Puts a Human Face on America’s Unemployment Crisis
Award-Winning Doc Premieres on Public Television in November 2013
(Boston, MA) – Although four years removed from the official end of the Great Recession, the statistics surrounding U.S. unemployment still appear grim. Almost 12 million Americans remain out of work — 4.1 million more than when recession began in 2007.
This crisis has hit the Baby Boom generation particularly hard.
Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, came of age during an era of prosperity and optimism. By and large, they grew up feeling confident and secure about their futures, believing hard work and following the rules would leave them “set for life.” Those expectations seemed justified until the economic downturn prompted massive lay-offs and government budget cutbacks. As a result, the Boomers, now in their 50s and 60s, suddenly found themselves out of a job — some for long periods of time — and trying to cope with their rapidly eroding American Dream.
In response to the ongoing unemployment crisis in the United States, American Public Television (APT) proudly announces the November 2013 (check local listings) release of Set for Life, a timely and thought-provoking one-hour documentary produced by Tree of Life Productions, LLC about three Baby Boomers struggling to recover from the Great Recession.
The Set for Life public television broadcast is funded in part by AARP Foundation, working with struggling Americans 50 plus to help them win back opportunity. In addition, hundreds of individual Kickstarter donations also helped fund the production.
Thrust into a quest they never anticipated, the film’s three main characters deal with the economic, financial and psychological impact of losing their jobs. Joe Price, a third-generation steelworker from Weirton, W. Va.; Deborah Salim, a 15-year community college employee from Conway, S.C., and George Ross, a Vietnam veteran and an information technology project manager from Livermore, Calif. suffer financial woes, self-doubt and health problems as they endure the daunting job-hunt process. Their poignant and, at times, heart-wrenching stories put a human face behind the statistics.
Prior to its national broadcast, Set for Life made the rounds on the film festival circuit, earning acclaim from both judges and critics alike. It won “Best Documentary Feature” at the Spring 2013 New Jersey Film Festival, the 2013 Northern California Film International Film Festival and the 2012 Massachusetts Independent Film Festival. It also served as an official selection of the Madrid International Film Festival.
Set for Life grew out of OverFiftyandOutofWork.com, a two-year online multimedia project. The producers traveled across the country and conducted video interviews with 100 Americans, 50 and older, who lost their jobs during the Great Recession. The online project received considerable recognition, including features in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal Digital Network, Smart Money.com, abcnews.com, forbes.com, The Huffington Post and NextAvenue.org.
Over 50 and Out of Work
The Over 50 and Out of Work website includes 100 video interviews with Americans 50 and older, and 18 video interviews with experts who discuss unemployment among older workers from different perspectives. The website connects to an active social-media community on Facebook, Twitter and related blog. The Over 50 and Out of Work/Set for Life network includes: AARP Foundation, AARP, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Harvard Business School, John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, Next Avenue, Northeastern University, Platform to Employment , Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College, The Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, NYU/Wagner and Urban Institute.
Tree of Life Productions, LLC
Tree of Life Productions is a full-service video production company for both commercial and independent projects.
American Public Television
American Public Television (APT) has been a leading distributor of high-quality, top-rated programming to America’s public television stations since 1961. Since 2004, APT has distributed approximately half of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles. Among its 300 new program titles per year are prominent documentaries, news and current affairs programs, dramatic series, how-to programs, children’s series and classic movies, including For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots, A Ripple of Hope, Rick Steves’ Europe, Newsline, Globe Trekker, Simply Ming, Joseph Rosendo’s Travelscope, America’s Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated, Lidia’s Italy, P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home, Midsomer Murders, Moyers & Company, Doc Martin, Rosemary & Thyme, BBC World News, The Rat Pack: Live and Swingin’, Johnny Mathis: Wonderful, Wonderful! and Nightly Business Report. APT also licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service. In 2006, APT launched and nationally distributed Create® – the TV channel featuring the best of public television’s lifestyle programming. APT is also a partner in the WORLD™ channel, public television’s premier news and documentary channel.
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