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The Revolutionary Optimists Screening & Impact Tour
Matthew Justuson 23 February 2015
Transcript of The Revolutionary Optimists Screening & Impact Tour
World Screening and Impact Tour
New York City
Los Angeles, CA
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
The film receives strong reviews from the national press, including the India Express and the Kolkata Telegraph.
In 2008, filmmakers Nicole Newnham and
Maren Grainger-Monsen begin filming a documentary in Kolkata. Their subject is the dynamic social entrepreneur Amlan Ganguly and his organization, Prayasam.
After 5 years of work, the film is completed, and has its world premiere at India's most prestigious film festival, the International Film Festival of India in Goa.
In March 2013, the film has it's U.S. premiere at a sold out screening in the 'Art of the Reel' Series at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Amlan, Salim, and Sikha, the "stars" of the film, arrive in New York City
after a 24 hour journey from Kolkata.
Young New Yorkers from the Tribeca Film Institute’s education program connect with the filmmakers and the Prayasam team following a special screening.
Map Your World is a multi-platform project created by the filmmakers in collaboration with the Tribeca Film Institute, ITVS, and Columbia University's Earth Institute.
It allows young change agents to map, track, and improve the health of their own communities – and then share their inspiring stories of change.
UNICEF hosts a screening introduced by Deputy Director Geeta Rao Gupta and a post-screening discussion was moderated by Ahmed Shihab-Eldin of the Huffington Post. Thanks to Anjali Kaur who made it all happen at UNICEF!
UNICEF hosted a screening introduced by Deputy Director Geeta Rao Gupta and a post screening discussion was moderated by Huffington Post Live's Ahmed Shihab-Eldin. Thanks to Anjali Kaur who made it all happen at UNICEF!
Following the screening, we had a roundtable with eight UNICEF program directors who were inspired by the film,
Ahmed Shihab-Eldin invites the team to the Huff Post Live Studio the following day. The filmmakers and Prayasam Team are featured on the show.
In Greenwich Village, Patricia Finneran moderates a discussion with Ashoka’s founder and CEO Bill Drayton and Amlan Ganguly, who is an Ashoka Fellow.
Bill Drayton learns more about Prayasam’s work. He is deeply moved by the alignment between Amlan's work and Ashoka's commitment to fostering empathy and making everyone a change-maker.
The film opens theatrically in New York and receives great reviews!
The team at the Modi Lab at Columbia University were eager to hear from Salim and Sikha because the MAP YOUR WORLD platform was built at their lab. They wanted to hear about how the platform and the smart phone interface worked in the field.
Map Your World ?
The Columbia team revised their methodology on water tap surveys for Nigeria, based on what they learned about the way that Salim and Sikha did their work!
Salim is asked a question about how his work with Praysam has changed since engaging with Map Your World as a partner....
Salim said: "When we began the Polio vaccine mapping project in our community we used pen and paper, now we use smart phones!"
Before leaving New York, the Prayasam Team meets with the Pumpkin Foundation.
The Pumpkin Foundation generously commits $20,000 towards
Praysam's On-Track program.
On-Track teaches teens the necessary skills to succeed, such as public speaking, computer literacy and team-building. It supplements public school courses,and serves hundreds of children from slum communities in West Bengal.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supported the film and the engagement effort; they host a special screening in Seattle, and the team tours foundation headquarters.
In April the film team arrives in Seattle.
Salim and Sikha are featured in the TEDxChange "Positive Disruption" event, hosted by Melinda Gates.
Salim and Sikha bring the house down, speaking in English –– their third language! ––about their work on polio, water and gender equity.
The event is seen live by thousands
of people around the world. Salim and Sikha receive a standing ovation.
tweets to his 12 million followers
At a private dinner with
Melinda Gates, Amlan is able
to personally explain the
Praysam approach to
and raising a community's
At the Gates Foundation, the film team connects with the people from GOOD. They help promote screenings, and write great pieces both online and in the print magazine about Prayasam!
Before heading back to the east coast, we had a great run and a sold-out screening at Seattle's Uptown Cinema!
And we had a fun visit to the local NBC affiliate, for a segment on the morning show, "New Day NW".
ADD FACEBOOK PHOTO from March. blurry pic - Move impact point to new slide
We are now in active discussions about scaling up Map Your World (MYW) with UNICEF. The power of story inspires and engages, and MYW is a platform for real change!
Look for other space needle shot
We paid a visit to our friends at Columbia University...
Thank You New York City, we're off to Seattle !
The local NBC affiliate features the team on "New Day Northwest."
The students participate in a MAP YOUR WORLD demonstration. Now, our team is working with Tribeca's education program as an ongoing partner. This fall, the students will create their own mapping projects.
BECAUSE OF THAT MEETING...
After the festival, back in Kolkata, Amlan Ganguly hosts a screening of the film for community and government leaders.
For many years, Amlan and the children have lobbied the government to bring a clean water line to the Rishi Auribindo slum community .
The government made lots of promises...but still 9,000 people had to walk miles for clean drinking water.
The battle for clean water is a big story line in the film!
