A well told story can make a difference.
By Peter Osnos
The stories told by these documentaries are meant to incite action, but the same goes for the marketing, social-media, and distribution efforts of their creators.
Films, especially documentaries, with potent social messages seem to be having a greater cultural effect in recent years. That may be in part because of filmmakers’ newly ambitious plans for citizen action to spotlight the issues and drive change. Three recent films come to mind as examples of the work of dedicated journalists and producers whose commitment extends beyond the subjects they cover to include far-reaching strategies for distribution and follow-up activities.
A Place at the Table opens TODAY in theaters nationwide, on iTunes and On Demand everywhere.
Good Day was shot using traditional stop-motion animation, and incorporated over 2,500 individual frames. Different than traditional 2D animation, the piece was shot on a live set, utilizing hand-made paper cutouts. The process was a true labor of love. Every bit of movement, expression and transition required an intense amount of planning and preparation. As a result, the filmmakers were only able to capture 2 seconds of screen-time per day.
Take a Stand Against Hunger: http://bit.ly/placeattable
50 million people in the U.S.—one in four children—don’t know where their next meal is coming from, despite our having the means to provide nutritious, affordable food for all Americans. Directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush examine this issue through the lens of three people who are struggling with food insecurity: Barbie, a single Philadelphia mother who grew up in poverty and is trying to provide a better life for her two kids; Rosie, a Colorado fifth-grader who often has to depend on friends and neighbors to feed her and has trouble concentrating in school; and Tremonica, a Mississippi second-grader whose asthma and health issues are exacerbated by the largely empty calories her hardworking mother can afford.
Their stories are interwoven with insights from experts including sociologist Janet Poppendieck, author Raj Patel and nutrition policy leader Marion Nestle; ordinary citizens like Pastor Bob Wilson and teachers Leslie Nichols and Odessa Cherry; and activists such as Witness to Hunger’s Mariana Chilton, Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio and Oscar®-winning actor Jeff Bridges.
Ultimately, A Place at the Table shows us how hunger poses serious economic, social and cultural implications for our nation, and that it could be solved once and for all, if the American public decides—as they have in the past—that making healthy food available and affordable is in the best interest of us all.
How is it that 50 million people in the United States – one of the richest countries on the planet – do not know where their next meal is coming from? This situation, known as “food insecurity,” is absolutely outrageous.
And while legions of terrific nonprofit organizations and faith-based groups deliver much-needed food assistance daily, and advocacy organizations work with policy-makers to change the system, we wondered: What do everyday Americans think about food insecurity? How widely is it understood, and what are their thoughts about solving it?