To Catch A Dollar
“You need a dollar to catch a dollar.” —Muhammad Yunus
In 1974 , a young economist in Bangladesh loaned a total of $27.00 to 42 families. Today, millions of women in the developing world have improved their lives through micro-lending programs of Muhammad Yunus’ Nobel Prize-winning Grameen Bank. Now, Grameen America is taking this simple yet radical concept to the streets of New York: 5 poor women- each with a dream- 5 low-interest loans, weekly meetings with group accountability, but no collateral, no guarantee. Can they build their American dream with a couple hundred dollars and a proven micro-credit model? Will Yunus’ model succeed in the financial capital of the world?
Director Gayle Ferraro made her first film about the Grameen bank in 2000, profiling an illiterate young woman in Bangladesh who borrowed enough to buy a chicken, then a rickshaw, and create a micro-business. Ten years later, she returned to film that same woman, now mother able to send her daughter to school. The success of To Catch A Dollar, is in how it interweaves the history of the founding of the first ever bank for the poor, with its introduction in the US following the financial crisis of 2008, showing how a world-changing innovation can be adapted to meet the changing needs of societies and communities.
Ferraro was already following Muhammad Yunus on his global mission to spread the word on microcredit when ‘Stories of Change’ issued the call for proposals. Since some consider Yunus the original social entrepreneur, it was only fitting that To Catch A Dollar was the first in the series to be complete. The film had its world premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and was released theatrically in the Fall of 2011.
Director: Gayle Ferraro
Gayle Ferraro, founder of Aerial Productions, brings personal accounts of extraordinary and socially compelling stories to the film circuit. To Catch a Dollar is Ferraro’s fourth independently produced and directed feature documentary. Ferraro’s previous works include: Ganges: River to Heaven (2003) where with unparalleled intimacy the film explores dying in the holy city o f Varanasi, India; Anonymously Yours (2002) shot clandestinely in Burma follows the harrowing world of sex-trafficking through the stories of four young women; and Sixteen Decisions (2000) an intimate look at one young woman’s challenges in rural Bangladesh to change her family’s life of extreme poverty. She received a Masters Degrees in Public Administration from Harvard University and Mass Communication from Boston University and studied International Human Rights Law at Oxford University.