It is the season of movies for good causes. One of them grabbed an Oscar last night at the Academy Awards.
"Inocente" won the award for best documentary short film. The film was partly the brainchild of Marr D'Arrigo, founder of a nonprofit in San Diego called ARTS (A Reason to Survive).
The 40-minute film follows Inocente Izucar, a homeless teen as she copes with her challenges through art. The documentary is helping Mr. D'Arrigo to raise $5 million for his cause.
The film was made when D'Arrigo told Inocente's story to Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine, the directors of the documentary, and was produced by nonprofit film maker, Shine Global. The directors wanted to put a face to a startling statistic from the National Center on Family Homelessness: that one in every 45 kids in this country is homeless.
The documentary has already appeared at film festivals, on MTV, and has resulted in donations to ARTS as well as much media attention to the undocumented Latina artist, Inocente Izucar. The win of the Oscar is sure to help.
But "Inocente" isn't the only film appearing this year that is connected to a good cause.
"Girl Rising" is about the plight of girls and women around the world, and how they are challenging their circumstances through education.
The full-length film, sponsored by the nonprofit 10x10, tells the stories of nine girls from nine countries. It showcases the miracle of education for girls in areas where getting that education takes pluck and a considerable amount of determination. The film is directed by an an Academy Award nominated director and features the voices of well known actors such as Anne Hathaway and Liam Neeson.
"Girl Rising" will be shown in theaters around the US in 2013 as well as in many special venues. It will also have its TV premiere on CNN in June. 10x10 works with many nonprofit partners that work on women's issues, such as CARE, Partners in Health, and Room to Read.
"A Place at the Table" kicked off at the Sundance Film Festival. It is a full feature film that spotlights hunger in America. The problem of hunger is told through the stories of three people who struggle daily with food insecurity. The film comes from the makers of "FoodInc," features Jeff Bridges, and will be shown in theaters starting March 1st.
This film is being heavily promoted and enjoys wide distribution. It hopes to drive home the point that "one in four children don't know where their next meal is coming from."
Documentaries have always played a big part in moving public opinion about good causes, and 2013 promises to be a very good year for them.
What are your favorite films or documentaries that promote great causes? List them in the comments.
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