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September 2013

American Winter - Documentary Screening

Discussion on Homelessness, Middle Class Struggles

NWREporter, September 2013

Three Eastside organizations are co-hosting a free screening of the documentary film "American Winter," along with a post-viewing community discussion.

Tickets for the August 13 event (scheduled from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.) are available at: http://americanwintereastside.eventbrite.com/. The screening will be held at the Bellevue Arts Museum, located at 510 Bellevue Way NE.

Two years in the making and filmed over the course of one winter in Portland, Ore., "American Winter" follows the personal stories of families struggling in the aftermath of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. It was produced and directed by Emmy award-winning filmmakers Joe and Harry Gantz, whose prior works include HBO's "Taxicab Confessions" and "The Defenders."

The filmmakers said experiences of the families in American Winter are a vivid illustration of what has been happening to families across America, including working families losing their homes, people who remain jobless or underemployed, children going hungry, families getting their heat shut off in the dead of winter, and people with health issues overwhelmed by medical costs. 

The community discussion following the screening will be led by five community leaders:

  • Meghan Altimore, Director of Housing & Asset Building, Hopelink
  • Matt Bott, CEO, Issaquah Chamber of Commerce
  • Linda Hall, Director of Housing Development & Operations, YWCA
  • Ann Levine, Executive Director, Imagine Housing
  • Renee Zimmerman, Executive Director, Eastside Baby Corner

James Whitfield, president of Leadership Eastside, will moderate the discussion.

The filmmakers said they are developing partnerships with local and national nonprofit organizations that can utilize the film to advance their specific missions. In addition, the film's social action campaign will focus on channeling the frustrations of struggling Americans into a movement for positive change, while also supporting legislators to pass bills that allow all Americans to have an opportunity to live a comfortable life and a chance at the American Dream.