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Points North Institute, Doha Debates launch Solutions Cinema

Film screenings, discussions look at global solutions
Mar 31, 2021
"What is Democracy?"

Camden/Washington, D.C. — Points North Institute and Doha Debates launch Solutions Cinema, a new collaborative initiative that will kick off in April with a month-long series of free virtual film screenings and summit-style interactive discussions.

Solutions Cinema is a first-of-its kind partnership between Doha Debates, a media organization that engages people in conversations about global challenges through short films, podcasts, debates and videos, and Points North Institute, a non-fiction arts organization best known for producing the Camden International Film Festival, which celebrates its 17th edition this September, and several artist development initiatives that support around 60 projects annually.

Solutions Cinema is a global community dedicated to story-driven social change. The initiative will foster public discourse, identify and amplify potential solutions to global challenges, and help empower individuals and communities to shape their future.

“Doha Debates is delighted to partner with the Points North Institute to launch Solutions Cinema,” said Amjad Atallah, managing director of Doha Debates. “This initiative will be extraordinary, bringing together filmmakers, educators and students for thoughtful dialogue and debate about how to better use the medium of film in the pursuit of solutions to some of humanity’s most challenging issues.”

The inaugural Solutions Cinema program will be presented in four parts and will include the screening of 12 feature and short documentary films. Selected films have been curated to stimulate robust conversations, each highlighting individuals addressing injustice and inequity using the tools of community organizing, politics, education, media-making and the law to fight for a better future.

Featured films highlighted in the Solutions Cinema Summit include two recent Sundance award-winning titles, "Homeroom" by acclaimed director Pete Nicks and "Writing With Fire," the debut feature from Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh, which took home both the Audience Award and a Special Jury Award for Impact for Change. The program also includes several short films recently produced by Doha Debates.

Interactive discussions — or Summits — will take place each Thursday in April from noon to 1:30 p.m. starting April 8. These virtual convenings will explore story-driven strategies for social change, including how filmmakers, film protagonists and film audiences can each find agency to address inequity and injustice. In addition to film directors and subjects, each session will include a number of noteworthy participants including lawyers, elected officials, academics and activists. Students, educators, filmmakers and film industry professionals will also be invited to contribute to the conversation. These Summit meetings will be hosted by award-winning filmmaker Marjan Safinia, director of the PBS series "And She Could Be Next" and former Board Chair at the International Documentary Association.

“Social impact documentaries have historically spent more time describing social problems than exploring people’s responses to them,” said Points North Program Director Sean Flynn. “Inspired by the great work we’ve seen in solutions journalism, we want to create a unique communal space online so we can unpack the ‘theories of change’ behind documentary films and explore how they might help us imagine and manifest a brighter future.”

Highlighted featured films are below.

Part 1 - April 8: POWER TO THE PEOPLE

"What is Democracy?" directed by Astra Taylor

"Hamtramck USA" directed by Razi Jafri and Justin Feltman

Part 2 - April 15: TRUTH TO POWER

"Writing With Fire" directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh

Part 3 - April 22: NO PLAN B

"Youth V Gov" directed by Christi Cooper

"We The Power" directed by David Garrett Byars

Part 4 - April 29: A YEAR OF RECKONING

"Homeroom" directed by Pete Nicks

Film screenings and participation in the weekly Solutions Cinema Summit interactive discussions are free and open to the public, however, advanced registration is required and most featured films have limited seats available. All films will be available to view online for 10-day periods during the month of April. Films will be made accessible to registered attendees one week prior to the Summit discussions.

To see the entire list of selected films, or to register for the Solutions Cinema Summit, visit solutionscinema.com.

"Writing With Fire"
"Homeroom"
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