Accelerated Activation

Social Change and Film

Your Social Change Ambitions + Compelling Issue Film = Accelerated Activation


Kristen Grimm, founder of Spitfire Strategies, one of the nation’s leading strategic communications firms, will lead a brief workshop on Discovering the Activation Point.. Kristen will reveal how groups can move beyond education and awareness, where nonprofits often find themselves stuck, and motivate individuals to do take action.

Learn more about Kristen>>

Sheila Leddy, executive director of The Fledgling Fund, private foundation driven by the passionate belief that film can inspire a better world, will share clips from a selection of films from Fledgling’s portfolio and lead a discussion of how these documentaries can support change strategies. Fledgling Fund works with completed films and offers partners an opportunity to leverage these documentaries for their own purposes.

Learn more about Sheila>>

There will be no solicitation to fund film production.



Directed by Patrick Craedon

If You Build It follows thirteen students, led by Emily Pilloton and Matt Miller, as they design and build a large-scale project to address issues facing the community. The film offers an entertaining and emotionally compelling experience that proves the difference “design thinking” can make. It will bring together a national community to advocate for incorporating design thinking into the classroom.

Activation: The filmmaking team is working in partnership with the Blank Foundation to engage the Atlanta community to invigorate the Maker Movement and to conduct a trial launch of Emily Pilloton’s new Camp H, a summer camp for girls ages 9-12 that sparks creativity and curiosity through hands-on building, problem-solving, and meaningful making


green streetsGREEN STREETS
Directed by Sophie Constantinou

This short film follows 28-year-old entrepreneur Tyrone Mullins and his friends as they turn trash into cash in the distressed San Francisco housing projects where they live. Through trial and error, they learn to haul thousands of gallons of waste per month, creating desperately needed jobs and establishing recycling where all previous efforts had failed. Green Streets shows how resourceful young entrepreneurs are transforming their community by discovering value in its untapped resources -- including the energy, intelligence and ambition of undervalued young adults.

Activation: Citizen Film and Green Streets are working together to launch a national screening, dialogue and audience engagement campaign targeting managers of public housing, urban  environmental policy makers and activists, waste-management officials, and organizations promoting entrepreneurship in marginalized communities. They plan to have screening and discussion events in Atlanta in Spring 2014.


Directed by Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke

Escape Fire exposes the perverse nature of American healthcare, contrasting the powerful forces opposing change with the compelling stories of pioneering leaders and the patients they seek to help. The film is about finding a way out. It’s about saving the health of a nation.

Activation: The Escape Fire outreach and engagement campaign is designed to promote dialogue across multiple platforms and move audiences from passive moviegoers to active participants in their own healthcare. The campaign, which began last fall and is still very active, has hosted hundreds of public screening events, developed partner programs (targeting medical students, corporations, healthcare professionals, the military, and patient/consumer groups), and has disseminated virtual and concrete tools that inform, inspire and motivate consumers and communities to take actions that promote a healthier America.

Directed by Shalini Kantayya

In a city where oil spills, ecological red-alerts, and poverty are commonplace, Chasing the Sun asks the hard questions of how a clean energy economy may actually be built, through the stories of unemployed American workers seeking to retool at a solar jobs training program in Richmond, California. 

Activation: Chasing the Sun’s overarching goal is to raise mainstream awareness about the complex issues surrounding a national transition to clean energy, and the opportunity to create millions of new jobs in the industries of tomorrow. The aim is to enable and empower new activists with clean energy jobs information, tools for action, and strategic partnerships.   Chasing the Sun aims to use a powerful story to build a cultural movement that will ignite our clean energy future.  They are actively planning their campaign in anticipation of a 2014 launch.

Directed by Dana Nachman and Don Hardy

What if the greatest chemical disaster of our time didn’t involve oil spills or nuclear meltdowns? Instead, imagine much lower levels of exposure, inflicted over generations and affecting every person on the planet. The result: rising rates of everything from cancer to autism to infertility. The Human Experiment lifts the veil on this shocking reality – where untested chemicals are ubiquitous in our products and the health of future generations is on the line. The film follows a band of unlikely activists who are fighting back, ranging from a conservative businessman to a teenage radical.

Activation: The film is set to have its international festival premiere later this Fall. The campaign’s goals are to bring national attention to the underexposed issue of environmental health and to launch a movement driving policy and market changes to protect people from toxic chemicals. It seeks to mobilize key audiences like mother’s groups, high school and college students, health care providers and companies. Combined with educational materials, online tools and The Human Experiment web/mobile app, the film will also be used to educate consumers about safer products, to move the market in a healthier direction through their purchasing power.

Directed by Jyllian Gunther

In Fall 2006, former DJ, point-guard and teacher turned first-time principal, James O’Brien opened a small public high school in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, where one-third of the residents lived below the poverty line and the graduation rate was 40%. The school emphasizes strong individual support and arts-based non-traditional instruction. Initially, the buzz from the community was that this was a dream come true. But conflicts arose when old realities surfaced.

Activation: The New Public's outreach campaign, building on lessons from the film, seeks to provoke and facilitate dialogue between stakeholders in public schools at the community level – with a special emphasis on pre-service teachers who are about to enter the workforce and become our next generation of teachers. It hopes to build connections between schools and community stakeholders; create personalized learning opportunities for diverse students; support educators committed to students and communities; and translate film themes to policy to support students of color and low-wealth communities. In collaboration with local and national partners, they plan to hold a series of screenings around the country throughout the coming year.