BrainStorm the Film will transform the landscape around bipolar as we know it. Our goal is to end the stigma, save lives, and maximize health for millions of Americans with brains on the bipolar spectrum – and all those who love them.
BrainStorm the Film is an unprecedented initiative that combines inspiring stories of bipolar survivors, cutting edge science, and breakthrough treatments in one coherent narrative. It tells a story of hope, substance, and beauty. The film will give viewers new knowledge and power to create real change in their lives: from devastation and despair to health and vitality.
The word bipolar conjures up images of wild highs, all-night sprees, and mood crashes. But this manic depressive behavior, also known as Bipolar I, exists only at the extreme end of what we now know as the “bipolar spectrum.” People whose brains fall elsewhere on the bipolar spectrum – Bipolar II and others — experience severe, life threatening depression, but do not exhibit mania.
Yes, there is bipolar without mania. And since most practitioners don’t even know this is possible, misdiagnosis with devastating results is rampant. One out of three people diagnosed as depressed actually have a bipolar brain – and the antidepressant drugs they are prescribed can lead to dangerous and even lethal consequences.
On average it takes over 11 years to correctly diagnosis Bipolar II. In the meantime, these people are suffering. They are our friends and family. They are among the addicted, the incarcerated, the homeless, the suicidal.
Yet it does not have to end this way. As celebrities such as Catherine Zeta Jones and Selena Gomez, as well as heroes like General Gregg Martin, can attest, it is possible to live a successful life with a bipolar diagnosis. BrainStorm the Film will feature inspiring people living with bipolar brains – celebrities, surgeons, military generals, shark-tank millionaires, and more — who are leading rich and fulfilling lives. Their stories provide inspiration and hope while erasing stigma and shame.
Since knowledge is crucial for correct diagnosis, treatment and recovery, BrainStorm the Film will save lives by expanding awareness of the bipolar spectrum.
Director: Brandon Katcher
Writer: Ken Pontac
Executive Producer: Suzanne Atherly
Out From the Ashes is the harrowing story of Milena, a young woman from Ukraine, who along with her mother and grandmother (and cat), desperately struggle to escape their war-torn home while an army of supporters on the opposite side of the world fight to keep them safe.
Milena survived the destruction of Mariupol, cowering for a month in the basement of a bombed-out building, watching her home and history burn. She managed to contact Ken Pontac, long-time facebook friend and father figure. Their conversations bolstered Milena’s spirits while Ken listened with growing apprehension. With food running low, Milena was “liberated” by Russians and taken at gunpoint to a Russian-controlled refugee camp. While imprisoned she slept on a filthy, freezing floor with her mother, grandmother, and 200 other kidnapped Ukrainians. After being rescued by a sympathetic Russian, Milena and family were released to a small apartment nearby. But she was still a prisoner. With Ken’s help and the heroic efforts of an international team, three generations of the family were extricated from their imprisonment, furtively couch surfing through Russian safe-houses until finally reaching what they believed was freedom in Estonia. A red-tape nightmare forced the family to return to their war-torn home, where they await the international documents that will help them find a life on the other side of the world…if only they’re not recaptured by Russian troops again!
This is not a story about war. This is a story about three generations of women (and a cat) caught in the middle. It’s about finding their way to freedom with the help of a group they’ve never met and the virtual father who just wants his daughter to be safe.
For More Information, Please visit www.outfromtheashes.film
During the mid-20th century International Style and Organic Architecture offered diverging approaches to architecture, ideas about humanity and the world at large. As Organic Architecture came to be misrepresented and diminished it resulted in a loss that extended beyond the creative expression it offered to lasting ramifications for environmental responsibility, cultural legacy, and individuality.
This full length documentary film project reflects on the misunderstood and overlooked history of the Organic Architecture movement coming out of 1950’s Oklahoma by exploring the work of visionary organic architect, thinker and painter Herb Greene.
The documentary film Remembering the Future with Herb Greene is an exploration of a future not chosen and how to reconnect to what is possible.
