Locally made documentary is currently on tour around the country
September 12, 2014
In 2011, Park City resident and former PCTV personality Patrick Lovell took a chance and made a documentary film, "Forward 13: Waking Up the American Dream."
It’s about the economic collapse in 2008, and, while other films such as Chris Smith’s "Collapse" and Charles Ferguson’s "Inside Job," also look at the financial crisis, Lovell decided to use his own experiences as the catalyst for "Forward 13," which was released last February.
Lovell revealed how he lost his life savings due to a three-year series of unfortunate events including the disappearance of equity through a mishandled home-loan modification and the bankruptcy of an investor who was going to fund a TV show Lovell had conceived.
Lovell talked with author Jeremy Rifkin, president of Foundation on Economic Trends, Jeffrey D. Sachs, the director of Earth Institute, Common Cause spokeswoman Mary Boyle and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, to name a few.
A couple of months ago, Lovell, who had screened the film locally in Park City and Salt Lake City, began taking the film to Portland, Ore., and Seattle, Wash.
The plans, now, are to take the film on a national tour, and the filmmaker said it’s the best thing that has happened in the past six years.
Recommended Stories For You
"I am excited, fired up and I believe this incredibly long journey that began on Sept. 15, 2008, that changed my life irreversibly is coming to a crescendo," Lovell said during an interview with The Park Record. "Everything that we’re about to do and in the midst of experiencing, is a long hard lesson of reality [in the aftermath of] whatever created the 2008 downturn, which led to the creation of my film, which has now led to this national tour."
The goal is to get as many people to see the film as possible.
"We’re staging a 20-city tour that will have two national platform components that will include a national network and online publication," Lovell said. "We’re going to be wrapping around the entire country.
"We’re going to San Francisco this week, L.A. the next and Las Vegas and Phoenix," he said. "We will also go to places like Detroit, Ferguson, Mo., Raleigh, N.C., and Louisville, Ky. We want to get millions of Americans on the same page so they can understand the bare bolts of how this whole thing works."
Lovell is encouraged by the reactions and feedback he has received from the Seattle and Portland screenings.
"It’s been remarkable because what I’ve done is reached out to groups that want to keep money out of politics, groups that build a sustainable future alongside people who have been hit hard by the housing collapse," he said. "When you get all those individuals under one roof, it’s nuclear."
Then a few months ago, Cinema Libre Productions came on board as the film’s distributor.
"They have been very supportive and they know we need to show this film everywhere," Lovell said. "So they’ve decided to push this in major markets and on university campuses. Since school is back in action and we’re approaching the 2014 mid-terms, so there is a lot of political-activist groups that are trying to come together," he said.
Still, Lovell said the film wasn’t made for only activists, students and theorists.
"There is something in the film for everyone that they can relate to in the different experiences they have been in," he said. "It leads to something like a revival. Suddenly things make sense to them and, most importantly, they know what to do about it."
When Lovell decided to make the film, he approached it different than most filmmakers.
"It’s easy to point out the problems, which everyone does," he said. "What some filmmakers don’t do is describe the solutions.
"This is the reason for the tour," Lovell said. "We want to connect people who are finding solutions with those who don’t realize there are solutions out there."
Lovell said all of this wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for his investor, Parkite Adam Bronfman, known for his philanthropy around Park City including Temple Har Shalom, the National Ability Center, and the People’s Health Clinic.
"He is involved with so many things that have made Park City such a terrific place to live," Lovell said. "He put his name and credibility behind this film, which is amazing, because as much as I rail against wealth, I got lucky to connect with this guy who has means and uses his resources to help the film become a reality."
But Lovell didn’t have to worry, because Bronfman felt an obligation to tell this story.
"Adam told me his family made its wealth from the burgeoning American middle class during the 1950s, so he felt it was a common sense scenario where he knew that as long as the economy thrives, people who do good business thrive," Lovell explained. "He wanted to support that."
Lovell and Bronfman embarked on a journey that covered 8,500 miles through 23 states that included tapping into the Occupy Wall Street movement that led to amassing more than 150 hours of footage.
After finishing the daunting task of editing, Lovell was rewarded with the reactions of the audience.
"The most exciting thing for me as a filmmaker is seeing the emotional connection with the audience," Lovell said. "I decided to use my story, transparently, to show who I was, who my wife was and who my child was and people have told me that they don’t know where my story ends and where their story begins. They tell me that my story is their’s.
"In 2001, when the Trade Towers collapsed and I went to the Marine recruiting facility to see if I could enlist and defend my country," he said, "I talked with one of the recruiters and I realized that [enlisting] wasn’t going to be an efficient way to help my country. I needed to put my own skills to use to make something that would have a positive impact on this country. It’s almost impossible to put in words how much this country means to me. This is my opportunity to do something important that people could relate to, but more importantly, something they could respond to. It’s the most extraordinary sensation.
"Forward 13: Waking Up the American Dream" is available on Hulu, Amazon, or at http://www.forward13thefilm.com .
Recommended Stories For You
Trending In: Entertainment
- Author Mark Fiege will peel back the layers of national park history
- Ski film icon Warren Miller’s ‘Line of Descent’ was 68 years in the making
- Paramount seeks extras for TV series ‘Yellowstone’
- Peace House to host domestic violence awareness vigil
- Sunrise Rotary Club ups the ante of the Park City Shot Ski