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…

Judith Helfand Guest Blogs for PBS.org on Mentor George Stoney

As Thoughts of George Rise Up: Judith Helfand on Long-Time Mentor George Stoney Original Post can be found at PBS.org’s POV Films Blog Page Soon after the news of George Stoney’s passing was made public, POV asked me to write a few words about him and our work together on The Uprising of ’34, which was broadcast on POV in June 1995 — a fact we were both so very proud of. Life’s divine symmetry had me start writing this on the way to a complicated shoot that I was…

George C. Stoney, a founding member of WF, dies at age 96.

“What happens when the lights come up and the credits roll? What’s the ASK of the audience?”  This classic George Stoney question of social justice documentary filmmakers inspired the creation of Working Films in 1999. George was a founding member of our board of directors and we were deeply saddened to learn of his passing this past Thursday.   He instilled in us, and so many others, a sense of responsibility for the strategic use of film – and powerful storytelling – in fights for social and environmental justice. He…

Friend of WF has new National Geographic series!

Lucy Cooke, a PUMA Creative Winner and good friend of Working Films has an upcoming National Geographic series titled “Freaks and Creeps” set to air on Tuesday July 17 at 10pm ET. Read her blog post below to learn more about the production and her adventures: Tasmania is like a time machine. Its primeval forests team with living fossils that have followed a different evolutionary branch to most mammals. So for freak lovers like me it’s like hitting the jackpot. My number one quarry is the echidna – an ancient…

Back in the U.K. at Sheffield!

Last month, Working Films returned to the Sheffield Doc-Fest, June 13 – 17, hosting a third year of our highly interactive Story Leads to Action panel, co-hosted with the Festival. Coordinated by our UK staffer Sarah Ross, and facilitated by Robert West, Story Leads to Action brought together filmmaker Frederick Gertten, and his new film Big Boys Gone Bananas*, with Marcos Zunino, a legal officer at Article 19 in London specializing in freedom of expression and international law. In 2009, when Frederick Gertten’s film Bananas!* was accepted into the Los…

Reel Education Updates!

Working Films is still hard at work with the filmmakers of the Reel Education collective. We’re excited about plans we have in the works to bring the Reel Ed films to cities across the country, where they can advance education organizing and advocacy on important issues such as arts education, the achievement gap, after school programming, and positive approaches to school discipline. We’re also delighted to announce that we’ve added two new films to the collective, A Community Concern which tells the story of how community organizing can be a…

Reel Aging Reflections

Many months ago, when Working Films started laying the groundwork for our Reel Aging residency and follow-up campaign, my understanding of issues related to aging was fairly limited. Probably like many people, especially my peers in our early 30s, I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about the later stages of my life. The older members of my family are in good health, so our family hasn’t had to deal with many challenges or crises related to aging. So, with no sense of urgency, and a culture that doesn’t…