Fledgling Provides Over $400,000 in Outreach and Engagement Funding in 2017
In 2017, Fledgling provided just over $420,000 in Outreach and Engagement grant funding spread across twenty documentary film projects. The projects address important issues including domestic violence, environmental justice, health care, immigration and refugee issues, gender equality, education and criminal justice reform. We are immensely proud of these projects and are delighted to support efforts to deepen their impact. 50/50 Day – $15,000 Directed by Tiffany Shlain 50/50 Day goes far beyond politics and boardrooms to explore how a more gender balanced world is better for everyone. It had thousands of events around the globe in companies, schools, museums, and homes – wherever people already gathered – all screening the same film and joining an interactive worldwide LiveCast Q&A featuring prominent thought leaders talking about gender imbalance in different parts of society. Fledgling’s grant supported the May 2017 event. 62 Days – $25,000 Directed by Rebecca Haimowitz A film about Marlise Muñoz, a brain-dead pregnant woman whose family was forced to keep her on life support against her wishes. This film shows the human story behind the headlines, and will raise awareness on the consequences of “fetal protection” laws that currently exist in 32 states (and counting), which give the government unprecedented control over a woman’s body – even her dead body. The film premiered at the Meet Press Film Festival in November 2018. Fledgling’s grant supported outreach planning and partnership development. Almost Sunrise- $25,000 Directed by Michael Collins A story of veteran resilience and recovery, the film follows two Iraq veterans, Tom Voss and Anthony Anderson, who struggle with depression upon returning home from service. The film captures an intimate portrait of two friends suffering from the unseen wounds of war as they discover an unlikely treatment: the restorative power of silence and meditation. Almost Sunrise was part of Fledgling’s Engagement lab. Our most recent grant supported their Moving Mountains campaign. Bending the Arc – $6,000 Directed by Kief Davidson and Pedro Kos Dr. Paul Farmer, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, activist Ophelia Dahl, Todd McCormack, and investor Thomas White began a movement in the 1980s that changed global health forever. Bending the Arc tells their story. Executive produced by Fledgling’s Diana Barrett, the film premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and has an active impact campaign. This grant supported an opportunity to bring this story to the global health community. Breakthrough – $25,000 Directed by Liz Norton Breakthrough challenges existing notions of school by giving viewers a sense of what else it could be. This film was part of the most recent Fledgling Engagement Lab. This grant supported impact planning. Cooked – $25,000 Directed by Judith Helfand A film about about the repercussions of the 1995 Chicago heat wave on the city’s entrenched poverty, economic and social isolation, and racism. Executive produced by Fledgling’s Diana Barrett, it is a story about life, death, and the politics of crisis in an American city. This grant will prepare the project for launch. Daughters of Destiny – $20,000 Directed by Vanessa Roth A Netflix Original Documentary Series, released globally in July 2017 and nominated for an IDA award for Best Limited Series, it follows five girls from India’s most impoverished families who attend a boarding school designed to create opportunities as they strive for a brighter future. Community outreach and engagement began in India, Europe and the US in summer 2017. Fledgling’s grant supports building out international impact work. Dayla’s Other Country – $20,000 Directed by Julia Meltzer In 2012 Dalya and her mother Rudayna fled Aleppo for Los Angeles. Both mother and daughter are forced to rebuild their lives and cope with the loss of a husband, a father, and their country. It tells the story of a young Muslim woman and what it feels like to be wrestling with identity issues within a conservative community that doesn’t always accept independence. Fledgling supported their community screenings. Defining Hope – $20,000 Directed by Carolyn Jones A documentary that weaves the stories of patients with life-threatening illness and the nurses who guide them as they make choices about how they want to live, how much medical technology they can accept, what they hope for and how that hope evolves. It is about optimism and helps us define what ‘quality of life’ really means. Fledgling’s grant supports the creation of accompanying educational materials and outreach and engagement. The Force – $20,000 Directed by Pete Nicks At a powderkeg moment in American policing, this film goes deep inside the embattled Oakland Police Department as it struggles to confront federal demands for reform, the rise of #BlackLivesMatter and an explosive scandal. The team’s goal is to re-frame how opposite sides of a broken relationship view each other. By curating civil conversations between police, community and issue stakeholders, they hope to gather valuable insights