FiReFilms CEO Sharon Anderson Morris wins Science and Society honor
Parkite Sharon Anderson Morris was recognized as a 2019 Epiphany honoree for Novim’s Documentary Science and Society Award at Stanford University Wednesday night.
The honor was given to Anderson Morris, the CEO of FiReFilms, for “leadership in establishing the FiReFilms mission of identifying, supporting, and promoting potentially world-changing great filmmakers and documentary films – from creation through distribution to educational outreach.”
FiReFilms (Future-in-Review Films) is “a membership-based organization that supports scientifically-based documentaries that educate, inspire and transform humanity, from conception through distribution,” Anderson Morris said.
It is one of the organizations in the Strategic News Service network, which is a global source of world-changing information focused on the intersection of technology and economics, she said.
“FiReFilms is all about finding the most important documentaries in the world and promoting them and their directors by sharing them through educational systems,” Anderson Morris said. “We’ve been doing this for eight years now, and FiReFilms has become an entity that tries to promote global change through these documentary films.”
Novim, the company that presented Anderson Morris with the award, was founded in 2008 at the KAVLI Institute of Theoretical Physics at University of California Santa Barbara, and it uses a group of scientists to “break down complex issues in such a way as to render them comprehensible to non-scientists,” according to its mission.
Anderson Morris was surprised by the award.
“This is an honor that came totally out of the blue,” she said. “Apparently they have a team that works behind the scenes to look for individuals and teams who are changing the world in innovative ways.”
Anderson Morris’ award category, Science and Society, recognizes individuals or teams who are making impacts in different scientific areas for academic researchers, specifically faculty and graduate students, she said.
“Our mission has always been to seek the most important documentary films about the most relevant and important subjects in the world and to show them through our network to create positive change,” Anderson Morris explained. “Because we have so many connections with major corporations, we reach thousands of people through our screenings. And we also do educational outreach to students, teachers and professors.”
The documentaries FiReFilms have sponsored focus on climate change, humanitarian issues and how technology has changed the world.
“There are so many topics we can address through these films,” Anderson Morris said.
One of these films, James Balog’s “The Human Element,” was also honored with a Science and Society recognition Wednesday night.
The film explores the relationship between humans and nature, according to Anderson Morris.
“I was honored to be with James among the award recipients,” she said. “His film is promoted by FiReFilms as a globally important documentary.”
In addition to documentaries, FiReFilms supports filmmakers such as Louie Psihoyos (“Racing Extinction” and “The Cove”) and Jeff Orlowski (“Chasing Coral”), to name a few.
Keeping the FiReFilms’ finger on the pulse of global topics has become easier throughout the years, Anderson Morris said.
“Because we’ve been doing this for so long, directors are contacting us about things they believe are important,” she explained. “We are at the point that we can choose which films to show to our global membership.”
FiReFilms has selected a review team who looks at the submitted documentaries.
“We evaluate them to determine if they are important enough for us to stand them, show them and facilitate discussions to create change,” Anderson Morris said. “We are honored to globally promote directors and their world changing documentaries.”
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Sundance Institute announced it will instead send reporters a press kit with video remarks from executive leadership.