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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

WE THE ECONOMY 20 Short Films You Can't Afford to Miss



Paul G. Allen's Vulcan Productions and Morgan Spurlock's Cinelan Launch National Education Initiative Around WE THE ECONOMY 20 Short Films You Can't Afford to Miss.  



Leading educational distributor Films Media Group to provide instant streaming access to films and support materials; Los Angeles Unified School District brings WE THE ECONOMY directly to educators through interactive workshops.  

SEATTLE and NEW YORK, Dec. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Paul G. Allen's Vulcan Productions and Morgan Spurlock's Cinelan today announced the launch of educational companion materials for the newly released short film series WE THE ECONOMY 20 Short Films You Can't Afford to Miss. The curricular materials include a robust discussion guide around the series and individual lesson plans for specific economic questions addressed in each film.  These educational resources will leverage innovative storytelling and technology to help educators, parents and students deepen learning about the economy. Streaming access to the films and companion educational materials are now available to middle schools, high schools, colleges and public libraries across the U.S, and are also downloadable at no charge via the WE THE ECONOMY website and the iPhone and Android mobile apps.

WE THE ECONOMY is partnering with Films Media Group, the premier provider of on-demand educational video for schools, colleges and public libraries, to bring the films and companion materials to subscribing institutions for free. The multimedia resources will offer educators new ways to engage middle school through college-level students in learning and discussion about economic issues. Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), an official education partner of the series, will embark on a pilot project for its teachers to incorporate WE THE ECONOMY across multiple subject areas for 8th to 12th grade students.

Carole Tomko, General Manager and Creative Director of Vulcan Productions states, "The educational component of the series is key to our mission of cultivating and expanding public understanding of the core principles that drive our economy.  If we can empower the next generation of young adults who will be shaping the U.S. economy by giving them both deeper understanding and practical knowledge about the subject, we'll be providing an enormous public service, and that's our hope."  She continues, "The curriculum around the series is designed to partner educators and students in a conversation that extends far beyond the classroom and has functional, lifelong impact."

WE THE ECONOMY pairs world-renowned filmmakers with leading economic advisors to spark a more informed public understanding of the U.S. economy through innovative storytelling. Directors include Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe Retaliation), Adrian Grenier (Entourage), Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight), Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli), Barbara Kopple (Harlan County USA), Adam McKay (Anchorman) and Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me). Economic advisors including Adam Davidson, founder of NPR's "Planet Money," and Greg Ip of The Economist, provided editorial guidance to the filmmakers on 20 essential economic questions, which are the focus of these five- to eight-minute films. See below for a full list of directors, economic advisors and participants in the series.

Morgan Spurlock, executive producer of the series and co-founder of Cinelan, states, "Learning about the economy doesn't need to be boring. WE THE ECONOMY uses the power of film and storytelling to make a dense topic more entertaining and understandable, and packages it up into a short format that's easy for any of us to consume." He continues, "It's important that educators have access to materials to assist their teaching of a subject that affects almost every aspect of our lives and is crucial to being an informed citizen of the world, no matter your age."

Education Resources & WE THE ECONOMY Mobile Apps WE THE ECONOMY was conceived to use inspiring and entertaining short films to inform the public on major economic topics that impact their daily lives, from the cost of healthcare to the value of currency to the connection between workers' rights and global trade. Teachers can now access multimedia tools provided by the WE THE ECONOMY series to enhance education in the classroom by sparking informed discussion of economics among students, while fostering a more economically empowered youth population.
Available for download online are a selection of companion materials to facilitate dynamic discussions around the short films:
  • Program Discussion Guide that includes an introduction to the series; guidelines for informal screenings and group activities such as those for museums, libraries, workshops, or college classrooms where a facilitator screens multiple films; and extension activities, including a series of assignments and educational prompts to help instructors at any level use the films with their students in creative ways.
  • Classroom Viewing Guides for each film that serve as a complete lesson plan: curriculum connections and standards alignments; lesson requirements (preparations, time, materials, etc.); key words and phrases; lesson rationale and student objectives; techniques and skills; step-by-step, itemized procedures for classroom implementation; and a homework assignment/extension activity.
The WE THE ECONOMY mobile app for iPhone and Android devices provides a fun, interactive learning experience. Teachers, parents and students can use the free app as a jumping-off point for further discussion about the economy. Upon downloading the app, users can instantly watch any of the films, learn more about the 20 basic economic questions they address, answer trivia questions about what was just watched, and explore additional resources including news articles and fast facts.

Educational materials are authored by Big Picture Instructional Design (BPID), a leading company in creating teachable moments from issue-driven films and television programs. Recent film projects include FURY and LINCOLN. BPID is partnered with The Montlake Group, a boutique firm specializing in outreach and engagement campaigns for films.

Educational Launch Partnerships Secondary social studies, English/ Language Arts, and mathematics teachers from throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District will participate in a pilot professional development workshop highlighting how to best use the WE THE ECONOMY film series and education companion materials in the classroom. They will learn how to integrate the films' themes and topics into their instruction, and will hear directly from filmmakers to learn how they collaborated with economic experts to make the films.

Thousands of schools, colleges and libraries across the country already subscribe to Films Media Group's streaming collections for high-quality educational video. WE THE ECONOMY is now part of the company's offerings, allowing educators and researchers free access to the films and companion materials.
Additional WE THE ECONOMY educational partners and distribution outlets will be announced shortly.
Watch the short films online at www.wetheeconomy.com, via the WTE iPhone or Android app, or on one of the over 60 digital distribution partners including Amazon, CNBC, Hulu, iTunes, LinkedIn, Netflix, Pivot TV, Time Warner Cable, Yahoo and YouTube.

