Shine Global Receives National Endowment for the Arts Grant


National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced today that Shine Global is one of the nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. Shine Global is recommended for a $70,000 grant to support the post production of our documentary film Selling Our Daughters.

Produced by Shine’s Susan MacLaury and co-directed by Josie Swantek and Dave Adams of Run Riot Films, Selling Our Daughters documents the exploitation of young girls in Thailand from the perspective of the girls themselves, their parents, a trafficker, and the organization founded to help them.  Principal photography has been completed and the NEA grant will support aspects of post-production.

NEA Acting Chairman Shigekawa said, “The NEA is pleased to announce that Shine Global is recommended for an NEA Art Works grant. These NEA-supported projects will not only have a positive impact on local economies, but will also provide opportunities for people of all ages to participate in the arts, help our communities to become more vibrant, and support our nation’s artists as they contribute to our cultural landscape.”

Shine’s Executive Director Susan MacLaury said “We are thrilled to be recommended for this prestigious grant to support our work making documentary films aimed at ending the exploitation and abuse of children worldwide through the production of films and other media that raise awareness, promote action and inspire change.”  Shine Global’s films include the 2013 Academy Award®-winning short documentary Inocente, The Harvest (La Cosecha) with Executive Producer Eva Longoria about child labor in the US, and the Academy Award®-nominated and Emmy Award®-winning War/Dance.

Shine Global deeply believes that social issue filmmaking inspires positive change for numerous societal challenges. For each film, Shine creates a tailored outreach and engagement campaign, develops and distributes free downloadable curriculum for teachers that expands the films’ educational impact, and screens its films for policy makers and influencers in support of policy change. Shine believes that the value of the arts to education and social change is intrinsic and exponential over time. Students learning in this way are engaged socially, emotionally, and intellectually, and develop into socially minded leaders of society.

Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancement of the livability of communities through the arts.  The NEA received 1,515 eligible applications under the Art Works category and recommended grants totaling $25.8 million.

To support Shine Global’s work, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution today.

1 Way Up in 3D Premieres at Montclair Film Festival May 4th

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We are thrilled to announce that our film 1 Way Up in 3D will premiere at the Montclair Film Festival on Sunday, May 4th, 2014. Producer Albie Hecht, Co-Producer Alexandra Blaney, and Executive Producer Susan MacLaury will all be in attendance.

Directed by first time director Amy Mathieson, 1 Way Up in 3D tells the story of two teens, 15-year old Quillan Isidore and Tre Whyte, 18, on the road to the BMX World Championships. They hope to escape one of the toughest gang neighborhoods in London with the only thing they have – a bike. Defying the stereotypes of “black boys in hoods” and the media portrayal of their neighborhood, they race to the top of the BMX ranks and off the streets.  

1 Way Up - Buy tickets MFF

“Black boys in hoods” are negatively stereotyped, especially by the media These distorted media depictions of black males contribute to negative stereotypes, unfair treatment, and unequal opportunity in areas ranging from employment to education to criminal justice and beyond. Inaccurate depictions can also affect black males’ self-perceptions and lead to diminished self-esteem. The constant reinforcement of negative lifestyles in the media can lead youth into thinking there are no other options. 1 Way Up shows that there are. It’s the story of the determination of two young athletes to defy this stereotype and strive for their personal best. It is also the story of a coach’s faith in the talent of his riders and his willingness to sacrifice his own career to help them succeed despite all odds.

1 Way Up is Shine’s first 3D documentary. Filmed with super slo-mo Phantom cameras and 3D GoPro’s mounted on bikes and riders, it has a soundtrack pulsating with the rhythm and soul of Peckham’s music. We have worked with several local London musicians on the film’s soundtrack including up and coming female rap artist Phreeda Sharp (recently featured on MTV’s Brand New Unsigned and dubbed “London’s hottest female rapper”). The 3D, animation, hip-hop, and spoken word are blended together to create an innovative action sports storytelling style that truly brings to life the power of sports to help youth succeed against all odds and defy stereotypes.

Dancing in Jaffa Opens Theatrically in the US April 11th


In Dancing in Jaffa, produced by kNow Productions and Tiara Blu Films in association with Shine Global, meet the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Israeli 10-year olds who, despite being taught to hate one another, have the courage to partner together in a dance competition in Jaffa, Israel. Dancing in Jaffa opens at the IFC Center in New York on Friday, April 11th and in select theaters across the country through April and May following successful theatrical runs in Germany and France.

In this documentary directed by Hila Medalia, Pierre Dulaine, four-time ballroom dancing world champion, is fulfilling a life-long dream when he takes his program, Dancing Classrooms, back to his city of birth, Jaffa. For generations, Jaffa has been a city divided by two communities that continue to grow increasingly apart. Over a ten-week period, Pierre teaches Jewish and Palestinian Israeli children to dance and compete together. The film explores the complex stories of three children, all of whom who are forced to confront issues of identity, segregation, and racial prejudice as they dance with their enemy. We watch Pierre transform their lives, confirming his belief that dance can overcome hatred and provide the first steps towards real change.

The Hollywood Reporter calls Dancing in Jaffa a “heartwarming doc” that “illustrates the power of dance to bring people together.” It clearly shows the powerful role that the arts, and dance in particular, can play in enabling children to overcome prejudice and build strong personal ties with one another. Through his work, Pierre has demonstrated that the Dancing Classrooms method can be easily and successfully replicated worldwide.

Dancing in Jaffa has won several awards including Best Editing Award at Docaviv, the Audience Award at the Washington Jewish Film Festival,the Audience Award at Festival 2 Valenciennes in France, and Honorable Mention – One Future Award at Munich Filmfest 2013. It is also a part of of Sundance’s Film Forward program, an international touring program designed to enhance greater cultural understanding, collaboration and dialogue around the globe by engaging audiences through the exhibition of films, workshops and conversations with filmmakers. Film Forward is an initiative of the Sundance Institute and the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Hilla Medalia

Hilla Medalia
Diane Nabatoff and Neta Zwebner-Zaibert

Jeremy Chilnick
LaToya Jackson
Nigel Lythgoe
Jeffre Phillips
Jonathan Shukat and Morgan Spurlock

NR, 86 Minutes