What’s happened so far:
Phase 1 – California shoot : September 2021
Initial filming began the fall of 2021 in Berkeley, CA as Herb Greene and historian Alan Hess poured over Greene’s architecture drawings discussing Greene’s recollections on the ideas and history behind his iconic works at Greene’s studio.
Alan and Herb continued their conversation in Big Sur, California where Greene and Hess visited the work of organic architect and Herb Greene student Mickey Muennig to explore the organic architecture and surrounding nature of the Post Ranch Inn as well as Muennig’s home on Partington Ridge.
Finishing the 3 day shoot was a visit with renowned ceramic artist John Toki’s studio in Richmond, CA where Greene and Toki looked at their past collaborations and envisioned how public spaces using organic and collage thinking could be realized today.
Phase 1- Oklahoma shoot : October 2021
A collaboration with the Norman Arts Council and funded by the Kirkpatrick foundation Herb Greene is filmed returning to Norman, OK for his first major solo exhibition of paintings and visited three of his most well-known and iconic buildings.
Greene reflects on his time in Oklahoma 70 years ago while remembering what these buildings meant and how it feels to experience them now in their distressed state.
Architect Stephanie Pilat & art historian Francesca Gianni were interviewed to share their knowledge of the context and relevance of Greene’s work.
Phase 1 – California shoot round 2 : July 2022
Herb Greene is filmed with great niece and architect Lila Cohen as he shares the values he’s carried throughout his life and what matters to him most as he narrows in on turning 93. Greene expresses his hopes as he remembers the 9 decades of his life.
An interview with Cohen provides her personal views and perspective of her uncle’s legacy that she’s become dedicated to preserving and sharing.
Phase 1 – goals accomplished:
- A 15 minute film work sample/sizzle reel and a 3 minute trailer have been completed compiling the 25 hours of footage that’s been captured so far.
- The 3 minute trailer will be debuted at the Monterey Design Conference where Herb Greene will be speaking on 10/29/2022 launching a public announcement for the film project
- A film web page and social media pages have been created positioning the project to begin awareness and fundraising
- $50,000 was raised during phase 1 that allowed the completion of the work to date.
$85,000 needs to be raised to generate a promotion and fundraising campaign and complete Phase 2
Phase 2 – some next steps highlights
- The 3 minute trailer will be debuted at the Monterey Design Conference where Herb Greene will be speaking on 10/29/2022 launching a public announcement for the film project
- The 15 film sample will be shared through private events and through larger public events as venues are confirmed to garner attention and support for the film project
- A fundraising campaign will take place starting in December with in-person & online events as well as social media
- Film interviews of additional contributors across the humanities and across multiple regions between March 2023 – September 2023
- Research for relevant archival materials
- Issue a call for materials from colleagues, former Herb Greene students, professionals, and institutions
- Materials acquisition for archival and historic footage and images
- Ongoing editing
- Ongoing archival and materials management
- 3D animation of unrealized work
- Increase film team for additional support needed to accomplish broad range of responsibilities
$87,000 needs to be raised to engage to complete Phase 3
Phase 3 – some next steps highlights
- Continue social media campaign
- Research and development for future screening and film festival submissions
- Film collaborate performance piece at a Herb Greene building, September 2023
- Film restoration of the Prairie House and Joyce Residence, September 2023
- Film upcoming exhibitions and other public presentations
- Compile original music
- Edit the full length feature documentary
- December 2023 release
We are grateful for any support you choose to donate to this project and help us create something special
Official website: rememberingthefuturewithherbgreene.com
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 throws a rug over 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 is 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 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?
Meet our Characters
Zoe Christopoulos, a 15 year old cancer survivor, struggles with body dysmorphia and an eating disorder as she pursues crew. Played by Molly Morneweck, a high school student from Wayland Massachusetts with a love of performing. After many roles in the theater, this is her first film project. The role of Zoe resonates with Molly, who is also a rower with a medical history that includes a tumor removal at age six. She is thrilled to be a part of this amazing film.
