Stories Of Change: Social Entrepreneurship In Focus Through Documentary, is a multi-year, $5 million initiative of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and the Skoll Foundation. The partnership began in 2008 with the goal of bringing together the power of nonfiction storytelling with the impact of social entrepreneurship. In addition to funding the creation of 10 new documentary films*, STORIES OF CHANGE curates convenings and workshops** which bring together leaders in both documentary and social entrepreneurship at key gatherings globally, including the Skoll World Forum and the Sundance Film Festival. To date, fourteen events have connected, informed and impacted over 150 filmmakers and social entrepreneurs.
"I have been able to realize that the film industry and its people can influence public opinion and that the issue of social entrepreneurship, if embraced by this industry, may well reach and make an impact on a large part of society and the decision makers." —Albina Ruiz, Ciudad Saludable at SFF08
“I think the money spent on a movie will be well-spent money. And from that we will definitely have a lot more support. But the most important is to get the moral support passed to the people and to show them that water can bring people together. It’s not a point of conflict; it’s rather a point of bringing people together and sit down around a table and solve your differences. I think the impact of that alone is priceless. —Munqueth Meyhar at SWF 2010
In 2008, Stories of Change launched a request for proposals and received more than 300 submissions from filmmakers around the world interested in telling the stories of social entrepreneurs. Grant awards were announced at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and Skoll World Forum. Ten feature-length documentaries are in development by award-winning filmmakers from around the world. These films frame, examine and amplify social entrepreneurship as an innovative approach to the central challenges of our time.
The current slate of projects are in various stages of development and distribution. Click here for a complete list of films.
"Coming from the world of filmmaking, I learned a whole new vocabulary this week." —Kirsten Johnson, SWF11
"The Now show (on PBS) did a half-hour documentary about The Team in Kenya which came out of the fact that we sat next to the executive producer, John Sokolov at the dinner at Sundance dinner at the Skoll World Forum. It was a Sandi Hertz/Cara Mertes special, ‘the introduction.’ That’s one reason we come here is to make those kinds of connections. It was quite useful. What it’s done is put our work out to probably a million people." —John Marks at SWF 2010
Since 2008, Sundance organized convenings and workshops 2-3 times a year at the Sundance Film Festival, the Skoll World Forum, and the Sundance Creative Producing Summit. Each event brought together different high-level resources and individuals from the worlds of documentary filmmaking and social entrepreneurship.
By immersing social entrepreneurs in film events and bringing filmmakers to social entrepreneurs new knowledge networks were created and lasting connections formed.
For a complete list of social entrepreneurs and filmmakers who have participated in Stories of Change Convenings, click here.