NEW YORK & SEATTLE — Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions and Morgan Spurlock’s Cinelan today announced the full line-up of directors for WE THE ECONOMY 20 Short Films You Can’t Afford to Miss, a series pairing world-renowned directors with leading economists to drive awareness and a better understanding of the U.S economy through engaging, creatively told stories. The series, which features animation, comedy, nonfiction and scripted films, will launch simultaneously this October across multiple platforms and distribution partners including online, VOD, broadcast, mobile and theatrical.
“The economy is all around us, affecting virtually every aspect of modern life, yet there is a lack of understanding of how it works,” said Carole Tomko, creative director and general manager of Vulcan Productions. “We’re pairing the power of storytelling with information and technology to help people better understand the drivers that make the economy tick so that they can take control of their own economic trajectory.”
The directors are: Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes, Goodbye Solo), Bob Balaban(Gosford Park, The Exonerated), Joe Berlinger (Brother’s Keeper, Paradise Lost trilogy), Jon M. Chu (Step Up, G.I. Joe: Retaliation), Marshall Curry(Street Fight, If a Tree Falls), Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp, Detropia), Adrian Grenier (Entourage, How To Make Money Selling Drugs),Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Thirteen), Mary Harron (American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol), Chris Henchy (The Campaign, The Other Guys), Lee Hirsch (Bully, Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony), Albert Hughes(The Book of Eli, Menace II Society), Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Life Itself),Barbara Kopple (Harlan County USA, American Dream), Shola Lynch (Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, Chisholm ’72), Adam McKay(Anchorman, Funny or Die), Jehane Noujaim (The Square, Control Room),James Schamus (Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon),Morgan Spurlock (CNN’s Morgan Spurlock: Inside Man, Super Size Me),Miao Wang (Beijing Taxi, Yellow Ox Mountain), and Jessica Yu (Last Call at the Oasis, In the Realms of the Unreal).
The directors worked closely with advisors from a team of leading economic experts who provided editorial guidance for these five to eight-minute films, which have been organized by subject into five chapters:
What Is the Economy?
What Is Money?
What Is the Role of our Government in the Economy?
What Is Globalization?
What Causes Inequality?
The economic advisors are: Dean Baker (co-director, Center for Economic and Policy Research), Yoram Bauman (economist and author, The Cartoon Book of Macroeconomics), Jodi Beggs (educator and economics professor, Northeastern University), Adam Davidson (co-founder and host, NPR’s “Planet Money”), John Steele Gordon (author, An Empire of Wealth), Neil Irwin (senior economic correspondent, New York Times and author, The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire), Greg Ip (U.S. economics editor, The Economist, and author, The Little Book of Economics),Markus Koch (financial journalist, N-TV), Annalyn Kurtz (business and economics reporter), and Diane Lim (senior economist, Pew Charitable Trusts).
“WE THE ECONOMY is unlike anything that has been done before. We have taken a topic that is generally considered complicated, dry and boring, and made it entertaining, accessible, and informative,” says director Morgan Spurlock, executive producer of WE THE ECONOMY and co-founder of Cinelan. “We hope audiences will be inspired to engage more after viewing the films, with a better understanding that the economy is complex, not complicated.”
On September 27, the 2014 New York Film Festival Convergence will host a special panel discussion about this ambitious cross-platform project featuring filmmakers, economists, and the creators of the mobile and online elements. Neil Irwin, Senior Economic Correspondent for The New York Times will moderate.
A related educational program and details about the distribution outlets will be announced shortly.