Life on Bitcoin

For the first 90 days of our marriage, we are vowing to only use bitcoin. Food, fuel, rent… every necessity without using US dollars.

Can a newly married couple survive when every living necessity can only be purchased with “cryptocurrency”?

Right now, you can buy anything online from soap to illegal drugs with bitcoin—you can date online, setup a WordPress blog, buy bee-keeping equipment, or even buy gold. It’s come a long way, but could you survive using just bitcoin in the REAL world? We’re going to find out! (what is bitcoin?)

Website:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bitcoinlife/life-on-bitcoin-a-documentary-film

Explorer: Warlords of Ivory

Investigative journalist Bryan Christy is setting out on a groundbreaking mission to expose how the ivory trade funds some of Africa’s most notorious militias and terrorist groups. Working with one of the world’s top taxidermists, he conceals a sophisticated GPS tracker inside an incredibly realistic faux ivory tusk and drops it in the heart of ivory poaching country and monitors its movements to track down the kingpins of the ivory trade.

Website:

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/explorer/episodes/warlords-of-ivory/

Paper Tigers

More than two decades ago, two respected researchers, clinical physician Dr. Vincent Felitti and CDC epidemiologist Robert Anda, published the game-changing Adverse Childhood Experiences Study. It revealed a troubling but irrefutable phenomenon: the more traumatic experiences the respondents had as children (such as physical and emotional abuse and neglect), the more likely they were to develop health problems later in life—problems such as cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure. To complicate matters, there was also a troubling correlation between adverse childhood experiences and prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse, unprotected sex, and poor diet. Combined, the results of the study painted a staggering portrait of the price our children are paying for growing up in unsafe environments, all the while adding fuel to the fire of some of society’s greatest challenges.

However, this very same study contains the seed of hope: all of the above-mentioned risk factors—behavioral as well as physiological—can be offset by the presence of one dependable and caring adult. It doesn’t need to be the mother or the father. It doesn’t even need to be a close or distant relative.

More often than not, that stable, caring adult is a teacher.

It is here, at the crossroads of at-risk teens and trauma-informed care, that Paper Tigers takes root. Set within and around the campus of Lincoln Alternative High School in the rural community of Walla Walla, Washington, Paper Tigers asks the following questions: What does it mean to be a trauma-informed school? And how do you educate teens whose childhood experiences have left them with a brain and body ill-suited to learn?

In search of clear and honest answers, Paper Tigers hinges on a remarkable collaboration between subject and filmmaker. Armed with their own cameras and their own voices, the teens of Paper Tigers offer raw but valuable insight into the hearts and minds of teens pushing back against the specter of a hard childhood.

Against the harsh reality of truancy, poor grades, emotional pain, and physical violence, answers begin to emerge. The answers do not come easily. Nor can one simply deduce a one-size-fits-all solution to a trauma-informed education. But there is no denying something both subtle and powerful at work between teacher and student alike: the quiet persistence of love.

Website:

http://kpjrfilms.co/paper-tigers/about-the-film/

How to Let Go of the World

A pioneer of the grassroots anti-fracking movement in America, Oscar®-nominated director Josh Fox (Gasland) continues to push the boundaries of the power of cinema, this time investigating the issue of climate change in his deeply personal style. After years of fighting the fracking industry, Fox is exuberant when he finally wins his hometown battle and communities push through a moratorium on natural gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin and the New York City watershed. But observing the woods around him, his victory dance is quashed when he notices that a towering hemlock tree he planted as a young boy is being devoured by insects that have migrated north, a consequence of the rising temperatures of human-induced climate change.

The death of Josh’s tree portends the collapse of the iconic hemlock forests of the East, and is a wake-up call to the changing atmosphere itself that would bridge Fox’s personal experience from a focus on energy extraction to the larger dilemma of global warming. Yet like many, Fox was caught in a cycle of depression and denial over the daunting issue of the climate. Traveling to 12 countries on six continents, How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change is Fox’s riotously funny and action-packed odyssey in search of meaning inside all the things in the world worth fighting for – all the things climate can’t change. The film will debut on HBO in June 2016.

Website:

www.howtoletgomovie.com

Resilience

When it was controversial to even think of asking patients about taboo subjects, the ACEs Study dared to ask questions like, Were you sexually abused as a child? Did you have a parent who was an alcoholic? The answers produced a public health revelation. For the first time, the loss of a parent through death, divorce, or incarceration and other traumatic childhood experiences, such as living with an alcoholic parent or being sexually abused, was conclusively linked to both physical and mental health problems later in life. ACEs, or Acute Childhood Experiences, are now understood to lead to early-onset heart disease, diabetes, addiction, and depression. Understanding that a broken-hearted child is more likely to suffer from mental and physical illnesses as an adult has professionals of all kinds asking, How can we help children before their physical and mental health problems emerge as adults?

Resilience: The Biology of Stress & the Science of Hope uses beautiful animation and compelling characters to explore the science and the solutions. The film follows pioneering individuals who looked at the ACEs research and the emerging science of Toxic Stress and asked, Why are we waiting?

Website:

http://kpjrfilms.co/resilience/

Getting Up: The Tempt One Story

After being diagnosed with Lou Gehrigs Disease, fully paralyzed LA artist “TemptOne” gets his creative voice back through an unlikely friendship with a perfect stranger. Getting Up is a documentary about the life of artist TemptOne and the quest to give him back his ability to do art. It asks the question, ‘How does a fallen man get back up?’

Mick Ebeling founded the Not Impossible Foundation in order to give a voice back to TEMPT, and in 2009 an open-source DIY device called ‘The EyeWriter’ was created that allowed TEMPT to once again do his art. Getting Up beautifully illustrates that through the will of two men, and on the shoulders of a community, anything is possible.

Website:

https://www.reelhouse.org/gettingup/gettingtemptonestory

Crescendo

Since its inception in 1976, El Sistema, Venezuela’s phenomenal youth orchestra program, has brought social transformation to several million disadvantaged children in that country. In addition to producing world-class musicians like conductor Gustavo Dudamel, El Sistema is now a rapidly expanding global movement, changing countless young lives worldwide.

How will El Sistema work here in the USA?

Our film is an in-depth, verité-based look at three kids – two in West Philadelphia and one in New York City’s Harlem – as they participate in a pair of Sistema-inspired youth orchestra programs. We watch as our kids struggle to master their instruments, confronting their fears along the way and interacting with their talented, dedicated teachers. We witness the children evolving before our eyes.

Website:

www.crescendofilmdoc.com

A Brave Heart

Born with a rare syndrome that prevents her from gaining weight, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Velasquez was first bullied as a child in school for looking different and, later online, as a teenager when she discovered a youtube video labeling her “the world’s ugliest woman.” The film chronicles unheard stories and details of Lizzie’s physical and emotional journey up to her multi-million viewed TEDx talk, and follows her pursuit from a motivational speaker to capitol hill as she lobbies for the first federal anti-bullying bill.

Website:

imwithlizzie.com

Open Your Eyes

Living under the Himalayan sun, their eyes have slowly gone milky white. Manisara and Durga have cataracts, and their mountain home in Nepal has become a warren of darkness. Shot over three days, Open Your Eyes follows their extraordinary journey down the mountain for a chance to see again.

Website:

www.vermilionpictures.com/openyoureyes

Storied Streets

These Storied Streets explores the issue of homelessness across the country. The journey starts in LA and ends in New York covering 13 cities across the country. The film will shatter the stereotypes most of us have about the homeless population.

Website:

www.storiedstreets.com