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SMILE LIKE YOU MEAN IT


Arms locked together, smiles frozen in place awaiting the digital flash — we all have these photos on our cameras and phones when we return from a film festival. These moments sure look like happy ones now that a festival premiere has spackled over all the fractures that production wrought. At SXSW this year, however, one group tried to summon up smiles that were a bit more sincere in intent. Operation Smile is a non-profit organization that provides cleft-lip and palate repair to children and young adults around the world, many in developing countries. Reps from the organization manned a table on the third floor of the Austin Convention Center and snapped pictures of people smiling while holding signs detailing just what makes them smile. The footage then was fed into a video loop that played in one of the lounges. By the end of the festival, a wall was full of happy thoughts, a section of which is shown above. As SXSW was all about mobile apps, Operation Smile had one too, of sorts: if you text “Smile” to 90999 you will be billed $5 on your mobile bill and these funds will go towards the non-profit’s work.

For more info on Operation Smile, visit their website.

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