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Stories of Change Films

In 2008, the Stories of Change initiative launched a request for proposals and received more than 300 film projects from filmmakers around the world interested in telling the stories of social entrepreneurs. In 2009, grant awards were announced at the Sundance Film Festival and the Skoll World Forum.  Ten films were selected to receive development and production funding to enable their filmmakers to create new, feature-length independent documentary films that frame, examine, and amplify social entrepreneurship as an innovative approach to the central challenges of our time. To Catch A Dollar is the first of the 10 films to be completed and premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The Team premiered at the IDFA in Amsterdam in November 2010.

Back to School
Director: Kirsten Johnson            
Producer: Julia Parker Benello
Social Entrepreneur: Sakena Yacoobi

Sakena Yacoobi’s Afghan Institute for Learning, a grassroots organization she founded 12 years ago, brings education to women in Afghanistan. Due to security concerns about filming a feature-length documentary in Afghanistan at this time, this project is a short film which premiered at the Skoll World Forum in 2010.

Director: Jonathan Stack              
Social Entrepreneur: Aloy Chife

Connected is the story of Nigerian entrepreneur Aloy Chife and his unrelenting effort to shrink Africa's digital divide and bring information technology to those who need it most through his initiative, SocketWorks. SocketWorks is being utilized not only in Nigeria but across the continent in schools, government offices, and hospitals.The central question of the film is, can advanced technology bring the necessary transparency that will combat corruption in the developing economies of Africa? Chife’s company has been hired to computerize management systems in the port of Lagos–providing a dramatic visual backdrop to conquering chaos and corruption in one of Africa’s largest ports. Watch the trailer here.

Easy Like Water
Director: Glen Baker      
Producer: Stephen Sapienza
Social Entrepreneur: Abul Hasanat Mohammed Rezwan

In Bangladesh, solar-powered floating schools are turning the front lines of climate change into communities of learning.  As the water steals the land, one man's vision is recasting the rising rivers as channels of communication and transforming people's lives. Watch the trailer here.

Green Shall Overcome
Director/Producer: Megan Gelstein
Social Entrepreneur: Van Jones

Van Jones, an African American civil rights lawyer and founder of Green for All, envisions a pathway out of poverty for low-income Americans while simultaneously addressing the challenges of environmental destruction. Can he bring about a revolution of black and green?

Poor Consuelo Conquers the World
Director: Peter Friedman             
Producer: Paul Miller
Social Entrepreneur: PCI-Media Impact

Poor Consuelo Conquers the World tells the story of popular soap operas and telenovelas that are being used to combat the effects of poverty around the world.  The film makes the connection between the fictional stories and the real lives of the fans and shows that in the post-TV/Internet age, radio remains a vital way to reach millions of the world’s poor.

The Revolutionary Optimists
Directors/Producers: Maren Grainger-Monsen and Nicole Newham
Social Entrepreneur:  Amlan Ganguly

In the slums of Calcutta, children are leading the way to saving lives. Amlan Ganguly, a lawyer turned social entrepreneur, empowers children to become “health minders” in their communities. As a result, malaria and diarrhea rates are dropping, neighborhoods being transformed, and children are blossoming. The Revolutionary Optimists shows both the desperate, flawed world that Ganguly is trying to change and the vibrant, colorful world his optimism is making a reality.

Directors/Producers: Annika Gustafson and Phil Jandaly
Social entrepreneurs: Camilla Wirseen and Anders Wilhelmson, Peepoople; Bob Erwin, MaxWest; Dr. Kamal Kar, CLTS; and Dr. Pathak, Sulabh International.

Access to clean water is a human right, but if we cannot talk about why the water is contaminated in the first place, change will not happen. Using animation to look at innovative ways of producing green energy from human waste, SH*T! is a socially minded film that plays fast and loose with taboo and relevant issues.  It tells you how to save the planet, improve the economy while you do it, and have a laugh or two in the process. You’ll be sorry you flushed. Watch the trailer here.

The Team
Director: Patrick Reed   
Producer: Peter Raymont
Social Entrepreneurs: John Marks and Susan Collin Marks/Search for Common Ground

Using a technique developed by Search for Common Ground to employ popular culture as a tool for reconciliation, Kenyans scramble to produce a dramatic TV soap-opera series, hoping taboo story lines can bridge deep divisions as their country is wracked by ethnic and tribal tensions in the wake of elections.

To Catch a Dollar: Muhammad Yunus Banks on America
Director: Gayle Ferraro
Social Entrepreneur: Muhammad Yunus

This film journeys with Dr. Muhammad Yunus, 2006 Nobel Peace Laureate and the architect of microfinance, as he continues building opportunities for the poor worldwide through Grameen microcredit and his latest venture, social business. The film chronicles the first year of Grameen America and the challenge of marrying a process proven in developing countries to the American dream of immigrant women in Queens, New York. Watch the trailer here.

Youthbuild Documentary
Directors/Producers: Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern
Social Entrepreneurs: Dorothy Stoneman and YouthBuild

This feature-length documentary follows a year in the lives of out-of school young people selected for a high-stakes community rebuilding project in North Philadelphia.