We deeply believe that social issue film making has the power to move the needle forward on numerous societal challenges, through the power of story and the ability to put a human face on issues, and by motivating and inspiring people to commit to actions that will lead to real change for the communities the film portrays.




Shine Global’s IGNITE program introduces award-winning films to underserved youth across the country.  Each film is accompanied by a discussion guide to help facilitate viewer engagement and several of the films also include companion arts workshops to help young viewers creatively learn media literacy skills.

Funding from the National Endowment of the Arts and Visionary Women in Southern California allows us to currently offer these screenings for free.

NEA Artworks
Visionary Women

Available Ignite Films:

War / Dance

This Academy Award®-nominated and Emmy Award®-winning documentary follows three children who triumph over civil war and the Lord’s Resistance Army, finding hope in the future by competing in Uganda’s national music and dance festival.

Running Time:
90 minutes
PG-13 for some thematic material involving descriptions of war atrocities

The Harvest (La Cosecha)

Zulema, Perla, and Victor are three American child migrant farmworkers who struggle to preserve their childhoods while helping their families survive by picking the food we all eat.

Running Time:
80 minutes
Recommended for ages 10 and up
Courtesy of Cinema Libre


Academy Award® Winner for Best Documentary Short, Inocente is an inspiring coming of age story of a 15-year-old girl in California. Though homeless and undocumented, she refuses to give up on her dream of being an artist.

Running Time:
40 minutes
Recommended for ages 10 and up for some descriptions of domestic violence and thoughts of suicide

*Companion arts workshops developed with DreamYard Project and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.  See a video here.

1 Way Up

Tre and Quillan, two teenage boys on the road to the BMX World Championships, hope to escape one of the toughest gang neighborhoods in London with the only thing they have — a bike.

Running Time:
64 minutes
PG (recommended for ages 8 and up)

*Companion arts workshops developed with The LAMP.

Dancing in Jaffa

This award-winning documentary follows Muslim, Christian, and Jewish children as they partner in a dance competition in Jaffa, Israel.

Running Time:
90 minutes
Recommended for ages 10 and up for some thematic material involving the Arab-Israeli conflict

Courtesy of IFC Films/Sundance Selects

The Wrong Light

Exploring the dark side of child advocacy, we follow the mystery of two Thai girls whose parents supposedly sold them into sex work only to discover that the story was a lie fabricated by the advocate who claims to have rescued them. The girls decide to fight back to reclaim their identities despite the risk of losing everything.

Running Time:
80 minutes
Recommended for ages 13 and up for some thematic material involving descriptions of sex work and sexual abuse

Screening hosts and audiences agree

“When screening four of these films for an audience of students and community members, I saw viewers of all ages moved by the power of these stories. They sat, enraptured, discovering personal connections with the loss, joy, pain, and triumph of young people from worlds so different than their own. What an engaging way to inspire empathy, activism, and responsibility!” — Ellen Maddrey, Educator
“Thank you for the inspiration. These at-risk kids have been in a different state of mind the last two weeks while working on this project. They are donating the canvases to the local teen homeless shelter after using them to raise awareness for homelessness during November, National Homeless Awareness Month. Thanks again.” — Teacher in Colorado Springs after showing Inocente to her students with a painting project.
“We used the film in our art classes to paint their portraits and also to paint abstract pictures of their dreams and passions. Many students have been talking about how the film increased their interest in art and in expressing themselves through creative endeavors. We used our class sessions on goal setting and how to achieve our goals to talk about Innocente’s experience and the importance of time management.” — Inocente screening at a summer enrichment camp for students from ages 8 through 14
“Changed my life in many ways! Gave me hope , courage and a voice!!! This has had a major impact in my life! Inocente showed and proved there was hope and a huge warrior inside of us! I can’t thank her more then enough for it! Thank you thank you!!! Xoxo Liz❤ ” — Undocumented Latina Viewer
“I thought being homeless meant not having a home and living on the street. I learned that being homeless can also mean not having a stable place to live on a day to day basis.” — Male Latino Student on Inocente
“Loved it, made me want to follow my dreams!” — Student audience member about 1 Way Up
“So inspirational, I will tell my friends to watch this!” — Student audience member about 1 Way Up

To host a public screening of one of these films in your community, follow these steps:

  1. Know your screening size and date.
  2. Fill out the screening request form here 
  3. Receive an invoice by email/or a fee waiver. Pay for your license and wait for your DVD to arrive.
  4. Have your audience fill out the post-screening survey
  5. Return the DVD to Shine Global.

How much does the screening license cost?
We are currently offering all screenings for free thanks in part to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.  The usual screening license for a one-time screening for a non-profit organization or grassroots community group is $50 for an audience of 25 or less and $100 for a larger audience.

How can I get a reduced screening fee or fee waiver?
We are currently offering all screenings for free thanks in part to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

I don’t have access to a movie theater or screening room. Can I still participate in the IGNITE program?
Yes! The films are available on DVD and can be screened in any location that has a DVD player and a screen/TV. This might include auditoriums, community centers, homes, theaters, offices … even the outdoors!

Does the screening license include the movie, or do I have to get a copy separately?
Yes, the license includes a DVD and permission for a public screening.

Where can I get resources to help me host a fantastic screening?
We will send you a Community Screening Guide and other promotional resources after your screening is confirmed.  You can download the Inocente Community Screening Guide as an example.

Can I charge admissions or ask for donations to my screening?
If you pay the full license fee, you are welcome to sell tickets and/or use the film as a fundraiser.  If you get the film license for free or at a discounted rate, however, the screening must be free for your attendees.

For what ages are these films appropriate?
We have provided ratings from the MPAA or the BBFC when the films have been rated and when not, have given recommendations.  We can provide a preview link of the film for you to ensure it is appropriate for your audience.

I’m looking for a copy to keep in my K-12 school, university, or library. Am I on the right page?
No. The IGNITE program is only for renting the film for a one time screening.  If you wish to buy a copy to keep for multiple screenings please visit each film’s own website to purchase a copy for your school, university, or library or click here to go to Shine’s “For Educators” section.

Can I use my screening license for more than one screening?
Licenses are for single screenings only. If you are hosting multiple screenings, please contact us at to work out details.

Can the filmmakers come to our screening?
Due to demand and schedules, those involved in these films are not generally able to attend screenings. However, if you are able to cover travel costs and an honorarium, please contact us to discuss options.

Take Action

What issues do we explore?

Since 2005, Shine Global has taken action on child labor, child abuse, and child soldiering, shared moving stories about the effects of war, parental incarceration, undocumented immigration, and homelessness on children, highlighted the power of music, dance, and sports to overcome intolerance.  In all its films, Shine Global celebrates children’s resilience.

To learn more about the issues facing migrant farmworker children please visit

To learn more about the issues facingundocumented youth, homeless youth, and arts education please visit

To learn about the power of sports to help youth overcome stereotypes please visit

Take action


As Shine is a small company, interns are very involved in everything that goes on in our office. This provides them with the opportunity to be exposed to the inside workings of independent film production at a variety of stages.