This past Tuesday night at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles marked the launch of Bright Ideas Magazine’s second issue, co-sponsored by Creative District, an online professional network for filmmakers and creatives backed by Technicolor. Creative District, Film Independent and Bright Idea’s founders, Seed & Spark, hosted the event during the LA Film Festival and dedicated the night to showcasing the creative innovators of independent film. During the party, Creative District announced Rita Baghdadi and Jeremiah Hammerling, co-directors of My Country, No More, as the recipients of its monthly $5000 grant program.
Baghdadi and Hammerling were recognized for their work on the feature independent documentary that explores the fundamental question agricultural communities across America are facing today: What and who are we willing to sacrifice in our pursuit of progress?
For more than two years, the Los Angeles-based filmmakers embedded themselves in a western North Dakota farming community on the frontier of the fastest-growing oil boom in US history. North Dakota’s oil production rate currently sits at 1 million barrels per day, pushing the United States closer to worldwide energy independence and providing tens of thousands of new jobs to an otherwise crippled economy. With this growth, controversy surrounds the drilling practices responsible for this boom and for every positive aspect it seems there are several side effects. The result from their time spent examining the cause and effects of this expansion is a gritty character-driven documentary that seeks to raise awareness and incite discussions about how communities can become empowered to influence the real-time decisions behind made about our resources including land, food, water and fuel. .
The $5,000 grant will go toward the composition of the film’s score and bring them a step closer toward finishing the film this fall. Creative District, which launched in March, is dedicated to supporting the filmmaking community with the resources they need throughout each phase of their projects. Filmmakers and creative professionals that join the network are provided a dynamic platform to showcase their work and collaborate with their peers. Since its debut, the platform has handed out 6 grants to a variety of independent projects and continues to support those who seek to connect, collaborate and create more.