Nat Guzman, a 14 year old closeted lesbian Latina, feels an immense sense of responsibility to manage her family’s expectations and balance her home life. Played by Deanna Tarraza. Deanna Tarraza was born and raised in Boston, MA. Her love for acting started at the young age of eight when she began doing commercial and print work. Since then, she has been in a number of projects with Growing Pains being her first lead in a feature film.
Catherine Argyrople – Catherine Argyrople (she/they) is the Writer, Director, and Producer of Growing Pains. Catherine is a childhood cancer survivor and is a differently-abled filmmaker. Catherine graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Northeastern University in Boston, where she studied Media & Screen Studies and Media Production. She has almost a decade of experience in the media space, from her work as a freelance photographer and videographer to her work as a video producer. Catherine is excited to be making her directorial debut with this project, as narrative work is where her passion lies.
Mariana Fabian – Mariana Fabian (she/they) is a film studies/media scholar at NC State and a student journalist. She is the Writer and Associate Producer for Growing Pains. She helped write this film because she wanted to see more characters like herself on screen.
Michelle Carr – Michelle (she/her) is the Producer for Growing Pains & a Professor at Northeastern University in the Communication Studies Department. Michelle teaches Television Studio Production, Television Field Production, and Sound Production for Digital Media courses within the department. Michelle additionally holds a graduate certificate in Business Administration and continues to work professionally in the Boston area on various educational research video projects as a freelance producer, editor and videographer. She just finished co-producing (with Bill Lancaster), directing, and editing her first dramatic short, “Moving On” (2022), starring veteran actor Tom Kemp.
Lynn Weissman – Lynn Weissman (she/her) is an award-winning DP/Cinematographer based in the Boston area. Her work has aired on major networks including PBS, HBO, Discovery+, and has screened and won awards in film festivals worldwide. Weissman’s narrative cinematography work includes Penny, Season 3 of the Unconditional Love web series, and The Secret We Hide Tiki Tok mini-series. More about Lynn Weissman at WeisswomanProductions.com and imdb.com/name/nm2363120/.
Lia Lucine Cary – Lia-Lucine Cary (she/her) is the Assistant Director & Associate Producer for Growing Pains. Lia-Lucine is a creative filmmaker whose central aim is to capture untold stories and to inspire people to rethink their relationship with each other and the natural world. She has pursued her love of storytelling through filmmaking, teaching, and advocacy. Lia has filmed and produced projects with the world’s leading media and brand outlets including USA, MTV, and Google.
Plans for Film
We are filming over 21 days from August 9 to September 10, 2022. We are filming at 9 different locations across Massachusetts. Debut dramatic feature films like The Novice, Pariah, and Eighth Grade have premiered at festivals such as Tribeca and Sundance Film Festival, and have landed on streaming services such as HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and ShowTime. We see Growing Pains aligning with these films.
Incentives for Contributing
Incentives will begin to be distributed following our Production in September 2022
$25 – Receive a social media shout-out on our Growing Pains Instagram & Facebook accounts, plus a “Special Thanks” mention in the film credits!
$50 – A Behind-the-Scenes digital photo book & a digital thank you note from Catherine Argyrople. And, all of the perks above!
$75 – A Growing Pains-inspired playlist on Spotify. And, all of the perks above!
$150 – A digital copy of Catherine Argyrople’s annotated Growing Pains director script. And, all of the perks above!
$300 – A digital download of the film. And, all of the perks above!
$500 – A digital download of a signed Growing Pains poster. And, all of the perks above!
$1,000 – A Headshot Photography Session with Catherine Argyrople (applicable to MA residents only, redeemable in September 2022), as well as 2 tickets to the premiere of Growing Pains (travel & accommodation not included). And, all of the perks above!
$3,000 – A Associate Producer Credit on the film & IMDb, as well as 2 tickets to the premiere of Growing Pains (travel & accommodation not included). Plus, an exclusive Zoom Q & A with Writer/Director/Producer Catherine Argyrople to answer any of your burning questions about Growing Pains. And, all of the perks above!
