Last week, a working group hired by the University of North Carolina’s (UNC) Governors’ Board published a report recommending the closing of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity. The center is housed by the UNC school of law and is “a non-partisan, interdisciplinary institute designed to study, examine, document, and advocate for proposals, policies and services to mitigate poverty in North Carolina and the nation.” The center operates on an annual budget of $120,000 and receives no funding from the state, relying only on grants secured through 2016. Should the center be shut down, this funding will need to be returned. The proposed closing has drawn criticism and opposition on both a local and national level, with statements released by the UNC School of Law and the American Association of University Professors defending the center and its director, law professor Gene Nichol.
The event is sponsored by Chicago Media Project and will bring documentary filmmakers together with “foundations, NGOs, campaigners, philanthropists, policy makers, brands and media around leading social and environmental issues to forge coalitions and campaigns that are good for all these partners, good for the films and good for society.” Filmmakers will have the opportunity to present a seven minute pitch and then receive feedback from an audience of 300 potential partners and investors. Good Pitch is based on a partnership between BRITDOC and Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program.
American Promise is one of five recipients of the Britdoc Impact Award which recognizes documentary films “that have made the greatest impact on society.” Each documentary team receives $15,000 to “recognize their achievements and continue their campaigns.” In particular, American Promise is being recognized for using “…an ambitious traditional theatrical release in over 60 cities to build a national platform for building awareness, dialogue, and action around issues of black male achievement and educational equity, effectively using a traditional theatrical release as an outreach vehicle.”
American Promise follows two middle class black families over thirteen years as they navigate the ups and downs of parenting and educating their sons. Margaret Byrne and Jon Stuyvesant of Raising Bertie served as a cinematographers on the project. Byrne also served as an editor.
You can read more about the outreach campaign for American Promise here.
Britdoc Impcact Award | American Promise
Newcity Film recently named Raising Bertie director Margaret Byrne as one of their “Film 50 2014: Chicago Screen Gems”. Unlike last year’s inaugural list, this year’s list is all about “focusing just on artists.” Those included were selected for being “…part of the larger weave of how films get made…exemplars of the multi-hypehenate talents who seem to be around every corner, protean prodigies who aren’t juggling multiple careers, but living them as full, admirable, even enviable creative lives.”