This week the Obama administration approved our nation’s first offshore wind farm to be built in Nantucket Sound, off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. When completed, the 130 turbines will be able to produce enough electricity to meet 75 percent of the demand to the nearby islands. What an exciting moment in the environmental and sustainable energy movement! Though on the opposing side, there are local Cape Cod residents who aren’t very happy about seeing turbines in their distant horizon.
It seems like dirty energy has been getting a lot of attention lately and more documentary films are being made that expose their business practices and negative effects. Cape Wind will be joining a number of these films (inlcluding Dirty Business) at our Reel Engagement Residency next month in San Francisco. From stories of mountain top removal to natural gas drilling to mineral rights and land ownership, participating films at Reel Engagement will focus on the design of community engagement campaigns that explore the consequences of our relentless demand for energy and natural resources that reveal glimmers of hopeful change from the emerging energy revolution.
As Thursday is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, we’re thinking about our impact in the sustainability work that we do, and the change that media projects like No Impact Man can spark.
How do filmmakers create an audience engagement campaign that is unique, yet has ties to a movement that already exists? Gillian Caldwell, Campaign Director of 1Sky, puts it simply when speaking about their partnership with No Impact Man, “It’s important that the relationship be reciprocal.”
Working Films and The Fledgling Fund are excited to bring you the second video in our series, No Impact Man: Activating Your Audience. It illustrates the benefits of mutually beneficial relationships and demonstrates creating opportunities for participation that extends the story beyond the film. Watch the video and find out how No Impact Man and its partners, like 1Sky, worked together to move participants from individual action to collective action.
There will be a number of films on Latino issues at this year’s Full Frame Film Festival in Durham, NC. Many of these films relate to issues facing North Carolina’s Latino population, issues which we address in our New Faces: Latinos in North Carolina multi-media curriculum. We’re just wrapping up some revisions to the New Faces curriculum and we’re excited to see the connections between that project and several of the great films playing at Full Frame this year.
A number of these films are part of the 2010 Thematic Program on work and labor at the festival.
Working Films board member and filmmaker Alex Rivera’s The Sixth Section will be playing on Saturday night. The film follows Grupo Unión, a group of immigrant men that pool their earnings for philanthropic projects for their hometown, such as a 2,000-seat baseball stadium and a new well.
Morristown: In the Air and Sun takes us to the fields and factory floors where Mexicans work at “jobs that Americans won’t do,” and present their struggles to organize. We see that the links between Morristown and Mexico are being strengthened, sometimes in surprising ways, by the global economy and the multinational corporations that influence the flow of labor and capital. You can catch this film on Sunday and can see a clip from footage shot by Morristown Filmmaker Anne Lewis on our New Faces website.
Los Trabajadores is playing this afternoon. In 1999 the booming city of Austin, Texas kept on growing – thanks largely to men like Ramón and Juan, who work some of the hardest jobs in an America that doesn’t want them. Through the lives of these two men and a battle over Austin’s controversial day labor program, Los Trabajadores brings to life the vivid contradictions that haunt America’s dependence on and discrimination against immigrant labor. Clips from Los Trabajadores are also part of the New Faces curriculum.
On Saturday afternoon as part of the Career Award, The Fence will be shown. In October 2006, the United States government decided to build a 700-mile fence along its Mexican border. Three years and 3.1 billion dollars later, its stated goals—containing illegal immigration, cracking down on drug trafficking, and protecting America from terrorists—have unforeseen consequences.
In the next few weeks look for an update from us on the revisions to the New Faces curriculum. In the meantime if you are in North Carolina join us in supporting these films at Full Frame!
“Good work!” to our colleagues at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
The Festival kicks off this Thursday, April 8, with a stellar and rousing line up. We’re connected to a number of films and filmmakers at the fest; join us in celebrating their success!
On Friday, April 9th at 4pm, at the Carolina Theatre’s historic Fletcher Hall is the Center for Investigative Reporting’sDirty Business. Dirty Business demystifies “clean coal” and explores the extent to which increased energy efficiency and wind, solar and thermal power might make “clean coal” unnecessary and uneconomical. Join the filmmakers Peter Bull and Justin Weinstein and some local folks from NC Interfaith Power & Light and Duke Environmental Alliance afterward for the Q&A. Working Films is currently developing Dirty Business’ audience engagement and hosting a strategy meeting later this month with national NGOs.
Two other films for which we will be hosting strategy summits will be at Full Frame: Stanley Nelson’s Freedom Riders and Stonewall Uprising by Kate Davis and David Heilbroner. Both projects will also be featured on the PBS series American Experience.
Freedom Ridersis the inspirational story of eight months in 1961 when more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives in protest against Jim Crow laws. It screens at Cinema 3, Sunday, April 11 at 4:10 pm.
Stonewall Uprising , an essential history of gay rights in America, centers on June 27, 1969, the night that patrons of Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Inn refused to be rounded up and shamed in a series of unjust arrests. It screens on Saturday, April 10, 4:30 pm, Cinema Four.
On Thursday, April 8th at noon, Judith will be teaching a master class where she will share storytelling strategies that lead to effective, resonant and riveting filmmaking and ‘call to action’ activism.
Following that at 2:30pm, Judith will lead a workshop on applying to Chicken & Egg Pictures, the other organizational “hat” she wears – co-founded with our board members Julie Benello and Wendy Ettinger. The workshop will answer many questions critical to their application process.
At 5:00pm, Judith will be hosting a filmmakers’ panel discussing how STORY LEADS TO ACTION! Panelists include Christie Herring (The Campaign), Sally Rubin (Deep Down), Dawn Valadez (Going on 13), Gail Dolgin and Robin Fryday (Barber of Birmingham), Gabrielle Mullem (The Music’s Gonna Get You Through) and Lynn Hershmann (Woman Art Revolution).
It doesn’t stop at the San Francisco Women’s Film Festival, though. Judith is headed to the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham NC, where they are screening The Uprising of ’34, the film Judith co-directed with George Stoney, on Sunday, April 11 at 1:40pm. Part of a series about labor programmed by filmmakers Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert; Judith will be at the Q & A.
On Monday, April 12th, the United States Green Building Council, New Jersey Chapter (USGBC-NJ) will be presenting a panel discussion about the sustainability of PVC called “Blue Vinyl, Green Vinyl?… Nice Vinyl, Mean Vinyl?” Please visit USGBC-NJ to register for this event.
We know Judith would love to see old and new friends at all these events. I am joining her at Full Frame, if you’re there, say hello.
Would you like to see the United States recycle just as much garbage as they do in Cairo? Then check out this Garbage Dreams widget. You can watch a clip from the award-winning film about the inspiring recycling practices of the Zaballeen in Cairo and sign onto a letter asking President Obama to support policies that will assure 75% of our trash gets recycled by 2015. Most importantly you can use the widget to sign up to host your own screening of the film and create an ever bigger impact with it in your community.
Please be sure to click on the share button in the widget and post it to your blog, Facebook or Twitter, or just pass it along through email so that others can check out the film and get involved!