$5,000 – A Producer Credit on the film & IMDb, as well as 2 tickets to the premiere of Growing Pains (travel & accommodation not included). Plus, an exclusive Zoom Q & A with Writer/Director/Producer Catherine Argyrople to answer any of your burning questions about Growing Pains. And, all of the perks above!
Kaboom! How Comics Changed America (w.t.) is a new three-part television series that explores the history of American comics, showing how this once lowbrow art form associated with youth rose to the heights of legitimacy and prestige. Comics today are used in every corner of academia and have inspired blockbuster movies seen by millions. They are also bellwethers of the times: Art Spiegelman’s Maus won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992, but thirty years later has been banned from schools in Tennessee.
Comics have always caused trouble, and comics creators have always found ways around restrictive rules and codes. Our series offers a broad look at the many genres that have defined American comics, with an emphasis on the underground and alternative traditions, and on creator-owned comics that continue to be at the heart of comics innovation today. Each film features the stories of larger than life characters, many of them immigrants and outsiders who use this medium to tell their own versions of the American story.
Episode 1 introduces the very earliest American cartoons, including Ben Franklin’s “Join, or Die” panel that became our first meme, and a scathing strip by schoolboys at Kings College (NY) that lampooned their professor. It tells the story of Thomas Nast, who created our images of Uncle Sam and Santa Claus and destroyed the career of “Boss” Tweed with his political comics. We see how William Randolph Hearst outspent Joseph Pulitzer for Hogan’s Alley, which featured “the yellow kid” and gave us the phrase “yellow journalism.” Comic strips helped sell newspapers, and as they became increasingly popular, they were published on their own. In the 1930s Maxwell Gaines (né Ginsberg) helped establish the comic book industry and launched Educational Comics (EC) with the aim of publishing uplifting stories. The world of comic strips exploded.
Episode 2 begins at a moment when comics had become so culturally powerful, they scared people. The U.S. Senate met in 1954 to discuss the dangers that comics posed to young minds. Under pressure to regulate itself, the industry created a “Comics Code” to enforce conservative values through both words and images. After the death of his father, who had created EC Comics, William Gains transformed the company into a popular label for horror, suspense, sci-fi, and political humor. EC’s Mad, the brainchild of Harvey Kurtzman, became a must-read for adolescents who shared Kurtzman’s subversive brand of humor. These innovations stood in clear violation of the Code, and Mad had to re-label itself as a “magazine” just to stay in print. But the Code inspired new innovations: a network of underground comics, where artists broke taboos, experimented, and rethought the way comics could be distributed. A leader of this movement, Robert Crumb, created the salacious Zap, which came with a warning label: “For adult intellectuals only!” Trina Robbins produced the first all-women comics anthology, Wimmen’s Comix. Howard Cruse edited Gay Comix, while Justin Green, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, and Harvey Pekar pioneered the autobiographical tell-all.
By Episode 3, comics are everywhere, with new books and journals appearing each month. Sales of comics and graphic novels top $1.2 billion in 2019, and the medium becomes known for social critique and first person narrative, especially on topics of ethnicity and sexuality. Artists from Jewish, Black, Latinx, Asian, and LGBTQ communities draw from the edgy yet accessible quality of the comics platform to make their voices heard. Superhero stories make a comeback and inspire a wave of new Hollywood films. Comics Studies explodes in popularity at academic institutions across the country. Most publishing houses now have graphic novel imprints for children and young adults, and Kickstarter has become the largest ever “publisher” of graphic novels and comics. In a moment of American history when so many people are rethinking our identity and place in the world, it is no wonder that comics has become a go-to platform for passionate new creators and fans.
COMICS USA has been awarded development funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The producer is Kathryn Dietz, an award-winning PBS filmmaker who grew up on Archie comics and still has a stack of her favorite Mad magazines. The director is Asaf Galay, whose The Hebrew Superhero told the story of Israeli comics, and whose other award-winning films highlight the contributions of Jewish artists to American culture. He writes, “This is a story of outcasts and outsiders whose tenacity and artistic commitment enabled them to transform America’s cultural landscape and surprise the world.”
