Reaching Tough-to-Reach Kids

by Dan Habib, Filmmaker in Residence Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire The shooting in Newtown, Connecticut caused shock and grief across this country that lingers – as it should – into this new year. We may never know what caused Adam Lanza to take those horrific actions. What is possible to determine, based on research, are the educational practices that can help identify and support youth with a variety of emotional and behavioral disabilities. Although his diagnosis is unclear, reports from Newtown indicate that Lanza was…

Reel Films at Sundance!

The line up for the 2013 Sundance Film Festival has been announced and we are so excited to see filmmakers that we’ve worked with on this list! Congratulations to the teams behind American Promise, Citizen Koch and God Loves Uganda. American Promise follows two African-American boys from middle class families as they navigate their way through 12 years at a prestigious New York City Prep school. The film is part of our Reel Education t collaboration, in which nine documentaries about various education issues came together for our residential training in…

Cucalorus Film Festival 18!

It’s that time of the year again! Cucalorus Film Festival 18 will kick off this Thursday and will run throughout the weekend here in Downtown Wilmington. Working Films has partnered again with the folks at Cucalorus and this year we’re bringing you two films from our Reel Engagement series that will be included in their “Works-in-Progress” documentary program. Films under this category are unfinished works that are screened in an informal workshop setting where filmmakers can seek feedback and receive input as well as share information about their films. Xmas…

Brooklyn Castle & Escape Fire set for Theatrical Release!

We’re happy to announce that during the month of October, two films in our Reel Engagement Initiative are set for theatrical release! Escape Fire, part of our Reel Economy collective, will hit theaters on October 5th and Brooklyn Castle, a film from our Reel Education series, will make its theatrical debut on Oct. 19. Both films have already received outstanding responses from audiences at film festivals and screenings across the nation. The makers of Brooklyn Castle have started a campaign to increase support for chess and other enrichment programs, and…

An Update from Robert West

As many of you already know, I recently had surgery to remove a tumor from my left temporal lobe. Many thanks for the outpouring of support and concern as I faced this surgery. Here’s what we now know: The cancer I have is called Glioblastomo Multiforme (GBM). I know this may be shocking news. However, my present health is good. I have had a strong recovery from the surgery itself. I’m getting better and stronger every day. Although I am on a medical leave from the surgery, I am staying…

A Message from Robert West

On September 18, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor on my left temporal lobe, the part of your brain that controls speech and communication. I am going into surgery at the New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Wilmington NC, on Monday. September 24. Here’s what I would like you to know now: I am feeling positive, while recognizing that this is serious with some scary outcomes. I encourage you to share positive karma with me.The staff has been remarkable: they have rallied around, and I am so relieved and so…

Brooklyn Castle Screening + Youth Chess Event

For kids in our hometown of Wilmington, NC that love chess, even a summer thunderstorm couldn’t keep them from coming out to play the game in the park and watching an outdoor screening of Brooklyn Castle. Thanks to our co-hosts for the event, Cape Fear Independent Film Network, we had four big tents to keep us dry while students from local elementary and middle schools competed against one another on the chess board. The kids and their families had a great time competing before the film, and by the time…

Working Films hosts 3rd annual Port City TakeOver!

While most of our work is both national and international, Working Films has a high profile in our small coastal town of Wilmington, NC. We’re in a landmark 1912 brick firehouse and contribute to the vibrancy of local efforts, including environmental efforts and support for the LGBT community. On Friday, August 24th, Working Films hosted the 3 year anniversary of Port City TakeOver, an organization that brings together the LGBT community and our straight allies as a way to socialize and network. As take of this celebration, we invited local…

Reel Power Update from Mini-grantees

Last March, Working Films announced the fourteen mini-grantees for the Reel Power Film Festival, a series of documentaries that bring you stories from the frontline of our energy future. Organizations hosted Reel Power events to encourage cross-pollination of grassroots organizing strategy and to inspire their communities to leverage local resources and networks. Here are some of the exciting report backs that we’ve received from the first screenings: Frack Free Catskills is a group fighting fracking in the Hudson Valley and Catskill Communities, as well as throughout New York State. They organized…

Reel Economy Update

Fireworks on Independence Day start the month of July out with a bang, but for Working Films the real excitement came at the end of the month. That’s because we had the pleasure of hosting our Reel Economy residency and convening July 23-26. Supported by and presented in collaboration with Chicken and Egg Pictures and The Fledgling Fund, Reel Economy brought together six documentary projects that tell personal stories of the most pressing economic issues with a group of nonprofit organizations, foundations and other allies that are working for economic…