THE FILM: Global Moms Iran (working title) took filmmaker Justine Shapiro, a Jewish American mom, and her six-year-old son Mateo to Iran. Before she became a mom, Justine's work as a documentary filmmaker and as host of GlobeTrekker, an internationally televised travel series, took her off the beaten track to more than 40 countries around the globe. Now she wanted to her son to see the world she encountered in those far-off places - a world quite different from its portrayal in mainstream news media. Given the media's heated coverage of Iran, and the mounting tensions between the US and Iran, it seemed urgent that we make a connection with the human beings who would pay the greatest price of violent conflict. Over the course of three months, Justine and Mateo shared daily life in Tehran with three middle class families from very different backgrounds. Other characters in the film include Orang, Mateo's Iranian babysitter; Marjaneh, the film's Iranian-American producer; and Tehran itself - an urban metropolis where tradition and modernity sit uncomfortably side by side. Part poetry, part travelogue, part family drama, Global Moms Iran takes us behind the headlines, into the fascinating, and yet strikingly familiar home of our "enemy."
PURPOSE: In Global Moms Iran, Justine and Mateo spend time with Iranian families in their homes, at their jobs, in parks, playgrounds, and supermarkets - realms rarely given media attention. Besides offering a much-needed balance to the images of oppression, unrest, and uniformity we see in the mainstream news, the film aims to broaden dialogue and perspective on Iranian culture, the Islamic faith, and the role of women in Iranian society.
Global Moms Iran will be socially significant as well as entertaining - attracting audiences "beyond the choir" to reconsider their view of the "other." In the context of rising tensions and the growing threat of war, the lens through which the West and Iran regard one another has become dangerously blurred. As we saw in the aftermath of 9/11 - and see now in the coverage of the presidential campaign - a media of soundbites distorts reality and masks the complexity and diversity of our world.
DISTRIBUTION and OUTREACH: Global Moms Iran is an independent feature-length documentary film for PBS and international broadcast. The film will be submitted to key film festivals. The foreign sales agent for the film is Ro*co Films International, distributor of award-winning documentaries such as Born Into Brothels, No End in Sight and Jesus Camp. Global Moms Iran's producers care deeply about the film's impact beyond broadcast, and to that end they have been developing an educational outreach campaign in tandem with production. The primary goals of this campaign are to inspire serious debate about the roles and responsibilities of the news media, to explore cross-cultural understanding, and to encourage media literacy and citizen diplomacy in middle and high schools.
New technologies provide unprecedented opportunities for documentary filmmakers to reach larger audiences and to ultimately effect change in the world. Promises Films is in the process of creating a dynamic Web site to disseminate powerful images of everyday life in Iran and around the world.
Donations to Promises Films, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, are tax-deductible.
Your donations go towards completion funding (post-production) of Global Moms Iran.
ABOUT PROMISES FILMS
Promises Films is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization founded in 1996 by Justine Shapiro and B.Z. Goldberg. The organization's mission is to produce educational media with regard to public issues, particularly in the areas of conflict, human rights, social justice and history.
Promises , the most recent documentary produced by Promises Films, follows the lives of seven Palestinian and Israeli children over a five-year period. In 2002, this landmark film was nominated for an Academy Award and won two National Emmy Awards for "Best Documentary" and for "Outstanding Background Analysis". More than forty million people around the world have seen Promises, and its educational outreach campaign continues to be used by interfaith and conflict-resolution organizations as well as thousands of middle schools and high schools across the nation. In 2006, Promises Films produced The Edible Schoolyard Video Project , about the Edible Schoolyard (ESY), an innovative kitchen & garden program founded by chef Alice Waters at King Jr, Middle School in Berkeley California. The DVD includes interviews with ESY instructors, its founder, King teachers, students and staff; plus edited interviews and scenes from the ESY's kitchen & garden program. These DVD packages were donated to The Chez Panisse Foundation for their archives and for their own fundraising purposes.
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