A Show For A Change Film Festival Announces March 2019 Award Winners


Jared Milrad, Founder and President

A Show For A Change, Inc.




Long Beach, CA - April 8, 2019A Show For A Change today announced several winners for its monthly global film festival, celebrating social impact films from around the world. The awarded films include projects from around the world and were created by numerous up-and-coming filmmakers.

“As we prepare to launch our new streaming platform for social impact, Movikarma, we’re proud to recognize these powerful films that advance the social causes of our time,” said Jared Milrad, founder and president of A Show For A Change. “In celebration of Earth Day, this month’s films are urgent calls to action for our environment, from the plight of wolves in the Arctic to indigenous cultures under threat in Canada. I’m thrilled that our festival is elevating the voices of brave filmmakers addressing timely social causes, including impactful issues such as the environment, mental health, civil rights, and child welfare.”

This month’s winners include:

  • Creativity Awards:

    • ROOM. Directed by Melanie Kloetzel. An environmental dance film, ROOM examines themes of ecological precarity and adaptation in modern times. Cause: Environmental Protection.

    • GUESSING GAME. Directed by Zachary Wincik. A man invites two old college friends to dinner, where a simple game will have unexpected consequences. Cause: Media and Technology. Watch the trailer here.

  • Storytelling Awards:

    • X-RAY MACHINES: AFRICA’S BROKEN SYSTEM. Directed by Sophie Inglin. An exploration into the implications of medical equipment disparities in sub-Saharan Africa. Causes: Health and Wellness, Civil Rights. Watch the trailer here.

    • JESSICA’S TREE. Directed by Jazz Thornton. An incredibly personal view of what it is to be suicidal and what you can do to help. Causes: Mental Health, Health and Wellness. Watch the trailer here.

    • THE BLUEBERRY FARMER. Directed by Valerie Whitcomb. A blueberry farmer named Bernie struggles to survive on food stamps after pleading guilty to growing medical cannabis to help people living with AIDS. Causes: Civil Rights, Health and Wellness. Watch the trailer here.

    • OKICHITAW: REFEATHERING THE WARRIOR. Directed by Meegwun Fairbrother. A journey of empowerment for students who rediscover the Plains Cree martial art Okichitaw, a gift of their indigenous culture and traditional teachings. Cause: Civil Rights.

  • Cinematography Awards:

    • WELCOME TO GWICHYAA ZHEE. Directed by Greg Balkin and Len Necefer. A close look at how the Gwich’in people have been fighting oil and gas development to protect their fragile environment and way of life in the Arctic National Refuge for over 40 years. Causes: Civil Rights, Environmental Protection.

    • WHITE WOLVES: GHOSTS OF THE ARCTIC. Directed by Oliver Goetzl. With never-before-seen footage of wolf family life, GHOSTS OF THE ARCTIC is a dramatic and touching story of loyalty, companionship, and devotion in one of the last great wildernesses on Earth. Causes: Animal Welfare, Environmental Protection, Climate Change.

  • Social Impact Awards:

    • COWS COME HOME. Directed by Daniel Turbert. The story of a multi-generational cattle farm in Talbott, Tennessee turned sanctuary. Cause: Animal Welfare.

    • AN EQUAL VOICE. Directed by Phil Cooke. Takes you inside the 30-year transformation of a black woman born in the South in the 1960s into an empowered co-pastor of one of the nation’s largest churches. Causes: Women’s Rights, Religion and Spirituality.

    • GOOD MORNING AMERICA. Directed by Krishna Thirupathy. On the anniversary of 9/11, Saud Akhtar, a Muslim living in New York City, wakes up to what could be a tragic day. Causes: Religion and Spirituality, Civil Rights. Watch the trailer here.

    • WORTH IT. Directed by E’an Verdugo. An intimate conversation between a young foster couple who face the hard reality of an unknown future with their foster son. Cause: Child Welfare. Watch the trailer here.

“I am delighted to have received the Storytelling Award for this film. Health systems in sub-Saharan Africa are overwhelmed by non-functional medical equipment from industrialized countries which is not adapted to African contexts,” said Sophie Inglin, director of X-RAY MACHINES: AFRICA’S BROKEN SYSTEM. “Donations of obsolete devices only make things worse. To overcome this, various groups around the world are trying to find more sustainable, effective and innovative solutions, so that Africa can have access to adequate medical equipment to respond to the needs of its population. It is a privilege to receive the recognition of your festival aimed at rewarding documentaries that raise awareness about social impact initiatives. I am honored by this award and thank you for it"

“On behalf of my crew and I, I am thrilled and honored to be chosen to win the Storytelling Award From A Show For A Change. I believe stories are powerful and capable of inspiring, Influencing and changing hearts and minds,” said director Valerie Whitcomb. “To know of Bernie Ellis’s experience with the law over medical cannabis since 2002 and to know that he went through it all in recovery sober was inspiring and powerful to me. The universal link that allows people to see or hear a creative project and relate it to themselves is so key to getting the message out. I want people to see Bernie’s story and what he went through, how he was able to reinvent himself as a blueberry farmer. I want the viewer’s to know that you can pull yourself up and go on, no matter what life throws at you.”

