Stories That Move – The Redford Center
CHANGING THE WORLD THROUGH FILM
For over a decade The Redford Center has harnessed the power of film to enlighten audiences about some of the most pressing social and environmental concerns of our time. Believing that awareness is the first step towards action, Robert Redford and his son Jamie founded The Redford Center in 2005 as a creative way to drive progress and public engagement on their collaborative environmental action campaigns.
Utilizing their versatility as directors, writers and producers, this father and son duo masterfully draw out the humanistic element in their stories to better connect audiences with the problem at hand. By showing people how an issue directly affects them the non-profit is able to elevate conversations, mobilize groups of citizens and empower movements.
The Redford Center also stands apart when it comes to their message. Unlike many mainstream media outlets that focus on the doom and gloom of environmental issues, The Redford Center shares positive stories of innovation, solution and hope. Each project is approached as an opportunity to listen and learn, then find the storylines and storytellers that will help change the game. From there, the Center designs engaging campaigns for the films so that awareness can truly result in people getting involved in fighting for real and lasting change.
Their first documentary, FIGHTING GOLIATH: Texas Coal Wars, tackled the global battle against conventional coal-fired power plants. Aimed at halting the construction of over 200 new, outmoded, coal-fired power plants, the film’s action campaign played an early and important role in helping defeat and retire hundreds of plants.
The Redford Center also achieved incredible success on their last project, the Raise the River Campaign, which centered on their acclaimed documentary WATERSHED. Executive produced and narrated by Robert Redford and directed by award-winning filmmaker Mark Decena, WATERSHED tells the story of the Colorado River — one of the most dammed, dibbed, and diverted rivers in the world.
Offering solutions and hope for the future of the American West, WATERSHED premiered at the DC Environmental Film Festival and has since been shown at 53 other film festivals, winning numerous awards. With the help of WATERSHED the Raise the River campaign has collected more than $10 million to acquire water rights and restore essential habitat in the depleted Colorado River Delta region.
The next major environmental issue The Redford Center will address is America’s role in building the clean energy economy. In November 2013, The Redford Center summoned progressive thinkers and stakeholders across business, politics, science, technology and pop-culture to help start a new conversation aimed at accelerating the clean energy revolution. This meeting inspired the theme for The Redford Center’s next great feature film, Happening.
Starring and directed by Jamie Redford and featuring appearances from guests such as Mark Ruffalo, this HBO documentary takes an entertaining look at the renewable energy industry in America. Told from a very personal point of view, Happening is worlds away from your typical dull documentary. Debuting in fall 2017, viewers are invited to join Jamie Redford on a strange and humorous journey to come to terms with climate change and the path toward a more hopeful clean energy future. Along the way audiences will meet some unlikely entrepreneurs and advocates whose work is charting the course for our clean energy future and fighting to reframe the climate change narrative from one of denial and indifference into one of hope and action.
“If renewable energy has a chance to offset the worst of climate change, we have to change the story we are hearing and the dialogue we are having. It’s not about what we put on our roofs. It’s about what we put in our heads. And it’s not just Tony Robbins’ psycho-optimism either. We have the technology and the economy to avoid the worst. We just have to believe it, understand it — and act on it” shares Jamie Redford, Cofounder and Chairman of The Redford Center.
REDFORD CENTER GRANTS
In addition to creating their own documentaries, The Redford Center is dedicated to ensuring the next generation of filmmakers tell their stories. In 2016 the non-profit launched the inaugural Redford Center Grants to provide funds, mentorship opportunities, and networking support to independent filmmakers who share their passion for environmental awareness and action.
From the 282 applications received from 28 countries, six independent documentary films were selected for the program — each reflecting a unique issue and approach. Funded by The New York Community Trust, each of these featurelength films are focused on driving awareness, education and tangible action on a variety of environmental topics.
Help The Redford Center inspire positive social and environmental change in our world. To learn more or to make a tax-deductible donation please visit redfordcenter.org.