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…

Announcing Reel Power Grassroots Mini-grantees

One month ago, we invited organizations and grassroots groups that are impacted by natural resource extraction, climate change or are tapping into renewable energy solutions to apply for one of fourteen mini-grants to support their Reel Power Film Festival (RPFF). Thanks to all that helped us spread the word. We received an incredible response. We are very excited to provide these films to organizations that will use them to advance their outstanding efforts. The following four projects are the recipients of the first tier grants. For these organizations Working Films’ Reel…

Reel Equality takes action!

It’s no surprise North Carolinians are organizing in opposition to the cynical Amendment One ballot initiative timed for the primary on May 8th. Amendment One would codify a ban on same-sex marriage AND nullify civil unions and domestic partnerships of all couples – gay or straight. Our friends at the Daily Kos have some recent encouraging news on the likely outcome from voters. In January, Jen Jones with Race to the Ballot started literally running across the state to raise awareness in towns from the mountains of Asheville to the…

Hell and Back Again

What does it mean to lead men in war? What does it mean to come home – injured physically and psychologically – and build a life anew? Danfung Dennis’ Hell and Back Again is a cinematically revolutionary film that asks and answers these questions with a power and intimacy no previous film about the conflict in Afghanistan has been able to achieve. Working Films, with the presenting partners of Danfung Dennis and his team, The Fledgling Fund and Impact Partners, is developing an audience and community engagement campaign to take…

Semper Fi Always Faithful- UK premiere

The award-winning documentary SEMPER FI: ALWAYS FAITHFUL is coming to the UK. Working Films is partnering with the filmmakers on a targeted engagement campaign in NC and the US. YOU MUST SEE this story of one Marine’s determination to hold his Corps accountable. DOCHOUSE presents SEMPER FI: ALWAYS FAITHFUL Screening Date: March 8th, 2012 Time: 8:30pm Location: Prince Charles Cinema For tickets and more information: http://www.princecharlescinema.com/indexreview.php?display=1939 There will be a satellite SKYPE Q&A with the Directors after the film. ABOUT THE FILM: Retired Master Sergeant Jerry Ensminger devoted nearly 25…