that can be used in police training, reconciliation workshops and high school and college courses in social justice. Fledgling’s grant supported the first phase of outreach. Grace – $20,000 Directed by Rachel Pikelny This film is the story of a 36-year-old suburban soccer mom and breast cancer survivor who reclaims her body with an elaborate mastectomy tattoo. It is a frank, honest, and often funny exploration of a seldom-discussed side of the survivor’s experience—the battle that begins when everyone else thinks the war is already won. Fledgling’s grant supports impact planning and launch. Humanity on the Move – $25,000 Directed by Talya Tibbon and Joshua Bennett A multi-platform media and communications initiative designed to challenge negative attitudes and reshape perceptions of the children and families of the global refugee crisis. The feature film, Sky & Ground, premiered at DOCNYC in Nov 2017. Fledgling’s grant supported impact planning for the film and the larger project. I Am Evidence – $25,000 Directed by Trish Adlesic This film exposes the alarming number of untested rape kits in the United States through a character–driven narrative, bringing much needed attention to the disturbing pattern of how the criminal justice system has historically treated sexual assault survivors. Fledgling’s grant supported key stakeholder screenings and strategy sessions to reach key decision-makers and deepen partnerships. Knife Skills – $20,000 Directed by Thomas Lennon What does it take to build a world-class French restaurant? What if the staff is almost entirely men and women just out of prison? What if most have never cooked or served before, and have barely two months to learn their trade? The film follows the hectic launch of Edwins restaurant in Cleveland. In this improbable setting, we discover the challenges of men and women finding their way after their release. The film premiered this summer and was recently shortlisted for an Oscar nomination. Fledgling’s grant supported outreach planning and partnership development in order to open a discussion around reentry and work opportunities for the formerly incarcerated. Love the Sinner – $15000 Directed by Jessica Devaney and Geeta Gandbhir A short personal documentary exploring the connection between Christianity and homophobia in the wake of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, it probes our responsibility to face bias in our communities and push for dignity and equality for all. The outreach campaign will bring the film churches, seminaries, and Christian colleges across the U.S. Fledgling’s supported the production of this short through our Rapid Story Deployment Fund and this outreach grant will support its screening tour. Private Violence – $3,000 Directed by Cynthia Hill Private Violence explores a simple, but deeply disturbing fact of American life: the most dangerous place for a woman in America is her own home. The campaign seeks to empower a cultural shift in how we think and act around domestic violence and encouraging collective responsibility around this issue. This project was in the first Fledgling Engagement Lab and we supported the campaign over several years. This grant supported them to maximize the PBS rebroadcast in 2017. Roll Red Roll – $25,000 Directed by Nancy Schwartzman The story of a football town divided, Roll Red Roll a true crime thriller examining sexual assault in small town America. It unflinchingly asks the question, “why didn’t anyone stop it?” Fledgling’s grant will support impact planning. United Skates – $17,700 Directed by Tina Brown and Dyana Winkler This feature film follows an untapped underground subculture many are calling hip-hop of the next generation, United Skates is riding their wave toward discovery inside the faded walls of our country’s last remaining roller rinks. This project was a member of the most recent Fledgling Engagement Lab. This grant will help them launch the project. Unrest – $25,000 Directed by Jennifer Brea Jennifer Brea is about to marry the love of her life when she’s struck down by a fever that leaves her bedridden. When doctors tell her “it’s all in her head,” she turns her camera on herself and her community as she looks for answers and fights for a cure. Unrest was in the most recent Fledgling Engagement Lab and was recently shortlisted for an Oscar nomination. This grant supports outreach and engagement implementation. Water Warriors $15,000 Directed by Michael Premo A short film and multimedia photo exhibition that is about a community’s successful fight to protect their water from the oil and natural gas industry. Fledgling supported pilot outreach in North Carolina in 2016. This grant supported additional screenings/installation with a focus on connecting the project with local organizers. Youth & Gender Media Project – $25,000 Directed by Jonathan Skurnik This project produces short films about the diversity and complexity of trans and gender expansive youth. The films foster inclusive schools and communities through curriculum and audience engagement. This project participated in the most recent Fledgling Engagement Lab. This grant will support implementation of their impact plan.