What better way to kick off a new year than to share with you our new grantees!   We are excited by these stories, their potential to activate audiences and communities, and perhaps most importantly, by the commitment of the filmmakers to maximize their impact.  Take a look.  Follow their progress.  Cheer them on.


Directed by Michael Collins
ALMOST SUNRISE is the epic journey of two friends, ex-soldiers, who battle the moral injuries of war – and the temptation to escape through suicide – as they walk across America.  Step by step, Tom and Anthony confront the demons that haunt them, while discovering the power of community and spirituality to heal them.  >> Fledgling has committed $15K to support outreach and engagement planning.

Directed by Deirdre Fishel
CARE exposes the cracks in the home elder care system from the viewpoints of overworked, underpaid caregivers and elderly consumers and their families.  >> Fledgling has committed $20K to support outreach and engagement planning.

Directed by Zara Hayes
CLOTHES TO DIE FOR is about the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh, in which more than 1100 people died and 2400 were injured. It also provides an insight into how the incredible growth in the garment industry has transformed Bangladesh, in particular the lives of women.  >> Fledgling has committed $25K to support outreach and engagement planning and execution.

Directed by Zeresenay Berhane Mehari
DIFRET, set in Ethiopia, is a narrative film about a real-life legal precedent-setting court case that outlawed the kidnapping of child brides, also referred to as “telefa”. Telefa is a violent customary practice that often involves rape.  >> Fledgling has committed $25K to support outreach and engagement in Ethiopia.

Project Managed by Paco de Onis
The DISRUPT POVERTY TOUR is a mobile screening tour of the film DISRUPTION and community mapping project in Colombia, Peru and Ecuador. Following a community screening,women will be trained to design and administer surveys about women’s financial inclusion. The data will be uploaded to an online platform, visualized with graphs, maps and charts, and presented to NGOs and governments.  >> Fledgling has committed $30K to support the rural tour and mapping project.

Directed by Jose Antonio Vargas
DOCUMENTED chronicles Jose Antonio Vargas’ journey to America from the Philippines as a child, his journey through America as an undocumented person, and as an immigration reform activist.  >> Fledgling has committed $25K to support outreach and engagement and a Spanish translation of the film.

Project by POV
In 2015 – 2016, POV, will broadcast three films that tackle aspects of the contemporary African American experience: ALL THE DIFFERENCE by Tod Lending, STRONG ISLAND by Yance Ford, and FREEFALL by Bob Herbert and Tom Casciato. POV will host a Braintrust that focuses on the persistence of racial disparity in the U.S. today as it relates to the economic, education, and justice systems. From this, POV will develop a national engagement campaign and educational tools around these films.  >> Fledgling has committed $22K to support planning.

Directed by Richard Todd
FRACKMAN tells the story of accidental activist Dayne Pratzky and his “David and Goliath” struggle against international gas companies in Australia.  >> Fledgling has committed $10K to support outreach and engagement in Australia.

Directed by Anne De Mere and Kristen Kelly
THE HOMESTRETCH follows three homeless teens as they fight to stay in school, graduate and build a future.  Each of these resilient, ambitious teenagers – Roque, Kasey and Anthony – will surprise, inspire and challenge audiences to rethink stereotypes of homelessness as they work to complete their education while facing the trauma of being alone and abandoned at an early age.  >> Fledgling has committed $15K to support outreach and engagement.

Created by Marisa Morán Jahn (Studio REV-) with the National Domestic Workers Alliance
THE NANNYVAN is a bright orange mobile sound studio/design lab accelerating the movement for domestic workers’ rights. With its pull-out craft carts, colorful design, and acoustic recording booth, the NannyVan convenes domestic workers to tell their stories, which are then published via web, paper resources, and a playful and humorous interactive app accessible by any kind of phone.  >> Fledgling has committed $25K to support project implementation.

Directed by Mikaela Shwer
In a community where silence is often seen as necessary for survival, 24-year-old immigrant activist Angy Rivera shares her personal story of coming out of the shadows as undocumented and speaking out about sexual assault.  As the “Dear Abby” of the movement, she becomes a beacon to others in a movement ready to cause national change.  >> Fledgling has committed $25K to support campaign implementation.

Directed by David McIlvride

In RIVERBLUE, Mark Angelo journeys through some of the world’s most pristine waterways, to some of its most polluted, in an unprecedented global adventure that reveals the dark side of the fashion industry.  >> Fledgling has committed $15K to support campaign planning.

Directed by Josie Swantek and Dave Adams
SELLING OUR DAUGHTERS tells the story of two young Thai girls and their families falsely labeled as trafficking victims and perpetrators by the non-profit organization created to help them.  In an era in which “poverty porn” drives many non-profits to sensationalize their clients’ stories, the girls in this film united and fought against their misrepresentation, risking a guaranteed free university education in the process.  >> Fledgling has committed $10K to support early campaign planning.

Directed by Paul Lazarus
SLINGSHOT focuses on Segway inventor Dean Kamen and his work to solve the world’s safe water crisis. A quirky genius with a provocative worldview, Kamen is an inspiration for future scientists.   >> Fledgling has committed $25K to support outreach campaign planning and implementation.

Directed by Joanna Lipper
THE SUPREME PRICE traces the evolution of the Pro-Democracy Movement in Nigeria and efforts to increase the participation of women in leadership roles. Following the annulment of her father’s victory in Nigeria’s Presidential Election and her mother’s assassination by agents of the military dictatorship, Hafsat Abiola faces the challenge of transforming a corrupt culture of governance into a democracy capable of serving Nigeria’s most marginalized population: women.  >> Fledgling has committed $20K to support outreach and engagement in Nigeria.

Directed by Vanessa Roth
At a time when the direction of public education is center stage, the Texas legislature cut $5.4 billion from public schools and increased high stakes testing in the same year, making Texas 49thin the country in per pupil spending.  THE TEXAS PROMISE witnesses the consequences of those cuts by going inside the 2013 Texas legislative session and delves into the lives and voices of those affected by these policies.   >> Fledgling has committed $10K to support outreach and engagement in Texas.

Directed by Kirby Walker and James Redford
TOXIC HOT SEAT follows the personal stories of a cancer-surviving firefighter, a renowned chemist whose work helped remove fire retardants from kid’s pajamas in the 1970’s, and a determined young Maine legislator and mom, in an effort to untangle how chemical companies have historically obscured the health risks of flame retardants and misrepresented chemical safety data to the American public.  >> Fledgling has committed $20K to support outreach and engagement.

Directed by Beth Murphy
WHAT TOMORROW BRINGS is filmed in a small, conservative Afghan village.  For the first time ever, girls in Deh Subz village have their own school – the Zabuli School. The film follows three students, two teachers and tenacious school founder Razia Jan in a coming-of-age story in which young girls struggle against tradition and time, and discover that their school is the one place they can turn to understand the differences between the lives they were born into and the lives they dream of leading.  >> Fledgling has committed $20K to support outreach and engagement.

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