Uniting communities through education and entertainment is the mission of independent producer and host Haylie Robinson and heart of travel genre television series Finding Festivals.
For two years communities have not been able to gather and celebrate together. Now, annual events have fully returned and are happily inviting guests. Festivals are so much more than a weekend of fun but an opportunity to deepen understanding, exchange ideas and enjoy festivities together.
The 13-episodic series uses annual events to educate PBS viewers on art, culture, heritage, agriculture, community and history. Through conversation, participation and laughter host Haylie Robinson will share the incredible stories found within each featured festival and its host city.
Haylie, who is known online as Hayliestory, is not your average festival goer. Serving her hometown in an ambassador role as a fair queen birthed the idea for Finding Festivals. Experiencing neighboring towns during annual events sparked a new appreciation for festivals that Haylie felt needed to be shared.
As an independent producer Haylie Robinson is not contracted, commissioned or fiscally supported by any broadcast, cable or streaming network. Finding Festivals is solely made possible by supporters like you.
Four of the thirteen episodes have been filmed and will air on PBS affiliate WGTE November 2022 and January 2023. The final nine episodes are slated to air fall 2023 so long as funding efforts are successful.
Your support will aid in airing the first four episodes and the production, post-production, editing, distribution and marketing of the final nine episodes.
A small-town girl’s dream to unite communities through education and entertainment is made possible by supporters like you. Thank you so very much!
Our world is changing. The cycles of our local weather, once familiar, are becoming unrecognizable. The changes are complex, and the ways people experience them can sometimes be devastating. Turnaround Films documents these changes, explores why they are happening, and introduces the people who are finding innovative ways to mitigate or adapt to them.
Turnaround Films’ goal is to provide quality, accurate videos to educators, students, legislators, and activists who need to communicate with the public about climate change. These people are on the frontlines of addressing problems and organizing workable solutions. They often don’t have the means to create video content on these specific issues. Our films are designed to be used in presentations, in classrooms, in town and city meetings, or on websites and social media — anywhere that well-told stories might inspire people to feel more empowered to become part of the solutions to problems caused by climate change.
Turnaround Films presents each environmental problem as a film series. In the first episode of each series, we show a problem we are facing and how it will affect us. In the subsequent episodes, we tell the stories of the individuals and organizations that are working to find solutions or a new way of adapting our lives to live with this change. In this way, we can look deeply into issues like stormwater flooding, renewable energies, education, environmental justice, sea-level rise, and many more.
We intend to keep the Turnaround Films project fully subsidized through donations and grants so that our films can be distributed as inexpensively as possible and that the audiences are never restricted by financial means.
UNLOCKING RNA tells the amazing story of Nobel Laureate Dr. Philip Sharp and the events that led to the birth of the biotech revolution, set in Kendall Square, the most innovative square mile on the planet.
Some say the US has fallen behind, with great scientific discoveries happening abroad and Asia on the cutting edge. But we cannot overlook the incredible innovation and discoveries made possible by the US biotech industry, driving economies worldwide.
In this story, we unearth the humble Kentucky roots of Nobel Laureate Dr. Phillip A. Sharp and his discovery of RNA splicing that led to the biotech revolution as we know it today.
UNLOCKING RNA will take you on an journey through the birth and proliferation of a movement that has saved millions of lives and whose headquarters remain in Kendall Square in the heart of Cambridge, Massachusetts – known as the most innovative square mile on the planet.
As the world has now been introduced to mRNA technology through the lifesaving vaccines developed to combat COVID-19, the time is ripe to share the full story of the groundbreaking work and key players that paved the way for this revolution.