For more information on WE THE ECONOMY, including all the films, director and advisor biographies, educational resources and more, visit www.wetheeconomy.com
You can also follow WE THE ECONOMY on facebook.com/wetheeconomy, twitter.com/wetheeconomy, and instagram.com/wetheeconomy.

About WE THE ECONOMY Vulcan Productions and Cinelan have partnered to produce 20 short films by award-winning directors — with their own creative vision — to drive awareness and a better understanding of the U.S. economy and reach the broadest possible audience. This short film series, which features animation, comedy, musical, nonfiction and scripted films, seeks to demystify the U.S. economy for audiences while empowering individuals of the next generation to take control of the planet's economic future – and their own economic trajectories. Top economic experts, including distinguished professors, policy analysts, journalists and historians helped identify 20 key topics about the U.S. economy that every citizen will benefit from understanding. The directors then worked closely with select economic advisors who provided editorial guidance for these five to eight-minute films, which have been organized into five chapters: What is the Economy? What is Money? What is the Role of our Government in the Economy? What is Globalization? What Causes Inequality?

The Directors are Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes, Goodbye Solo), Bob Balaban (Gosford Park, The Exonerated), Joe Berlinger (Brother's Keeper, Paradise Lost trilogy), Jon M. Chu (Step Up, G.I. Joe: Retaliation), Marshall Curry (Street Fight, If a Tree Falls), Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp, Detropia), Adrian Grenier (Entourage, How To Make Money Selling Drugs), Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Thirteen), Mary Harron (American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol), Chris Henchy (The Campaign, The Other Guys), Lee Hirsch (Bully, Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony), Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli, Menace II Society), Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Life Itself), Barbara Kopple (Harlan County USA, American Dream), Shola Lynch (Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, Chisholm '72), Adam McKay (Anchorman, Funny or Die), Jehane Noujaim (The Square, Control Room), James Schamus (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain), Morgan Spurlock (CNN's Morgan Spurlock: Inside Man, Super Size Me), Miao Wang (Beijing Taxi, Yellow Ox Mountain) and Jessica Yu (Last Call at the Oasis, In the Realms of the Unreal).
The Economic Advisors are Dean Baker (co-director, Center for Economic and Policy Research), Yoram Bauman (economist and author, The Cartoon Book of Macroeconomics), Jodi Beggs (educator and economics professor, Northeastern University), Adam Davidson (co-founder and host, NPR's "Planet Money"), John Steele Gordon (author, An Empire of Wealth), Greg Ip (U.S. economics editor, The Economist and author, The Little Book of Economics), Neil Irwin (senior economic correspondent, New York Times and author, The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire), Markus Koch (financial journalist, N-TV), Annalyn Kurtz (business and economics reporter) and Diane Lim (chief economist, Pew Charitable Trusts).

About VULCAN PRODUCTIONS Founded by philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen and Jody Allen, Vulcan Productions produces compelling series, specials, features and digital content and creates outreach initiatives designed to explore critical issues and inspire people to take action. Vulcan Productions is committed to projects of significance that ignite progress and motivate audiences to have measurable impact on the world. Its projects have won numerous awards, including the George Foster Peabody Award, the Emmy Award, the Grammy Award and the Wildscreen Panda Award. Acclaimed films and series from the documentary group include Pandora's Promise,  Girl Rising,  Success at the CoreHard Candy and The Blues.

About CINELAN Cinelan produces and distributes award-winning film programs that influence audiences by fulfilling the fundamental human desire to experience a good story. Cinelan recently completed FOCUS FORWARD - Short Films, Big Ideas, an award winning series of thirty 3-minute films that reached audiences around the globe with over 140 screening events across all seven continents and over 75 million film-views from 150+ countries online. Founding partners are Morgan Spurlock, Damon Smith, David Laks, Douglas Dicconson, Jack Myers and Karol Martesko-Fenster. Advisory Board member Joe Cantwell is a special consultant on WE THE ECONOMY.

About FILMS MEDIA GROUP Films Media Group, a subsidiary company of Infobase Holdings, Inc., is the premier source of high-quality video on academic, vocational, and life-skills topics. With thousands of outstanding educational videos from the world's most recognized producers, we're proud to serve the needs of schools, colleges, libraries, the medical community, and other institutions with the broadest and deepest range of content available. Multi-subject subscriptions are available in collections specifically designed for academic institutions (Films On Demand), high schools (Classroom Video On Demand), and public libraries (Access Video On Demand), and provide one-stop shopping for librarians, faculty, and educators.

NOTE TO MEDIA The full line-up of previously announced actors, artists and economic experts, full background information, bios and images are available upon request.
Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20141201/161578LOGO
 
SOURCE Cinelan
CONTACT: FENTON COMMUNICATIONS (Economic, education, business media): Ira Arlook, 202-789-7760, ira@fenton.com or Elizabeth Bartolomeo, 202-789-7753, ebartolomeo@fenton.com, SUNSHINE SACHS (Entertainment, general consumer, technology media): Jessica Berger, 212-691-2800, berger@sunshinesachs.com or Abi O'Donnell, 212-691-2800, odonnell@sunshinesachs.com, CINELAN: Susan Jacobs, 917-626-5999, susan.jacobs@cinelan.com, VULCAN PRODUCTIONS: Julia Pacetti, 718-399-0400, julia@jmpverdant.com
RELATED LINKS
http://www.wetheeconomy.com


 
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