AMERICAN WINTER Short-Listed for Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize

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The HBO documentary AMERICAN WINTER, produced and directed by Emmy-winning filmmakers Joe Gantz and Harry Gantz, has been short-listed for a prestigious Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize, an award recognizing acts of truth-telling that protect the public interest, promote social justice or illuminate a more just vision of society.

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The nomination of AMERICAN WINTER for a prestigious Ridenhour Prize recognizes the film’s powerful depiction of the toll of forty years of shifting economic policies that have left millions of American families struggling to meet their most basic needs.

AMERICAN WINTER, which premiered on HBO this past spring and reveals the human impact of rising poverty and economic inequality in the US, has been short-listed for The Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize. 2013’s honoree was THE INVISIBLE WAR, a groundbreaking investigative documentary into the troubling epidemic of rape in the US military. AMERICAN WINTER was produced by Emmy-winning filmmakers Joe and Harry Gantz, whose past work includes HBO’s “Taxicab Confessions”, CBS’ “The Defenders”, and documentaries for Showtime, The Sundance Channel, and Channels 4 and 5 in the U.K.

Framed through the very personal stories of eight families, AMERICAN WINTER reveals the devastating effects of high unemployment and underemployment, low wages, and forty years of shifting economic policies to benefit the wealthy at the expense of the middle class and working poor. Even as the economy slowly recovers from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, an alarming number of American families are still finding themselves caught in a daily struggle to meet their basic needs. At the same time, the social safety net that was intended to help those in crisis has been impacted by budget cuts, creating a perfect storm of greater need and fewer resources available to assist vulnerable families.    

The film, which has screened in more than 60 cities across the country as part of an ongoing community outreach campaign, won Best Documentary at the Portland International Film Festival and Best of the Festival at the Workers Unite Film Festival in New York City. The Gantz brothers received a Sidney Award for Excellence in Journalism for the Common Good, awarded by the Sidney Hillman Foundation. They also received a Bending Toward Justice Award from Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon in June 2013. On June 6th, 2013, four of the film’s subjects testified at a U.S. Senate Subcommittee hearing titled: “State of the American Dream: Economic Policy and the Future of the Middle Class” moderated by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.).

“The promise of America is being undermined by policies that have decimated the middle class in this country,” said Joe Gantz, the film’s director. “And the more we let people slip out of the middle class, and then refuse to give them a hand up, the weaker our democracy gets.”

For more information about AMERICAN WINTER, to view the TRAILER or to purchase the DVD, visit:

About the Ridenhour Prizes
The annual Ridenhour Prizes recognize acts of truth-telling that protect the public interest, promote social justice or illuminate a more just vision of society. These prizes memorialize the spirit of fearless truth-telling that whistleblower and investigative journalist Ron Ridenhour reflected throughout his extraordinary life and career. Each prize carries a $10,000 stipend.

About View Film
View Film is a television and film production company, owned and operated by the Emmy award-winning filmmakers Joe and Harry Gantz. The mission of the company is to create meaningful, creative, innovative and authentic television and film content for viewers worldwide. View Film’s documentary television programming has been broadcast on HBO, CBS, Showtime, The Sundance Channel, and on Channels 4 and 5 in the UK. In addition, documentary feature films produced at View Film have been released theatrically both domestically and overseas. View Film's next film project, THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD, follows the personal stories of passionate scientists, activists and concerned citizens who are fighting to stop climate change and advance the renewable energy revolution.

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