Based on the coast and mountains of North Carolina, Working Films has a long history of work in the regional South and non-metropolitan areas in states throughout the nation. While some of our coordinated efforts take place in urban areas, most of Working Films’ screenings take place in rural towns and small cities. We use high quality documentaries in live, community events that are co-designed with resident leaders and organizers to advance their goals for social justice and environmental protection. We create spaces for people to come together face-to-face, discuss issues affecting their communities, learn and be inspired by the visual content and one another’s experiences, and generate solutions that meet their needs and priorities. At a time when the nation faces ongoing threats to public health, the environment, civil rights, and democratic participation, and compounded by the fact that civil discourse has all but disappeared, this type of in-person assembly in rural communities is critical for civic engagement.

We’re launching Rural Cinema with partners in areas directly affected by extractive activities, areas transitioning their economies from ones fueled by extraction to other more sustainable approaches, and places in which environmental injustice is being addressed. These partners include Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health and Justice, Kentuckians for the Common Wealth, the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network, and Martin County Concerned Citizens.

Rural Cinema is creating a space for residents to build relationships while engaging people around important environmental issues affecting their communities.