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Documentary “American Winter” Needs Your Help

Scene from “American Winter.” Photo courtesy of Devon Terrill.

The almost-completed documentary “American Winter”  examines the plight of Portland, Ore., residents who are struggling economically in the wake of the Great Recession.

The documentary includes footage of social workers who operate 211 call lines that help the needy find a variety of services, including groceries from food banks, help paying utilities and emergency shelter.

The film is directed by Joe and Harry Gantz, the makers of HBO’s award-winning series “Taxicab Confessions.” The brothers also did  howtime’s “Sexual Healing,” a sex therapy show featuring National Association of Social Workers member Laura Berman, DSW.

“American Winter” is almost done but needs funds to be completed. Here is a message from producer Devon Terrill:

Dear National Association of Social Worker members,
I wanted to draw your attention to an important new documentary film American Winter, which presents a powerful portrait of the effects of the economic downturn, as well as the impact of massive budget cuts to America’s social safety net, from the point of view of families in crisis.  
Directed by Emmy award-winning filmmakers Joe and Harry Gantz, American Winter (formerly “Crisis Call 211”) touches upon issues that social workers are dealing with every day on the frontlines of the economic fallout.  The film features powerful scenes of families trying to keep their heads above water, as well as interviews with social workers who are doing their best to help a growing number of families in need, with fewer resources available to help them.  With the threat of more budget cuts looming, an emotionally compelling film such as American Winter puts a face on struggling families, and makes it much harder to justify cuts to our country’s social safety net.
The filmmakers have started a crowd-funding campaign on to raise the last funds needed to finish the film and begin the outreach and engagement phase of the film.  We would like to work with NASW after the film’s release to use American Winter as a tool to educate and engage the public about the issues facing social workers and families in need.  We think that this film will benefit your members and their communities.  And we believe that American Winter will be a powerful tool in the upcoming budget battles that will take place in federal, state, and local legislative bodies in the coming year.  

We invite you to watch this moving 5 minute trailer for the film on the Kickstarter site and make a donation to this important film.  Donations can be as little as $5, and a donation of $25 will give you a copy of the American Winter DVD after its release.  
To watch the trailer and participate in the fundraiser click here.

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