Welcome to GPFF’s Projects Page!
2015 marks our 13th festival in Orlando. What you may not know is that GPFF is hard at work all year round. True to our motto, “It Starts Here,” the festival is not only a celebration of our work for the entire year, but also a springboard for launching projects with our partners in Central Florida, New York and beyond
Watch this space for news and updates about our work and the ways in which GPFF’s audiences have watched films, gotten involved and changed things.
DUKALE’S DREAM at the Enzian August 30 at noon.
In partnership with the Enzian Theater, GPFF is organizing a screening of DUKALE’S DREAM August 30 at 12pm (noon) which will include the director, Josh Rothstein, skyping in for the Q&A. We are thrilled to be bringing this story about the importance of fair and ethical trade in concert with community-based aid to Central Florida. But there’s more to this story than the film and the fair trade coffee – although the coffee is pretty great!
Some years ago while screening films for the festival, Jesse Scolaro, a producer I knew from my days in acquisitions at IFCTV, sent me an intriguing short documentary called SEEDS OF HOPE. There was much to recommend this film for the GPFF program. It showed a respected faith-based organization, World Vision International, developing a nuanced and responsive action plan to help a group of Ethiopian coffee farmers build on the strengths of their environment and their local traditions all the while organically supporting their local economy. The film focused on one coffee farmer named Dukale as he implemented the simple, but elegant technological changes to his farming and cooking practices as part of World Vision’s integrated aid programs.
And, oh! Hugh Jackman was our guide in the film, working shoulder to shoulder with Dukale to learn first-hand what targeted development looks like and what it can accomplish.
While I didn’t have the chance to program the short, I was hooked on the story, and I stayed in touch with the producer and the director. Josh returned to Ethiopia to check in on Dukale and document the way the interventions had taken root and borne fruit for Dukale, his family and his community. Josh also checked in with Hugh Jackman who had been transformed by the trip as well. A longtime donor to World Vision, Hugh wanted to experience for himself World Vision’s strategy of working closely with community leaders to provide a hand-up, rather than a hand-out for people in need.
Like the coffee trees Dukale and Hugh planted together on the initial trip, SEEDS OF HOPE grew into DUKALE’S DREAM which expands on that first intervention not only to show the longer term, positive impact for Dukale and his family, but also to establish the link to the larger global community by highlighting how trade policies and consumer education play a role in bringing respect and dignity to all parts of the supply chain which connects us together.
Hugh Jackman’s realization that you can make the world a better place by the coffee you drink, by the clothes you wear, by making sure that the countless transactions you undertake each day reflect your values animates this film. That “aha” moment coupled with the potential for dramatic improvement that community empowerment projects can bring motivated Josh and Jesse to do more than just screen the film. They hoped the story would be used by church groups, schools and lovers of great coffee everywhere to build on the lessons learned here in the US and around the world.
Given my experiences using films to catalyze positive change at the festival, I knew this story could inspire people to make the simple changes in their daily habits that could ripple out to improve the lives of people across the world – people that they may never meet, but who are connected by a cup of coffee. Hoping to realize the full potential of the story, I consulted with Jesse and Josh as part of my role with GPFF to craft an outreach and engagement strategy for the film’s campaign goals. GPFF continues to support their fundraising efforts to create a fair trade and social entrepreneur centered curriculum for students in the US; to encourage donations for existing economic empowerment programs; and to improve health standards for women and children in developing countries through the distribution of clean cookstoves.
We are looking forward to seeing you all at the Enzian Sunday, August 30 at noon. Who knew you could get so much done over a cup of coffee!
– Kelly DeVine, Artistic Director