WHY WE CARE
We’ve been working non-stop on this film for two years. It started from watching our own parents face frailty and the need for care. Then as we got deeper into the project, we saw how many people are dealing privately with these issues – virtually everyone we know. We’re convinced that making this film and helping to start a public dialogue about eldercare is the most important work of our lives. We invite you to join us in it.
CARE is the first feature documentary to expose the cracks in our home elder care system by telling the intimate stories of three overworked and underpaid home caregivers, counterpointed by the experiences of two families struggling to find and pay for quality care.
Our partner Ai-jen Poo, NDWA Executive Director, and winner of a 2015 MacArthur Genius Award, speaks about how much elder care will effect all of us and the crucial need for our film in this video.
CARE takes audiences behind closed doors to reveal the beauty, complexity and importance of home care, while urgently drawing our attention to the larger issues:
-- Home care workers aren’t covered by even minimum wage and overtime protection. The poor pay and working conditions lead to high turnover rates and reduced quality of care.
-- As the population ages, America is facing a “care gap” with too few home care workers to meet the growing need.
-- 90% want to age at home, but the U.S. is one of the few Industrialized countries without a comprehensive approach to long term care. Many are under the illusion that Medicare will help with home care. It doesn't. Middle class families are exhausting their life savings paying for care.
-- Despite the fact that home care workers have clients with serious conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, there are no federal standards for care worker training.
Actress Marisa Tomei, speaks about why this work and our film are so important.https://vimeo.com/125926398
We are so near the finish line, but we need your help to fund the final editing, music composition, and post-production. If our Kickstarter campaign is successful, we will be able to complete and release the film this coming fall.
Our purpose in launching this Kickstarter campaign is not only to raise these critical last funds, but also to build a large and diverse community of people, who care deeply about these issues, to join us for our national outreach and engagement campaign, planned for the two years following the film’s release.
Your tax-deductible donation is invaluable to our effort to finish the film and begin sparking conversations about this issue that will affect all of us. Please give what you can and as importantly spread the word. As our partner, author and activist Ai-jen Poo says, together we can “wake the caring majority.”
For several decades, both Tony and Deirdre have been using documentary film to explore complex social issues and tell the stories of those outside the view of mainstream media.
Deirdre Fishel, Director
Deirdre has a 20-year history of directing documentaries and dramas that have premiered in competition at Sundance and SXSW. Her documentary Still Doing It, about women over 65 aging with vitality, has been broadcast in 15 countries and was turned into book, co-authored with producer Diana Holtzberg, published by Penguin Books. Recent work includes Suicide On Campus produced with the New York Times Magazine and The Boy Game, a transmedia project, distributed by New Day Films. Deirdre is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Communications at the City College of New York.
Tony Heriza, Producer
Tony has been producing media for social change since the 1970s. His award-winning documentary Concrete, Steel & Paint about restorative justice has been screened widely and is distributed through the filmmaker-owned co-op New Day Films. Tony has taught documentary film production at Rutgers University and the University of Pennsylvania, and is Director of Media Production for the American Friends Service Committee. Tony was recently chosen to participate in the American Film Showcase, the U. S. State Department’s film diplomacy program.
Caring Across Generations, Chicken and Egg Pictures, Consumer Voice, Fledgling Fund, Ford Foundation, Independence Foundation, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, MacArthur Foundation, National Domestic Workers Alliance, New York State Health Foundation
These groups are working to change legislation, organize workers and create employer consciousness about the need for better training, fair compensation and increased benefits for workers. They are committed to working with us and using the completed film to raise public awareness about these issues.
Through a national television broadcast and a two year outreach and engagement campaign, the film will bring this issue into the public eye, onto the policy agenda, and into the discourse of the 2016 Presidential campaign.
David has an M.F.A. in Documentary from Stanford University. David has worked for PBS, NOVA, Fox, and has years of experience with small, independent documentaries. His feature documentary, THE IMMORTALISTS premiered at SXSW. He is also currently a shooter and producer on the documentary FREEDOM FIGHTERS.
Annukka is a Finland-born New York-based film editor. Her recent feature documentary work includes editing David Alvarado’s THE IMMORTALISTS, which premiered in 2014 at SXSW and Lotta Petronella’s HOME, to be released in 2015. She has also recently worked as an editor on Josh Fox's GASLAND PART II (HBO).
Jim co-directed and produced a series of award winning films with Julia Reichert, including GROWING UP FEMALE; , the Oscar nominated UNION MAIDS; and the first documentary film on American Communists, SEEING RED, which brought their second Academy Award nomination. His film, LETTER TO THE NEXT GENERATION, premiered on the PBS series, P.O.V. His recent editing credits include A LION IN THE HOUSE, SCOUT'S HONOR and the award-winning documentary TAKING ROOT, about Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maatthai.
Risks and challenges
Although we've been passionate about this project from the beginning, we've faced many challenges. Our first was finding subjects who would be willing to allow us to follow them. In our youth oriented culture, many elders feel shame about their frailty and didn't want a camera to witness them. We also were determined to have a care story in a very rural area and finding that story took many months.
In the editing room, we faced a different kind of challenge, how to tell a complex story with many different characters. Could we tell the story of workers and elders? How to create drama from the small and deeply human moments of caregiving? How to interweave the different unfolding stories in a way that felt seamless and strong?
However, our biggest challenge lies ahead. Although we've gotten major funding from both the MacArthur and Ford Foundations and have a strong track record of completing projects, raising the last money and getting the film out in a timely fashion has become a full time job. And once we do and begin our outreach and engagement plan, changing the discourse on elder care in a country that idolizes youth and doesn't want to acknowledge aging as a natural part of the human condition, won't be easy.
But we are committed to showing the beauty, complexity, power and value of home care. This is the work that allows elders to age at home with dignity. This is the work that allows the families of elders to go to their jobs with piece of mind. This is work that must be accounted for and compensated so that care workers no longer live on the poverty line. It won't be easy, but we believe that this film can help coalesce state and city commissions, with folks from all sides of the equation, to begin to grapple with these issues before we hit a crisis. We also believe the film can be part of a critical culture change that acknowledges and values elders, the workers that care for them and the beauty of caregiving.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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