Have you ever drifted from your best friend?
I thought mine would remain beside me forever. I pictured us laughing as bridesmaids at each other’s weddings and raising our kids side-by-side. She knew me better than anyone. So what happened? Did I do something wrong? Or did we just grow into different people, during the most formative years of our life?
For a teen girl, losing a best friend can feel like losing your entire world, but it’s rarely given the same weight as losing a romantic relationship. Growing Pains follows childhood girlfriends Zoe and Nat, who face the tumultuous transition from middle to high school as their friendship drifts apart. A real and raw coming-of-age story about identity, sexuality, the aftermath of surviving cancer, and growing into yourself amidst a society that ignores the serious hardships that teen girls face. Addressing disability, queer representation, and mental health; Growing Pains is a love letter from my co-writer Mariana Fabian and me, who have forever struggled to see our stories depicted accurately on screen. Or, depicted at all.
Growing Pains was written, directed, produced, and filmed by women. Our film is a female-centered story, so it’s only appropriate that women are both in front and behind the camera. According to the Geena Davis Institute, only 7% of directors, 13% of writers, and 20% of producers are female. In the entertainment industry, men outnumber women in key production roles by 5 to 1. Growing Pains is supporting female filmmakers and championing diverse, real stories about young women. Shot over 21 days entirely in Massachusetts, Growing Pains uplifts local New England artists and locations.
Zoe Christopoulos and Natalia “Nat” Guzman are childhood best friends. Zoe is a bubbly and self-involved childhood cancer survivor. Nat is witty, hard-working, and reserved. During the summer before high school, their friendship drifts apart as they each set out on their own journey of self-discovery.
Zoe develops insecurities about her body, which stem from a cancer scar that divides her stomach in half. In an attempt to feel more confident in her own skin, she joins the crew team but then develops body dysmorphia and an eating disorder. Crew becomes quite toxic for Zoe, as she is trying to make the lightweight boat. She resorts to unhealthy habits, like using diet pills and restricting her eating. Zoe meets Dan, an older boy on the crew team, who pressures her into sexual encounters. Zoe pretends to be someone she’s not and loses her innocence too fast, which ultimately makes her feel worse.
Zoe’s self-involvement prevents her from noticing Nat as she navigates discovering her sexuality and first crush on Lexie, a new co-worker. Her dad is uncomfortable with Nat’s budding relationship, as he comes to terms with his internalized homophobia.
Nat struggles to manage her family’s expectations, as her parents put tremendous pressure on her to work full time at her family’s restaurant. She has the responsibilities of an adult and no free time to be a kid, as she is expected to run the restaurant and help her family succeed. Nat’s home life fractures, as her relationship fails with her dad and her grandmother becomes ill.
Zoe and Nat’s friendship comes to a boiling point as Zoe is unaware of what Nat is going through and Nat puts little effort into maintaining their friendship. As Nat hangs out more with Lexie, Zoe becomes jealous and afraid of where she stands with Nat.
Will Nat and Zoe be able to rectify their fragmented friendship?
A Question of Values tells the compelling story of the Interfaith Center On Corporate Responsibility or ICCR and how the organization inspired an investment philosophy that has changed corporate behavior. For a long time this movement was perceived as a bunch of naive “do-gooders” trying to meddle in the affairs of corporations. But…a funny thing happened over the years. Some of the changes these “do-gooders” were lobbying for, actually made corporations more profitable. There are many corporations who now view these engaged investors as critical monitors, flagging problems that affect the bottom line. Throughout history there have been calls to inject moral values into investment strategies, but never has it been done in a more organized and impactful way as is being done by ICCR. From its roots in the anti-apartheid movement to currently representing over 100 billion dollars in assets the organization has pioneered the principles of shareholder engagement.
From barrios to boardrooms, our cameras will go out in the field to document the issues that ICCR has been engaging corporations around. We will weave together scenes with ICCR Members, corporate executives and people whose lives have been changed by ICCR’s work. The underlying tension in this project, and the reason to follow ICCR in telling this story, is that it raises the question of values. Many people are turned off by religion and “values” because we all have different values. However, these nuns, ministers, priests, and lay people don’t run and hide from values, they stay true to their core and in doing so have had real impact on both people’s lives and corporate behavior.
Inspiring a Movement
The story of ICCR goes well beyond religious institutions. As we follow the growth of ICCR we will discover that members include major union pension funds, foundations and NGOs. Conversations with leaders of these organizations, illustrated with scenes of their operations, will reveal how joining forces with ICCR has helped align missions and assets.
