York students have cellphone contest totally dialed

York University students scored big in the recent You’re Breaking Up online contest sponsored by national mobile phone retailer WirelessWave. The contest called for 30-second songs and videos inspired by losing the connection with an outmoded cellphone. Aedan Hoar, Monica Sass and Couzyn Van Heuvelen took the top prizes, while eight students from the Department of Film received recognition for their creative work in the pre-contest phase.

The contest was based on the idea that mobile phones have become an extension of our lives, and that our relationships with our cellphones are akin to short-lived love affairs: initial excitement and passion, followed by envy and ultimately boredom.

Launched in September, the contest was first extended to fine arts and media students at York University and subsequently opened to all Canadians until the beginning of December. The overall contest prize as well as the best song and video were awarded to York students.

Van Heuvelen, a fourth-year visual arts student in the Faculty of Fine Arts, won the $2,500 WirelessWave scholarship for his video Don’t You Cry, which the adjudicators determined best matched the contest criteria. Van Heuvelen’s quirky production is about a student’s efforts to stop his phone from following him into class.

Second-year theatre student Sass won a trip for two to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, for her video Self Denial. The adjudicators cited the outstanding creativity, originality and execution of Sass’s production, which presents suggestions for practical uses for a cellphone that no longer works – for example, in a game of hacky sack, or as a flashlight, or to spread peanut butter on toast.

Hoar, a first-year sociology major in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, won a trip for two to attend the South by Southwest Music & Media Conference & Festival in Austin, Texas, for his song I’ll Never Love Another Phone. It describes his favourite phone features and how he used them every day before disaster struck – when he accidentally dropped the phone onto the subway tracks. The judges praised Hoar’s rap as “so catchy”, singling out the lyrics and the quality of the sound mixing.

The winning productions can be seen and heard on the You’re Breaking Up Web site.

The film students who won in the pre-contest each received a $250 cash prize. The winners and their entries were: Telefon Mon Amor, Aidan Jeans; Couples Therapy, Ben Gordon; Lost Connection, Luise Docherty; A Phone and a Woman, Zach Garand; Newfound Love, Drew Mastromartino; Wild Phones, Perry Walker; Move On, Karl Leschinsky; and Bloody Cellphone, David Schmidt.

Based in British Columbia, WirelessWave is a division of Glentel Inc., a mobile phone retailer and  provider of telecommunications services in Canada and the United States.