Animal Mother Films

Animal Mother Films

August 17, 2010 14:21 ET

Documentary Filmmakers Turn to Community to Complete the Story

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 17, 2010) - Vancouver-based documentary filmmakers are harnessing the power of the crowd to engage people and communities in completing With Glowing Hearts; a film about how social media enables people to create positive social change.

The film's four interwoven storylines document the challenges and triumphs of people in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside in the lead up and during the 2010 Winter Olympics as their lives are changed through the power of social media and the Internet.

For a minimum investment of $2 anyone will receive a producer's credit and make a positive contribution to breaking down the digital divide; the gap between people with effective access to digital and information technology, and those with very limited or no access at all.

"The idea comes from a time when people would pass around a hat to support artists they enjoy and communities they believe in," says producer Jon Ornoy. "In our case, contributions support social media for positive social change. We hope this campaign inspires audiences to move beyond spectators and become participants," says director Andrew Lavigne.

One of the founding principles of W2 - a community and media arts centre whose development is at the heart of the film - is that access to information should be protected as a fundamental human right, and by helping complete With Glowing Hearts, this is an ideal which individuals will be directly supporting. The process of making this film has shown the significant impact that empowering someone's voice can have on the overall directions of their lives. The film serves as a blueprint for other marginalized communities looking for a means to organize and empower themselves.

Jon and Andrew hope to use the film to galvanize their audience into action. Whether supporting plans for a wireless mesh network for the DTES to provide free Internet access, working with computer recyclers like Free Geek or putting their weight behind campaigns for Net Neutrality the measure of success for With Glowing Hearts will not be the bottom line, but the difference made for the communities it documents.

The Tweet and Torch Relay campaign, devised by a group of volunteers, is being deployed across social networking sites like Twitter Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo using a combination of viral messages, outreach, widgets and incentives.

The With Glowing Hearts community, a group of volunteer contributors, have set up a website ( to process micro-donations by PayPal or credit card. Supporters can pass the fundraising torch by posting a badge on their own websites, blogs or social networks and passing on the message demonstrating the power of social media for social change.

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