In addition, notable SRI asset managers will speak of how ICCR inspired a movement and how more and more investors, worldwide, are seeking to incorporate their values into investment decisions…and why this is paying off in portfolio value. In looking to the future, the film will pause to look at some of the global issues confronting our planet. Climate change, human trafficking, water and food security are just a few. For many these are overwhelming issues that seem insurmountable and intractable. But there is a different view. From ICCR members and staff, veterans of hard fought campaigns of social change, we will learn of the power of patience, persistence and coalition building. Finally, from high profile leaders of the faith and business communities, we will hear a clarion call for action…values matter…apply them wisely and help change the world.
Our primary audience for this project is people and organizations that are pre-disposed to be receptive to the message – people of faith. At the national level, the pension funds and endowments of many in the faith community have joined with ICCR, but there are still many large, faith-based institutions that maintain the firewalls between mission and investments. At the local level there are thousands of churches and religious institutions that don’t even know the organization exists. We also see a vast secondary audience, as there are many secular organizations, like foundations and pension funds, whose missions are in line with the work of ICCR, but are still reluctant to breach those firewalls. Combined, they have a huge potential for adding to ICCR’s impact.
Fear, confusion and skepticism about mixing values with investments still permeate many of these institutions. Terms like shareholder advocacy, impact investing, green investing and divestment campaigns tend to get thrown in together under the heading of “socially responsible investing,” which often is associated with a trade-off between financial gain and social good. Investment boards need to be inspired…. they need to see that this works, both on a social and financial level. Then they need to be shown a path to participation without with radical, wholesale upheaval of portfolios. The story of ICCR will help to clarify concepts, demonstrate impact and highlight a way forward, giving viewers a better understanding for options in applying their own values to investments.
The medium lends itself broad distribution and with a maximum length of twenty minutes, we will be able to take advantage of many options. ICCR’s network can create numerous opportunities to show the film, in whole, or in targeted shorter versions. YouTube links can be widely spread, cost effectively. The film can be used in presentations to pension funds, investment committees, churches and corporations. Screenings can be a featured attraction at conferences and trade shows.
Using the power of story we can connect with people’s emotions and open minds to new ideas. Stories create new associations, engage our senses, and touch our emotions. They can deliver a message not just as facts, but also as holistic and new experiences. In his book “A Whole New Mind,” author Daniel Pink sums up the power of story: “Stories are important cognitive events, for they encapsulate, into one compact package, information, knowledge, context and emotion.”
The story of ICCR is a great story that needs to be told.
- Powerful Story — The story of ICCR’s origins and evolution is a powerful example of how values rooted in faith have impacted corporate behavior.
- Create Awareness — Clarify and Inspire – The project will tell ICCR’s story to a vast audience, with clarity and emotion that inspires action.
- Demonstrate Best Practices — The film will demonstrate proven methods for leveraging financial assets to affect change.
- Powerful Yet Flexible Tools – The medium is an effective transmitter of stories to diverse audiences, large and small.
- Reaching a Targeted Audience – Targeted messages aimed at audiences that are primed to hear them.
Company Web Site: www.globalviz.com
Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly
a Kim Smith film
With deep appreciation and gratitude to the many, many donors who gave generously to Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly, thank you! Because of your kind contributions, we were able to complete our documentary, showcase at many festivals around the world, and distribute to public television.
We are currently working towards nationwide distribution to educational institutions.
Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly is a 56-minute narrated documentary that tells the story of the Monarch Butterfly as it unfolds along the shores of Cape Ann and in the heart of Mexico’s forested volcanic mountains. Filmed in Gloucester, Massachusetts and the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve at Estado de México and Michoacán, the film illuminates how two regions, separated by thousands of miles, are ecologically interconnected. The film is for all ages, delighting and engaging viewers who are interested in nature, conservation, and our planet’s amazing ecosystems.
Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly is currently airing nationwide on PBS. Please see your local PBS station for more information on air dates and streaming.
Please contact the director, Kim Smith, at email@example.com for information on distribution to educational institutions and film screenings.
Beauty on the Wing Festival Screenings and Awards
Winner Best Documentary – Boston International Kid’s Film Festival
Winner Best Feature Film – Providence International Children’s Film Festival
Winner Best Documentary – San Diego International Kid’s Film Festival
Winner Gold Award – Spotlight Documentary Film Awards
Outstanding Excellence – Nature Without Borders Documentary Film Festival
Outstanding Excellence – Toronto Women’s International Film Festival
Winner – Boston Independent Film Awards
Winner – Santa Barbara Film Awards
Switzerland International Film Festival
Boston Film Festival
Dumbo Film Festival
New Haven Documentary Film Festival
NH Docs New Haven Documentary Film Festival
Montreal Independent Film Festival
Flicker’s Rhode Island International Film Festival
Docs Without Borders International Film Festival