Archive for September, 2016

Start Streaming GroundSpark’s Award-Winning Documentaries Today



By | blog, Choosing Children, Deadly Deception, Homes and Hands, It's Elementary, It's STILL Elementary, Let's Get Real, One Wedding and A Revolution, Straightlaced, That's A Family!

If you are affiliated with a college or university, you may now have a way to access all of GroundSpark films and share them with your students, colleagues and staff on campus. Hundreds of colleges and universities are subscribed to Kanopy, a streaming service for institutions of higher education. If your academic institution is subscribed, you can get instant access to our films at no extra cost to you or your students. Explore all the GroundSpark films:

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Straightlaced—How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up

A69C0585.JPG Phyllis Lyon, left, and Del Martin, who have been together for 51 years, embrace after their marriage at city Hall.

One Wedding and…a Revolution

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It’s Elementary—Talking About Gay Issues in School

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It’s Still Elementary

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Let’s Get Real

That’s a Family!

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Choosing Children

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Homes and Hands: Community Land Trusts in Action

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Deadly Deception—General Electric, Nuclear Weapons and Our Environment

Learn more about each of these films here and please contact us if you have any questions about how Kanopy streaming works for these titles!

New Short Film: Unlocking Investment in Rural America



By | blog, Brittney Shepherd, Policy Moves, Producer, Latest News

There’s a worn woolen blanket hanging in the opening of the old trailer. It’s the door through which Maria Alaya, her husband, and four children go in and out of their home. The insulation is falling out in big chunks, a sheet of plywood covers up huge holes in the floor. “The water comes down right here,” Maria told us, “And it pours in over here.”

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GroundSpark was in Brownsville, TX a few months ago filming a short documentary to help the Obama administration address persistent rural poverty. Working with the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), we created a 10-minute film that makes the case for expanded public and private partnerships that can channel desperately needed funding into long-neglected regions of the United States.

Today, we are thrilled to share this short film, Unlocking Investment in Rural America, with you.

“Groundspark is our filmmaking partner of choice for their ability to frame a social issue with power and complexity, engage viewers and lead them to action. Their work for the Uplift America Fund—a new initiative to invest in persistently poor rural communities—succeeded in elevating an issue too long ignored—bringing it to leading philanthropists, policymakers and investors and engaging them in the solution. Their ability to listen to the customer, adapt to the needs of the stakeholders, and create a product of beauty is unequalled.”

— Andrea Levere, President, CFED

In July, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) unveiled the Uplift America Fund, a pool of $500 million that can be used to build much-needed infrastructure projects in communities that have suffered for decades from persistent poverty and underinvestment.

Unlocking Investment in Rural America is helping explain why the fund is needed and how public and private partners can get involved.

It’s part of POLICY MOVES, GroundSpark’s initiative to use film to make important progressive public policy more accessible and inspiring. We partner with public interest organizations, government agencies and private funders to bring the best policy efforts to life, igniting change through film.
It was a fascinating challenge to boil down research reports, dozens of statistics, the needs of the USDA, and combine those with good storytelling about the US/Mexican border, Appalachia, the Cheyenne River Reservation and the Mississippi Delta.
We are delighted that the result is helping community organizations access the new Uplift America funds and motivating other government agencies, investors, and philanthropies to find creative ways to work in persistently poor rural areas. You can watch the film here and find out more about Uplift America.

Please take a moment to learn more about POLICY MOVES, GroundSpark’s program to accelerate progressive public policy with high quality documentary filmmaking.