DIRECTOR Bill Haney
PRODUCER Carina Chavda, Bill Haney
On the heels of TJ’s 18th birthday, a strange man appears at his door on Cape Cod to give him an envelope from his deadbeat father with a single car key, the name of a mechanic, and a California address with a date and time on it just a few weeks into the future. TJ’s curiosity gets the best of him as he sets out to uncover mysteries of his past, friendship and love – and the suspicious sealed container in the trunk of his 1968 Dodge Polara. Along the way he is guided by Billy, the neighborhood mechanic, Jake, his privileged best friend with overbearing parents, and Maeve, a young Irish woman on her own cross-country journey across the US. In this coming-of-age-story, TJ gains the courage to step into the next phase of his life with the beauty of the open road as his back-drop.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Tim Disney
PRODUCER, DIRECTOR Chaysen Beacham
PRODUCER, WRITER Bill Haney
CAST: Paul Guilfoyle, Finn Haney, Katherine Laheen, Ross Partridge, William Chris Sumpter
Waterkeeper explores the astonishing and uplifting life of environmental activist Diane Wilson, Waterkeeper for the San Antonio Bay Estuarine system. The film interweaves several storylines revolving around this visionary, funny, and intrepid warrior, who’s been fighting her entire life for the waters she grew up on.
Our primary story captures Wilson’s newest fight, as it unfolds like an environmental true crime. In December of 2020, Diane discovers that a newly formed oil pipeline company named Max Midstream Texas has filed an application to The Army Corps of Engineers for permits to build a new oil export terminal at the Port of Calhoun. For the largest tanker ships to gain access to the terminal, Max Midstream plans to dredge a massive expansion of the shipping channels in Matagorda Bay, heart of the local fishing industry. However…
…in 1994, after discovering 41 million cubic yards of mercury had been released into the waters by Alcoa Aluminum’s Point Comfort Plant, the EPA declared Matagorda Bay a Superfund site. They determined that the safest way to mitigate the toxic mercury, was to allow contaminated sediment to remain undisturbed on the bay floor. But late last year, the US Army Corps of Engineers reversed the EPA’s decision, and has fast-tracked the approval process for the Max Midstream proposal. To protest the Army Corp’s reversal, 72-year-old Diane began her thirteenth hunger strike on April 7, 2021. After 38 days, and 48 hours in the Galveston County Jail, Diane was released. A week later, she led a protest in front of the Max Midstream headquarters in Houston. The ACOE approval deadline to accept bids from dredging firms by spring 2022.
Into the Max Midstream story, we interweave Diane’s epic 30-year war with multinational petrochemical giant Formosa Plastics. Using archival news coverage, footage from past documentaries, and interviews, we explore the epic Formosa saga, which culminates in October 2019 when Diane’s suit against the company settles in her favor for $50 million, the largest penalty awarded for violations of the Clean Water Act in US history.
Throughout, we entwine Diane’s remarkable life story. The only female shrimper in her community, she has five children, the youngest autistic. She has authored 4 books, and is writing on her fifth. In 2001 Diane, broke into the Union Carbide plant in her hometown, and dropped a banner denouncing the company for the Bhopal India gas leak that killed 8,000 people. She was arrested and spent five months in jail for it. She was so moved by the incarcerated women she met there, she founded the Texas Jail Project, which holds county jails accountable for mistreatment and medical neglect of inmates. She co-founded the international peace organization Code Pink. Diane was arrested for hopping the White House fence to protest the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Despite a high school education, Diane is a sought after public speaker by environmental groups around the world. She has endured thirteen hunger strikes, the longest 57 days.…
Our final storyline explores the catastrophic impact of the all-powerful Texas petrochemical industry on low income/fence line Gulf Coast communities like Seadrift, Texas. Using industry-produced promotional films and PR campaigns, we show how these powerful corporations sell folks on the benefits of bringing their industries to their towns. In direct contrast, archival news footage of chemical spills, explosions, and daily releases of toxic chemicals, alongside testimony from victims of the pollution, reveals the devastation to those communities.
Diane’s courage and selflessness is the engine that drives our film. Through the lens of her lifelong David vs. Goliath saga, Waterkeeper offers a boots-on-the-ground view of a fight for humankind’s most precious resource – clean water.
But Waterkeeper paints on a broader canvas. In telling the specifics of Diane’s activism, the film points to the larger environmental justice story playing out in low income, fence line communities across the planet. Of our how industrial polluters skirt regulation, and continue to squander our dwindling water supply. Waterkeeper shows how we got here, and how to move forward…