all in this together.

Challenge on! Be KIND!

National Bullying Prevention Month Starts Here 2018-10-01T17:12:49+00:00

3 Ways to Combat Cyberbullying

Over 50% of teens and adolescents have experienced cyberbullying. A staggering statistic. Today, I’d like to delve deeper into our state of mind and emotions around something that has become an epidemic in the world of new technology. I will do this by looking at three things and chaining them together – self-belief, how to control emotion, and lastly, positivity and how it improves your skill to cope with cyberbullying. The goal is to help you establish a wall between you and the person trying to affect your life.

Self-belief

One of the most powerful things in the world is believing in one’s ability to perform particular tasks. Think about the time and effort you put into doing something. As a guitar player, the more you understand and play your instrument, the greater the chance you have of making beautiful music. You spend hours learning the different notes and how they harmonize together, your dedication to making mistakes until you get it right. It shows when you pour blood sweat and tears into the very cords that make up your guitar. While, being faced with the moments where you wanted to quit and move on because you think you not good enough when you built the courage to come back, and finally making your very first instrumental piece. All of this, a huge rollercoaster ride that you know you have to restart all over.

I tell you this not to discourage you. I tell you this to show you all the work you put into your craft, and then I have a question for you. Are you going to tell me you did not believe in yourself? Are you going to let all the work and time spent on your craft be crumbled when someone is negative towards you? You can’t allow the negativity of others to break your spirit, because the truth is you do believe in yourself; look at the work you put in. If you still don’t believe in yourself, the best way to solve this is to apply yourself in an area you find enjoyable and stay confident. How do you stay positive? I’m glad you asked. It starts with learning to control your emotions…

Control your emotions

As stated in Cyberbullying: What You Need to Know if You’re Being Cyberbullied think before you send something. Even if it’s not hurtful, it may impact the other person’s life in an unknown way that you cannot foresee. I would like to expand on this idea a little further because emotional responses are so explosive. It’s always better to step away from the scenario, disengage and give yourself some time to think. This not only enforces the control of emotions, but it helps you assess the situation from an objective standpoint where you are calm and collected.

In an article written by Dr. Carmen Harra titled “6 Steps to Controlling Your Emotions” she states “Wisdom means being able to see past the moment and discern the greater meaning of any given situation.” Powerful words that hold true to their meaning. Hindsight is always 20/20, but why should it always be after the events play out? Why can’t the reflection come before the action? We are not always able to see that we need to reflect on the situation before acting out so we can practice doing this by finding a healthy outlet. You could do this by speaking to a friend or someone you trust and recalling the events. This allows you to get another person’s opinion and point of view. This brings us to the effects of positivity.

Power of Positivity

There is an article by the name of “3 Powerful Ways to Stay Positive” written by Travis Bradberry, PH.D. that brings up a very powerful way to gain an optimistic mindset. The process is called cultivating an attitude of gratitude. Essentially, when things become pessimistic or negative in your life, use that as a trigger to get your mind thinking about positive elements in your life.

What are you grateful for? Who are you grateful for? A success or accomplishment you received … all of these encourage optimistic thinking. There is also a theory of habit that states if a person does an activity for 21 days it becomes habitual in nature. The science is not exact, however; the concept still holds – after doing something for a long period of time it has a greater chance of becoming habitual. So, when dealing with negativity or harassment online, take your mind and move it to encouraging thoughts. It will help you reduce stress in your life and allow you to react with a calm mind.

In sum, there is a lot of negativity out there online, but not all hope is lost. There is indeed a way to combat the effects of cyberbullying. Remember, believe in who you are because you are so much more than you give yourself credit for. Learn to control those powerful emotions that make you lash out and retaliate in the wrong way, and lastly, remain confident because having a positive mind means you will have a productive vibe in life.

For additional resources, check out Cyberbullying: What You Need to Know if You’re Being Cyberbullied.