“I am so grateful that A Show For A Change has awarded WORTH IT with the Social Impact Award of the month. I wanted to create a small short film that could shine light on some of the ups and downs foster parents feel each day and that each kid in foster care is worth it all,” said director Ean Verdugo. “There is a massive amount of children in foster care with far too little foster parents. If you know anyone who has been a foster parent or is considering laying down their yes, please share this short film with them. Each kid is worth it, even if it means saying goodbye. Thanks again A Show For A Change for this recognition.”

"I am so thrilled to have GUESSING GAME as the recipient of the Creativity Award from A Show For A Change,” said director Zachary Wincik. “This film was made to keep the conversation going about gun violence in America. If all else fails to get through to people on the importance of gun control, maybe film will get to them in a different kind of way. I hope that this film, much like movies of the past, will entertain as well as enlighten."

"Being part of A Show For A Change and winning an award for Creativity means so much to me as a filmmaker and an artist. It’s exciting to be part of an event that understands what the arts can offer to discussions of key issues and debates of our time, including climate change, environmental justice, and homelessness,” said Melanie Kloetzel, director of ROOM.

“This award motivates artists to explore controversial topics and present them in unique and thought-provoking ways. We sincerely thank “A Show For A Change Film Festival” for giving us the opportunity to showcase our project,” said Krishna Thirupathy, director of GOOD MORNING AMERICA. Humans have always divided themselves by caste, creed, color, and sex, among other things. Art is the only medium that can bring the world together and films have a bigger responsibility in that. Is there a better time to talk about this?”

“This is a remarkable moment for women, especially those in positions of influence. Taffi Dollar showed great courage in speaking out on the subject of equality, and we were proud to produce this documentary about her amazing vision,” said director of AN EQUAL VOICE, Phil Cooke. Our hope is that it encourages and inspires a new generation of women to take their place as leaders and culture shapers of the future."

"After working on this series for 2 years this award means so much. To know we have told Jess's story in a way that is making impact is incredible. Jess always wanted her story to make change, and now it is, said Jazz Thornton,” director of JESSICA’S TREE. "This series is important because it helps society understand mental health and suicide in a way that they can help. One of the biggest barriers to people asking for help is fear that they won't be understood. Jess's story helps us understand what goes on inside the head of someone suicidal but more importantly, how we can create change."

“I'm so honored to receive the Social Impact Award!  I really hope this short has the potential to reach a wide audience. I started out as an activist with some very timely guidance along the way, and so I began to document the struggles of animals, and the ways we exploit them by using my photography to be the best advocate I can be,” said Daniel Turbert, director of COWS COME HOME.  “It’s been an emotional rollercoaster the last couple of years, and bearing witness to the things that most don’t see - the sadness, and the struggles before the endless and systematic slaughter of these sentient beings. Having the opportunity to film a positive story has brought me new hope, a hope that I can connect the animal to animal lovers everywhere with this uplifting story. Sometimes it just takes a good story about good people and that’s enough to change hearts and minds about how we view certain animals. I still can’t believe I was lucky enough to help share this story. I’m so appreciative of the outpouring of support by so many who have been moved by their story, and hopefully more will come to know about this amazing place and the people who changed because of these amazing animals.”

Founded by Jared Milrad - a filmmaker, advocate, and entrepreneur who has worked for President Barack Obama and advocated for numerous social causes - A Show For A Change Film Festival raises up our planet's most compelling stories and inspiring voices. The film festival’s goal is to build a world filled with greater empathy and shared prosperity.

A Show For A Change invites filmmakers who share a passion for changing the world through the power of storytelling to submit to our monthly film festival. We seek diverse, engaging stories that address societal, environmental, and cultural issues. To apply for our next film festival, filmmakers can submit their projects by April 29, 2019 using this link: https://filmfreeway.com/ashowforachange

About A Show For A Change Film Festival

With 170+ global submissions, A Show For A Change has awarded some of the most creative, groundbreaking, and inspiring stories highlighting social issues since launching its monthly festival in December 2017. The company’s mission is to celebrate socially impactful films through the art of storytelling and advocate for enduring social change. It embraces films that challenge the status quo and stand up for urgent causes like human rights, animal rights, and the environment.

Learn more about our current projects and monthly global film festival at ashowforachange.com

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