WATCH. LEARN. IMPACT 02.06.19 NEWS from Chicago Media Project





CMP-Supported films made a great show at Sundance this year - taking home four Sundance Awards!


Directed and Produced by Alex Rivera and Christina Ibarra / Produced by Daniel Chalfen and Darren Dean

A rag-tag group of undocumented youth - Dreamers - deliberately get detained by Border Patrol in order to infiltrate a shadowy, for-profit detention center.

NEXT Audience Sundance Award

NEXT Innovator Sundance Award


Directed by Nanfu Wang and Zhang Lynn / Produced by Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements and Christoph Jorg

China’s One Child Policy, the extreme population control measure that made it illegal for couples to have more than one child, may have ended in 2015, but the process of dealing with the trauma of its brutal enforcement is only just beginning. From award-winning documentarian Nanfu Wang (Hooligan Sparrow, I Am Another You) and Jialing Zhang, the sweeping One Child Nation explores the ripple effect of this devastating social experiment, uncovering one shocking human rights violation after another - from abandoned newborns, to forced sterilizations and abortions, and government abductions. Wang digs fearlessly into her own personal life, weaving her experience as a new mother and the firsthand accounts of her family members into archival propaganda material and testimony from victims and perpetrators alike, yielding a revelatory and essential record of this chilling, unprecedented moment in human civilization. One Child Nation is a stunning, nuanced indictment of the mindset that prioritizes national agenda over human life, and serves as a first-of-its-kind oral history of this collective tragedy - bearing witness to the truth as China has already begun to erase the horrors of its “population war” from public record and memory.

U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize Sundance Award


Directed and Produced by Rachel Lears / Produced by Robin Blotnik and Sarah Olson

When tragedy struck her family in the midst of the financial crisis, Bronx-born Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had to work double shifts in a restaurant to save her home from foreclosure. After losing a loved one to a preventable medical condition, Amy Vilela didn’t know what to do with the anger she felt about America’s broken health care system. Cori Bush was drawn into the streets when the police shooting of an unarmed black man brought protests and tanks into her neighborhood. Paula Jean Swearengin was fed up with watching her friends and family suffer and die from the environmental effects of the coal industry. At a moment of historic volatility in American politics, these four women decide to fight back, setting themselves on a journey that will change their lives and their country forever. Without political experience or corporate money, they build a movement of insurgent candidates challenging powerful incumbents in Congress. Their efforts result in a legendary upset.

U.S. Documentary Audience Sundance Award


Directed by Jennifer Baichwal, Edward Burtynsky / Directed and Produced by Nicholas de Pencier

From concrete seawalls in China that now cover 60% of the mainland coast, to the biggest terrestrial machines ever built in Germany, to psychedelic potash mines in Russia’s Ural Mountains, to metal festivals in the closed city of Norilsk, to the devastated Great Barrier Reef in Australia and surreal lithium evaporation ponds in the Atacama desert, the filmmakers have traversed the globe using high end production values and state of the art camera techniques to document evidence and experience of human planetary domination. At the intersection of art and science, ANTHROPOCENE: The Human Epoch witnesses in an experiential and non-didactic sense a critical moment in geological history — bringing a provocative and unforgettable experience of our species’ breadth and impact.


As we wind down from Sundance and gear up for the Oscars, here are some articles about the movie deals that were made and predictions that have yet to be determined...

Variety: Amazon Buys Grand Jury Prize Winner 'ONE CHILD NATION' (Exclusive)

It has been a busy festival for Amazon. The company shelled out $14 million for “The Report,” a political thriller with Adam Driver; it dropped $5 million on the Shia LaBeouf drama/cinematic therapy session “Honey Boy;” it dropped $14 million for the self-improvement comedy “Brittany Runs a Marathon;” and it wrote a $13 million check for “Late Night,” a buzzy look at diversity in writer’s rooms that stars Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson. No other company was as active as Amazon was in terms of Sundance deal-making this year."


NYT: Sundance 2019 Movies That Could Become Oscar Contenders

Before one awards season concludes, the Sundance Film Festival tends to give us a sneak preview of another. That’s because the annual festival, held in January, shows smart, independent movies that will go on to help define the next cinematic year, many of which eventually become Oscar contenders. In recent years, Sundance has launched best-picture nominees like “Get Out” and “Call Me by Your Name,” and acting winners like J.K. Simmons for “Whiplash” and Casey Affleck for “Manchester by the Sea.”"


Vox: How This Year’s Sundance Films Tackled American Politics

The festival has made a concerted effort to boost voices that are underrepresented in risk-averse Hollywood, particularly in the past few years. You’ll sometimes find some films in the lineup that challenge accepted liberal notions (Get Out premiered there in 2017, as a secret screening), and the festival has worked hard to confront its reputation as a boys’ club. But you typically won’t find many — or possibly any — films playing at the festival that would pass muster at a screening in the current White House."


NYT: Sundance Documentaries Expose Truths, Both Glorious and Bitter

Two of the most powerful documentaries in the festival, “American Factory” and “One Child Nation,” focus on China. They’d make a knockout double bill. Directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, “American Factory” explores the cultural and political complications that emerge when Cao Dewang, a Chinese billionaire, opens an auto-glass factory in a shuttered General Motors plant near Dayton, Ohio. The filmmakers were already familiar with the site from their short 2009 documentary “The Last Truck: Closing of a G.M. Plant.” They go longer and deeper in the new movie’s gripping two hours."


IndieWire: 2019 Oscars - Best Documentary Feature Predictions

Sundance has long delivered a few Oscar documentary contenders each year, most recently, last year’s “Last Men in Aleppo,” “Strong Island” and eventual winner “Icarus.” This year, the festival introduced a plethora of leading hopefuls, led by popular Ruth Bader Ginsburg doc “RBG” (CNN/Magnolia). The Supreme Court justice turns out to be another hero for our times, as the film has passed $14 million at the box office, out-grossing every Magnolia release to date (including documentary Oscar-nominee “I Am Not Your Negro”) and landed a PGA nomination. The PGA winner was Morgan Neville’s Sundance breakout “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” (Focus Features), which proves yet again that in the race for an Oscar nomination, winning a previous Academy Award (“Twenty Feet from Stardom”) is often a disqualifier."

CMP Co-Founders Paula Froehle and Steve Cohen Are Included in Causeartist's '15 Nonprofit Founders That Will Impact The World in 2019'

According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations are registered in the United States. And behind every nonprofit organization is a talented, dedicated, altruistic founder with a compelling mission and a transformational vision. These nonprofit founders profiled below exhibit the essential attributes of an impactful nonprofit leader, and their organizations will undoubtedly better the world this year."

CMP Team Member ELIZA STOUGHTON stars in


by Paula Vogel

directed by Cody Estle

Rural Maryland, 1960s. From behind the wheel of a ‘56 Chevy, a woman named Li’l Bit navigates the tangled boulevards of her adolescence, reflecting on her complex and troubling relationship with her family. But old secrets and fresh discoveries abound as she struggles to accept her past and the demons that live there. Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece makes its return to Chicago, featuring Eliza Stoughton as Li’l Bit. An artful, surprising, and often-funny memory play that explores how we are shaped by the people who hurt us.

@ Raven Theatre - 6157 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60660

Feb 11th-Mar 24th

Thanks to all CMP members for your support and belief in the power of media to bring about change.




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