Disney, Warner Brothers and Bon Jovi — what makes them so special? All three are proud Telly Award winners. And Traverse City’s digital marketing team, Oneupweb, is a proud finalist in the 2011 Telly Awards for their marching band documentary, “Step & Close,” which recently won a gold Communitas Award.

“We had no idea Step & Close would be in the running for a Telly,” said Oneupweb CEO and founder, Lisa Wehr. She said the documentary “was Oneupweb’s way of giving back to our community and addressing the importance of supporting art education. To know that everyone’s hard work is competing with elite films is amazing. We’ve put in hours of our time and skills, now we just need the public’s help.”

Oneupweb invites the public to vote for Step & Close by visiting the Telly Awards YouTube page. The Telly Awards allows people to vote once a day until June 10.

“All it takes is clicking a thumbs-up,” Wehr said. “We need people to actively vote each day.”

Oneupweb is giving community members a true incentive if they help Oneupweb and Step & Close win their first Telly; the digital marketing agency will donate $2,500 to Pete’s Place, Northern Lower Michigan’s only youth shelter, as a thank you to the community for their help in the pursuit of a People’s Choice Telly Award.

“It’s always been our mission to support our local schools and students,” Wehr said. “The decision to make Pete’s Place the beneficiary of this Telly Awards challenge is our extension of helping kids who are in greater need of support.”

Step & Close is a 45-minute philanthropy documentary created and donated by Oneupweb. The film features Traverse City West High School Titan Marching Band and assists music educators all over the country with recruiting and retaining band students.

The Traverse City State Theatre, home to Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival, premiered the film this past December. 100 percent of the proceeds from the premiere and merchandise sales (DVDs and t-shirts) go directly to Traverse City West Middle and High School Band Programs. To view the official Step & Close trailer, purchase DVDs and t-shirts, and to learn more about the film, please visit www.StepAndClose.com.


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