Film Debuts March 20, 2023, at the Tampa Theatre

Tampa, FL – March 15, 2023 – Safe & Sound Hillsborough premieres “Blink”, a gun violence prevention short film directed by Derrick Perez of Axion Pictures and conceptualized by Executive Producer Freddy Barton on March 20, 2023, at the Tampa Theatre located at 711 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602. The red-carpet screening starting at 7pm, will include a Community TalkBack to discuss the making of the film and address the community’s role in helping to prevent life altering decisions made through gun violence. Admission is free and open to the public.

According to the Tampa Police Department, in 2022, there were 170 non-fatal and 39 fatal shootings in the city of Tampa and according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, there were an additional 70 non-fatal and 34 fatal shootings in unincorporated Hillsborough County, outside of the city of Tampa. Combined, these numbers nearly doubled from the previous year’s totals.

The film tackles the devastating and critical issue of gun violence in our communities, the choices made by our youth to pick up firearms and the consequences thereof. Imagine if a different path is chosen. What would it take? Who can help? And where do we begin? These are the questions that will be in the minds of viewers as the film concludes. From parents, other family members, teachers, friends, faith leaders, neighbors, public officials and to our youth themselves, we all have a role to play in preventing one more life from being lost to senseless gun violence.

“Recently, we saw two brothers ages 13 and 14, arrested on gun related charges with no priors who started having behavioral issues after the transition of their grandmother,” said Freddy Barton, executive director of Safe & Sound Hillsborough. “It is important that we reach as many youths as early as possible and provide solutions to help prevent them from making a decision that could take away their youth, their freedom and possibly, their lives.”

More and more of our youth are getting access to firearms. This is not a debate about guns, ammunition, or the right to carry. This film is a plea to the greater community to do what it must to save the lives of our youth. Starting with one.

For more information and to get tickets to the premiere visit In support of gun violence prevention, attendees are asked to consider wearing something orange – an article of clothing, bracelet, ribbon, etc. to the screening.

About Safe & Sound Hillsborough
Established in 2013, Safe & Sound Hillsborough is a violence prevention collaborative created to transform the way local policy makers address violence. This initiative shifts policy from a public safety to a public health model and aligns community and professional stakeholders to develop a comprehensive prevention and intervention approach. Our mission is to build strong families, safe schools, and healthy neighborhoods. The collaboration includes the mayors and police departments of Tampa, Plant City, and Temple Terrace; the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office; the School Board of Hillsborough County; the 13th Judicial Circuit Court; the State Attorney’s Office; the Public Defender’s Office; Hillsborough County government; the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County; the Health Department; the University of South Florida; and numerous agencies and faith-based organizations that do vital work in our community. For more information or to volunteer, visit us at


Media Contact:
Sammecia Bagley
Blink the Short Film Link: