Reel Engagement for the Energy & Natural Resource RevolutionAn interactive retreat powered by bold non-fiction filmmaking and strategic, on-the-ground organizing locally, globally and on the web.
About the Workshop
Working Films developed this innovative, week-long workshop to nurture the work of seven Chicken & Egg Pictures and Fledgling Fund supported filmmakers, all of whom are focused on the impact of unchecked natural resource extraction and/or innovative solutions for turning things around before it is too late.
This was part of Working Films' Reel Engagement initiative.
This opportunity was designed for filmmakers, on-the-ground activists, policy shapers and foundation funders to creatively explore and strategize about how they can effectively leverage the launch of the respective films and their distribution venues.
Participants focused on the design of community engagement campaigns for non-fiction films that explore the consequences of our relentless demand for energy and natural resources and that reveal glimmers of hopeful change from the emerging energy revolution. The selected films tell character-driven stories that personally take us into these issues. Some are based in the U.S. and others take place in continents where the same issues are "hot" and in flux. On the ground activists have served as truly "natural resource" people over the course of the retreat.
The underlying concept: Grassroots organizers who are in it for the LONG HAUL need more than one great film about their issue to catalyze real sustained social change.
The workshop was held May 24-28, 2010 in the San Francisco Bay Area.
We developed an exciting format for the week long event. Filmmakers spent the first three days learning about audience engagement methodology, honing their individual audience engagement plans, and preparing a pitch for how their films could be a tool for the participating, allied organizations. Days One, Two and Three also featured peer-to-peer education by participating filmmakers.
On Day Four, filmmakers came together with representatives from several non-profits and funders. This group was strategically selected to ensure that we have a cross section of organizations that are working on state, national, and international levels. Importantly, the group was curated to include organizations that work on the specific micro-issues that each film addresses so that each filmmaker has at least one potential non-profit match in the group, though current partners will also be taken into consideration. Filmmakers were given the opportunity to present their ideas to non-profits leaders working on these crucial environmental issues who may become partners or are in a position to offer valuable feedback on the feasibility and impact potential of their plans.
Finally, on Day 5 filmmakers came back together for a half-day to begin implementation of the ideas generated throughout the workshop.
Find out more about our current efforts with what became the Reel Power collaborative.
Through a complex human story that cuts across environment, economics, public policy, and culture, the story of Beverly May and Terry Ratliff reveals the devastating impact of our energy consumption against an explosive backdrop: Appalachia’s centuries-old struggle over the black rock that fuels our planet.
Dirty Business reveals the true social and environmental costs of coal power and tells the stories of innovators who are pointing the way to an alternative energy future. Guided by Rolling Stone reporter Jeff Goodell, the film examines what it means to remain dependent on a 19th century technology that is the largest single source of greenhouse gases. Can coal really be made clean? Can renewables and efficiency be produced on a scale large enough to replace coal?
When filmmaker Josh Fox discovers that Natural Gas drilling is coming to his area—the Catskillls/Poconos region of Upstate New York and Pennsylvania, he sets off on a 24 state journey to uncover the deep consequences of the United States’ natural gas drilling boom. What he uncovers is truly shocking—water that can be lit on fire right out of the sink, chronically ill residents of drilling areas from disparate locations in the US all with the same mysterious symptoms, huge pools of toxic waste that kill cattle and vegetation well blowouts and huge gas explosions consistently unregulated by state and federal regulatory agencies.
Imagine discovering that you don't own the mineral rights under your land, and that an energy company plans to drill for natural gas 150 feet from your front door. Imagine another shocking truth: you have little or no recourse to protect your home or land from such development. Split Estate maps a tragedy in the making, as citizens in the path of a new drilling boom in the US struggle against the erosion of their civil liberties, their communities and their health.
Sun Come Up
Sun Come Up follows the relocation of some of the world’s first environmental refugees, the Carteret Islanders – a community living on a remote island chain in the South Pacific Ocean. When rising seas threaten their survival, the islanders face a painful decision: they must leave their beloved land in search of a new place to call home. The film follows relocation leader, Ursula Rakova, and a group of young islanders led by Nick Hakata as they search for land in war-torn Bougainville, 50 miles across the open ocean.
When Two Worlds Collide
When Two World Collide is a feature length topical documentary filmed in Peru and Nicaragua, following the journey of an Amazonian leader, Alberto Pizango, falsely accused of murder by the Government and forced into exile for resisting the commercial exploitation of ancestral lands. Now in exile and facing 20 years in prison, this film chronicles the causes and effects of a conflicting clash of values and visions that will determine the fate of this region of the Amazon rain forest and the eco-system of our world.