Contributed by Free2Luv Advocate Michael Scotten

3 Ways to Combat Cyberbullying 2018-10-01T22:23:09+00:00

Free2Luv Honored With Humanitarian Award From Josie Music Awards

BREAKING NEWS! Free2Luv has been honored with a Humanitarian Award from The Josie Music Awards, the largest award show to celebrate independent artists of all genres worldwide.

“The Josie Show Humanitarian Award is presented once a year at the Josie Music Awards to an organization or individual that has done incredible work throughout the year to help other individuals or causes. The impact your organization is making on bullying awareness is outstanding. We are honored to present Free2Luv with the 2018 Josie Music Awards Humanitarian Award. Thank you for all of your continued efforts.”

As their special guests, we were proud to be standing up for kindness and rockin’ the Million Sign Mission on the red carpet with all of the amazing indie artists in attendance. The 4th Annual Josie Music Awards show was held in the Celebrity Theater at Dollywood to a sold-out crowd.

A big thank you to the Josie Music Awards for this special honor and Free2Luv Youth Advocates Faith & Harry for representing Free2Luv on the red carpet and accepting this award on our behalf.

Free2Luv Honored With Humanitarian Award From Josie Music Awards 2018-09-30T21:14:14+00:00

Back To School, Back To Kindness

As we head back to school, there’s no better time to spread kindness. For some, going back to school can be a daunting task – whether starting at a new school, or feeling anxiety, fear or concern based on past experiences. Whatever you’re feeling about school is, I encourage you to share one of the greatest and most fulfilling things in life … a simple smile. At the end of the day, you could change a person’s life.

But there is no way something so small can affect people in such a big way! Wrong, in fact, the effects of smiling date back to ancient China with a simple but powerful proverb, “A man without a smiling face should not open a shop”. The proverb teaches us that without a smile there is a great chance your shop (in this case, your life) will not prosper as much as it could, or it may not even prosper at all. Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at science.  So, how does smiling affect those around you? According to an article in Psychology Today called “There’s Magic in Your Smile” written by Ronald E Riggio Ph.D. smiles are actually contagious, so much so that when someone smiles the brain can’t help but return the favor and smile back. In a Swedish study, people were shown pictures of other people with different emotions, ranging from joy, sadness, and even anger. But when the picture of someone smiling came up the researchers asked the people to frown. To their amazement, the people struggle to frown and instead started to imitate the smile. A person can consciously choose not to smile, but unconsciously your brain will naturally imitate a smile. In fact, smiling actually can change a person’s entire day from a terrible one to a good one.

I’m going to move away from the technical aspect and factoids and look at an ordinary day. You have practiced and trained for a moment in your life, you finally believe you have made it, and that this is your time and chance. Only to find out it’s not your time and you need to work harder.  You internally start thinking of all the work you put in. Was it worth the effort and the pain you are going through now? In your mind, you believe nothing can stop you from feeling this way, until a friend, a stranger, a family member, a teacher walks up with a great and warm meaningful smile. They start talking to you, maybe they crack a joke, or ask about your day – creating that slight smile on your face, and slowly the negativity fades, and joy fills your body. You start thinking it may not be your time now, but it will be in the future. All of this came from something as simple and small as a smile. A second ago you were worried and contemplating where you wasted your time, and now you are building yourself up again.

Just Smile!

Now I want you to think about the effects of a smile and how contagious they can be, not to mention how powerful and mood altering they can be. When you head to school I challenge you to take 2 weeks and just smile. Smile at people you would have never smiled at before, that person that sits alone at lunch – flash a smile at them and see how it changes their mood. Be there for others, smile at your teachers as a way of showing you are grateful for having them in your life. Smile at your friends, family … smile at the world. Watch and see how a smile can not only change the world around you but more importantly watch and see how a smile can change you.

Contributed by Free2Luv Advocate Michael Scotten

Back To School, Back To Kindness 2018-08-27T15:53:31+00:00
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