In early 2013, just weeks after the film screened for the community––and local officials––the government authorized the water line!
Nicole and Maren head back into the edit room, so the film can end with the kids' clean water victory!
And digging began for a new clean water pipeline in the colony !
Following the screening, we had a roundtable with eight UNICEF program directors who were inspired by the film,
Hilton Worldwide, who gave "The Revolutionary Optimists" the Sustainability Award at the Sundance Film Festival, holds a special screening of the film at the landmark Avalon Theater in Washington, DC.
Jennifer Silberman, Hilton Worldwide's V.P. of Corporate Responsibility, hosts the screening and Q&A.
Hilton offers to support the film team’s international outreach efforts in India !
Jennifer Silberman is moved by the film to investigate the brick sources for new Hilton hotel projects in India.
The scourge of child labor in brick fields is a key story in the film.
The entire office at the Global Fund For Children – a supporter of Prayasam and Map Your World – came out to meet the team.
Impressed by Prayasam's work,
The Global Fund for Children commits to funding them for another year!
US AID (US Agency for International Development) hosts a great screening, and then a meeting with eighteen top USAID staff.
We are hosted by Maryann Yerkes, from the Youth Policy Group.
Deputy Administrator Donald Steinberg is moved by Amlan’s work, and says that in the film, he sees the model for how we can end extreme poverty in the world in the next 20 years.
We are currently in discussions with USAID about using the film to train and motivate NGO leaders in Africa and Asia.
A USAID program officer shows the film to Senator Leahy (D-VT) as proof positive that USAID funding to grass roots NGO's like Prayasam has a huge impact..
The community turned out in droves for our sold-out Bay Area premiere at the Elmwood in Berkeley
They had met before over Skype and the kids from India inspired the kids from Oakland to start their own mapping project....
The Prayasam team and the filmmakers pay a visit to St. Paul's school in Oakland.
The students at St. Paul's decide to map where people are littering cigarette butts
They find a lot of them....Especially around Lake Merritt, which is kind of the last place you want to find a bunch of dirty cigarette butts....
Using the data they collect in the Map Your World cigarette surveys, the students convince the City of Oakland to put more cigarette receptacles around the Lake!
A cool example of how the tour brought beta users to Map Your World. creating tangible impact!
The next day at Adobe headquarters in San Jose, Salim and Sikha screen their OWN films!
In Kolkata, Prayasam youth are learning to make their own films through the Adobe Youth Voices Program.
Amlan is able to offer feedback to the Adobe team about the AYV program from the NGO's perspective.
Maren and Nicole's colleagues make for an overflow screening at the Stanford Medical School
The screening was co-presented by the Department of Global Health.
The team made time for a fun tour and screening at Pixar!
After the screening, Sikha talks with Pixar story supervisor Nate Stanton about the importance of strong female characters in animated movies, and how they have a real impact on the girls in her community in Kolkata.
The National Equity Project hosts a screening at the New Parkway Theater in Oakland, for local teachers and grassroots organizers.
The film was introduced to education reform leaders, and many teachers and educators are interested in
using the film and Map Your World in their classrooms.
Wendy Levy, who is leading the charge on the development of Map Your World site, reconnects with Amlan, Salim and Sikha in Oakland. She had visited them in India in March.
We're not done yet! Onward to the last U.S. city, Hollywood here we come!
The UCLA School of World Health’s Tanya Aurora is a pediatrician and Shot @ Life volunteer, who put together a special screening for students and faculty at UCLA.
Visiting the Sundance Institute in Beverly Hills was like coming home for both the filmmakers and subjects. Thanks to Cara Mertes, Kristin Feeley and the DFP team.
What an incredible visit to the U.S., it was truly an experience of a life time.
One quick stop
on the way home!
Salim and Sikha open the Global Vaccine Summit at the invitation of Bill Gates
By the way, those vaccination rates went from 40% to 80% in their community thanks to the work of Salim, Sikha, Amlan, and the rest of the Praysam team!
Thank you to the
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
And thank you to our partners:
xx xxx xx
They discuss their work on increasing polio vaccinations rates in their community.
The team returns home to Kolkata full of stories and ideas to share with their colleagues at Prayasam.
PRAYASAM now works in 16 neighborhoods in Kolkata, with over 600 young Revolutionary Optimists!
We Honor and thank them all!
Click "play" to watch Salim & Sikha's TED Talk
Tanya is so taken with Prayasam that she now provides health training to them via Skype every weekend!
New Delhi, India
Prayasam youth are teaching community mapping to other youth in India
We currently planning an integrated tour of slum community and influencer screenings in India that will begin this January.
In Kenya and around the world, our development team is getting ready to launch Map Your World.
Previously invisible communities all over the world are using Map Your World to put themselves on the map - like these youth from a slum near Manila.
In Bangladesh, Peru, Kenya and India,
Women and Girls Lead are planning
on the ground engagement activities featuring the film.
The journey continues.....
(Patricia Finneran met the Pumpkin Foundation program officer at a special UN Foundation screening of "The Revolutionary Optimists" in December).