Los Angeles, CA – The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and the Skoll Foundation today announced a special Celebrating “Stories of Change” panel to be held at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The panel celebrates the fifth anniversary of the Stories of Change: Social Entrepreneurship in Focus Through Documentary initiative, dedicated to exploring film’s role in advancing knowledge about social entrepreneurship.
At this special event on Tuesday, January 24, 3:00 p.m. at the Egyptian Theatre, Skoll Foundation President and CEO Sally Osberg will moderate a thought-provoking dialogue between award-winning filmmakers (including clips from their work) and innovators who are impacting millions. Panelists include Joia Mukherjee (Partners in Health), Jehane Noujaim (Director, Control Room), Bunker Roy (Founder, Barefoot College) and Kief Davidson (Director, The Devil’s Miner). Ticket information is available at www.sundance.org/tickets.
Also at the Festival, the Documentary Film Program and the Skoll Foundation will host a Stories of Change Convening. A series of private workshops focused on storytelling strategies as well as nightly networking events, film screenings and panels will create a framework for defining entrepreneurs’ unique personal and organizational stories. A select group of Skoll Foundation-awarded social entrepreneurs and filmmakers will participate.
“It is a gift not only to put the work in, but also get the word out,” said Sally Osberg, CEO of the Skoll Foundation. “We believe in the power of social entrepreneurs to find innovative ways to solve the planet’s most daunting problems – and then, ingenious ways to spread the message that change is not just possible, it is essential.”
“Global issues demand innovative solutions, and the power of documentary film is increasingly showcasing the unprecedented efforts of social-issue changemakers around the world,” said Cara Mertes, Director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program.
Since 2007, Stories of Change has supported nearly 100 filmmakers and social entrepreneurs through a strategic combination of high-level, invited gatherings and documentary film project funding. Convenings at the Sundance Film Festival, the Skoll World Forum, the Sundance Institute Creative Producing Summit and related gatherings have created a network of learning and professional exchange for documentary filmmakers, change-makers, and their stakeholders. The partnership has also made possible the production of ten new, feature-length independent documentary films that reframe and amplify social entrepreneurship – an innovative approach to the central issues of our time.
In addition to critical funding from the Skoll Foundation, the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program is made possible by generous support from the Cinereach Foundation, The Charles Engelhard Foundation, The Ford Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Open Society Foundations, the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney Foundation, the Woodruff Charitable Memorial Trust, and the Wallace Global Fund.
Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program
The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program provides year-round support to nonfiction filmmakers worldwide. The program advances innovative nonfiction storytelling about a broad range of contemporary social issues, and promotes the exhibition of documentary films to audiences. Through the Sundance Documentary Fund, the Documentary Edit and Story Laboratory, Composers + Documentary Laboratory, Creative Producing Lab, as well as the Sundance Film Festival, the Sundance Creative Producing Summit and a variety of partnerships and international initiatives, the program provides a unique, global resource for contemporary independent documentary film. www.sundance.org/documentary
Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is a global, nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to nurturing artistic expression in film and theater, and to supporting intercultural dialogue between artists and audiences. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to unite, inform and inspire, regardless of geo-political, social, religious or cultural differences. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival and its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights and theatre artists, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Son of Babylon, Amreeka, An Inconvenient Truth, Spring Awakening, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The Skoll Foundation drives large scale change by investing in, connecting and celebrating social entrepreneurs and the innovators who help them solve the world’s most pressing problems. It has given almost $300M since 1999, including awards to 91 entrepreneurs in 74 organizations on five continents. The aim? Identify those already bringing positive change around the world and help them extend their reach, tell their stories, and maximize their impact. Jeff Skoll created the Skoll Foundation to help create a sustainable world of peace and prosperity. It has been led by CEO Sally Osberg since 2001 and its Skoll World Forum is the premier conference on social entrepreneurship. www.skollfoundation.org
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STORIES OF CHANGE SHORT FILM
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.
STORIES OF CHANGE FEATURE FILMS
Barefoot Engineers (working title)
Director: Jehane Noujaim
Producer: Mette Heide
Social Entrepreneur: Bunker Roy
An intimate observational documentary that follows three women with limited formal education as they take a life-changing journey from their home villages in Africa and the Middle East to India in order to become educated in solar engineering.
Easy Like Water
Director: Glenn 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.
Poor Consuelo Conquers the World
Director: Peter Friedman
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.
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.
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.
Partners in Health Project
Director: Kief Davidson
Producer: Cori Sheperd Stern
Social Entrepreneur: Paul Farmer
This is the story of Partners In Health, a remarkable public health charity organization operating in thirteen of the poorest countries around the world and the controversial man who founded it, Dr. Paul Farmer. Dr. Farmer and his colleagues are larger-than-life heroes to millions, fighting to change the way the world cares for the poorest among us, by insisting on quality health care as a basic inalienable human right.
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.