To be nominated for an Oscar, a film would have to be released in a commercial theatre during the previous calendar year in the Los Angeles County and run for at least seven consecutive days. Of course, there are exceptions for categories such as Foreign Language Film or Documentary. For a film to collect the award, we imagine it would have something to do with great directing, phenomenal acting, and brilliant scriptwriting. The kind that makes you remember the moment you experienced the film.
Gearing up for the Academy Awards this weekend, we present a list of recent films about social change, including one that literally touches the heart and is nominated for an award.
Nominated for Best Documentary – Short Subject, Open Heart tells the story of eight Rwandan children who travel alone without their families to the Salam Center where they undergo high-risk, open-heart surgery. An estimated 18 million people have rheumatic heart disease, which develops due to untreated childhood strep throat, and are in need of surgery.
The film is directed by Kief Davidson and produced by Cori Shepherd Stern, who were working on a documentary about Partners in Health and felt they had to tell this story after stumbling upon it and meeting protagonist Dr. Emmanuel Rusingiza.
The film follows Amlan Ganguly, a social entrepreneur and lawyer who saw that the poor were given a legal system with little justice because they were unable to pay fees, as he goes on a journey to empower children to become change agents of their own communities.
The children use dance, theatre, and data to mount polio vaccination drives, turn garbage dumps into playing fields, and conduct education campaigns that helped their neighbourhoods reduce malaria and diarrhea. Through their journey, the children have not only changed their neighbourhoods, but themselves. The film will begin its theatrical screenings on March 29.
In Transition 2.0 gathers stories about “ordinary people doing extraordinary things”. It shows how people respond to uncertain times by taking matters into their own hands, from printing their own money to growing food everywhere and setting up community power stations.
In an era where school systems are widely considered obsolete, The Forbidden Education explores alternative education practices and unconventional schools in Latin America and Spain. The Spanish film is the first to be funded and released using crowdfunding.
The film follows Rafea, a Bedouin woman living on the Jordan-Iraq border with her four daughters. She and thirty illiterate grandmothers were given the opportunity to attend the Barefoot College in India where they will train for six months to become solar engineers.
If she succeeds and returns to her country as the first female solar engineer in the country, she will be able to provide power to her village, train other engineers, and provide for her daughters. But will she be able to overcome the traditional minds in her Bedouin community?
Social Enterprise Buzz is a media company dedicated to covering social enterprise news from around the world. We publish a range of stories from startups to entrepreneurship, innovation, and finance, which showcase business making the world a better place. Read more.