Reel Economy connects a collection of seven documentaries with nonprofit organizations, online initiatives, and funders that are moving us toward a sustainable economy that can work for everyone. Reel Economy was launched with a filmmaker residency and convening in July 2012 Washington, DC.
At the event, we honed filmmakers’ audience-engagement plans, seeded collaboration and cross-promotion, and generated concrete partnerships among the documentary projects and participating stakeholders. The filmmakers workshopped their individual projects, learned from case studies and brainstormed potential collaborative campaigns featuring the full group of participating projects. Working Films, The Fledgling Fund, Chicken & Egg Pictures and Steve Schnapp of United for a Fair Economy offered guidance to assure that the filmmakers' strategies align with the needs and priorities of the movement. On the final day, filmmakers met with non-profit leaders, funders and other stakeholders at the Reel Economy convening – a day of serious movement strategy. Participating organizations walked away with stronger relationships with filmmakers and funders as well as with their peers and colleagues. Filmmakers and organizations gained an understanding of how the multiplatform media projects can be used as compelling resources to advance their shared goals. Collectively we laid the foundation for this select group of story-driven projects to influence people in making essential changes in the way our economy runs.
Reel Economy is the latest installment of Working Films' Reel Engagement Project, developed in partnership with Chicken & Egg Pictures and The Fledgling Fund. Started in 2009 Reel Engagement is a series of thematic trainings aimed at securing strategic partnerships among social issue media makers, non-profits, and other key stakeholders leading efforts for change on the crucial issues of our time. Reel Economy builds on previous success with thematic residencies and campaigns (Real Girls Reel Change, Reel Power, Reel Education, Reel Food and Reel Aging).For more information about Reel Economy please contact Andy Myers.
Reel Economy Featured Films:
American Winter is a documentary feature film that follows the personal stories of families struggling in the aftermath of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Years after the recession began, millions of families are struggling to meet their basic needs, and many formerly middle class families are finding themselves in financial crisis, and needing assistance for the first time in their lives. Meanwhile, the social safety net that was created to help people in difficult times has been weakened by massive budget cuts, creating a perfect storm of greater need and fewer resources to help vulnerable families. Filmed over the course of one winter in Portland, Oregon, American Winter presents an intimate and emotionally evocative snapshot of the state of our economy as it is playing out in many American families. Woven into the film are interviews with local economic experts, policy analysts, and religious leaders, as well as interviews with social workers on the front lines of the economic fallout.
First General Motors shuts down their century-old plant in Janesville, Wisconsin.
Then the state blows up in political turmoil over the future of unions. We
follow workers and town leaders trying to reinvent their town and lives amid an
economic and political crisis that grips their community and the entire nation.
From the Oscar-nominated team that made Trouble the Water comes Citizen Koch, a story about money, power and democracy in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down limits on corporate political spending.
Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare tackles one of the most pressing issues of our time: what can be done to save our broken medical system? The film examines the powerful forces trying to maintain the status quo in a medical industry designed for quick fixes rather than prevention, for profit-driven care rather than patient-driven care. After decades of resistance, a movement to bring innovative high-touch, low-cost methods of prevention and healing into our high-tech, costly system is finally gaining ground. Escape Fire follows dramatic human stories as well as leaders fighting to transform healthcare at the highest levels of medicine, industry, government, and even the U.S. military. The film is about a way out. It’s about saving the health of a nation.
In a city where oil spills, air quality red-alerts, and poverty are commonplace, Solarize This asks the hard questions of how a clean energy economy may actually be built, from the perspective of three unemployed American workers seeking to retool at a solar jobs training program in Richmond, California. Over the course of a solar power training program and subsequent search for employment, Solarize This tells the story of environmental transformation from the perspective of workers who may build a solution with their own hands, and their successes, failures, and challenges speak to one of the biggest questions of our time: will America actually be able to build a clean energy economy?
America is in the grip of a
societal economic panic. Lawmakers cry “We’re Broke!” as they slash budgets,
lay off schoolteachers, police, and firefighters, crumbling our country’s
social fabric and leaving many Americans scrambling to survive. Meanwhile,
multibillion-dollar American corporations like Exxon, Google and Bank of
America are making record profits. And while the deficit climbs and the cuts go
deeper, these corporations—with intimate ties to our political leaders—are
concealing colossal profits overseas to avoid paying U.S. income tax.
We’re Not Broke is the story of how U.S. corporations have been able to hide over a trillion dollars from Uncle Sam, and how seven fed-up Americans from across the country, take their frustration to the streets . . . and vow to make the corporations pay their fair share.
Pride and mischief inspire Chinese immigrant Tom Xia to challenge his American neighbors to survive the Christmas season without any Chinese products. Fed up with toy and food recalls, the Jones family down the street eagerly accepts the consumer mission-impossible and is drawn into a surprising intercultural exchange with the Xia family. Xmas Without China is a playful yet poignant exploration, on an intimate level, of America’s increasing interdependence with China in a time when, as President Obama says, “the relationship between the United States and China will shape the 21st century.”