Groundswell films are the ones that move audiences to action and create momentum for social change. Our work is powered by the involvement of many people who want to use media to make a difference, starting with the participants in our own films. They are people who would never have a chance to tell their story to the world. Together we not only make documentaries, we make news. And we offer a variety of entry points where you can join us.
If you are interested in making a cross-cultural film, or shining a powerful light on a hidden issue, or booking a documentary screening and bringing a participant in the film to an event in your community, work with us to build a Groundswell experience.
We work with universities, schools, non-profit organizations, professional associations, government agencies, foundations, religious institutions, museums, broadcasters, film festivals and individuals. We look forward to working with you.
Groundswell Educational Films is a non-profit organization with a mission to collaborate cross-culturally in all facets of documentary filmmaking, transfer media skills into disadvantaged communities, and partner with stakeholders to stimulate local actions that address social justice issues raised in our films. Groundswell engages audiences through film, live performances and multi-arts programming and amplifies marginalized voices through new and traditional media.
|Jeff Spitz is an Emmy Award winner who creates original documentaries for broadcast on PBS and cable. His credits as a writer/producer/director include: The Return of Navajo Boy, a one-hour documentary that reunited a Navajo family, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and has screened and won awards at film festivals internationally; From the Bottom Up, a one-hour, national PBS public affairs report on community activism; The Roosevelt Experiment, a half-hour documentary for ABC-TV telling the story of an integrated college in a segregated city; and America’s Libraries Change Lives, celebrating the immigrant experience in America’s public libraries, narrated by Whoopi Goldberg. A California native and graduate of UCLA, Spitz teaches documentary filmmaking at Columbia College Chicago.|
|Jennifer Amdur Spitz is co-founder of Groundswell Educational Films and co-Executive Producer of The Robben Island Singers Project. She is also principal of Amdur Spitz & Associates, Inc., a national agency providing issue-oriented marketing communications, public relations, program planning, and video production services to museums, universities, foundations, and other nonprofit, government and business clients since 1992. She has utilized her keen marketing, non-profit management and entrepreneurial skills to design and develop new non-profit organizations or programs and to develop award-winning, integrated communications campaigns. Jennifer brings her experience and expertise in communicating issues related to education, the arts, the environment, housing, and community development to Groundswell’s public education projects.|
|Sam Spitz is an associate producer at Groundswell Educational Films, and the writer, director, and co-producer of The Greens. Sam began a college speaking tour with The Greens in September 2013, and continues to present the film and lead discussions on college campuses in the US and Great Britain. He is currently pursuing a Masters in US History at the University of Oxford. Sam graduated summa cum laude from Colgate University in May 2013. Prior to Colgate, he played football for the Badgers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His writing has appeared in Mother Earth News, Colgate Scene Alumni Magazine, and the Maroon-News.||Mickey Madoda Dube is an award-winning filmmaker and a Fulbright alumnus based in Johannesburg. He received his MFA from USC School of Cinema and TV and received international recognition with his multi-award winning short film, Imbazo. Dube has produced, directed and written several documentaries, including Movements in Black, a documentary on South African Black Art, and Wa N’ Wina (Sincerely Yours), an atypical AIDS documentary, as well as a TV feature, A Walk in the Night. He has directed several TV shows, including Sesame Street South Africa, and numerous commercials. Dube also teaches, most recently at Newtown Film and TV School, and in 1998 at an intensive workshop on Robben Island.||Bennie Klain is an award-winning journalist who co-produced the official Sundance Film Festival 2000 selection, The Return of Navajo Boy. Bennie’s career in media began as a program director for public radio station KGHR-FM in Tuba City, Arizona. He first gained recognition for producing “Windsongs,” a Native American music program, which was syndicated nationally by the American Indian Radio on Satellite (AIROS) network. In 1998, Klain was presented with the Best Newscast Award by Arizona Associated Press. In 1997, he received the New Mexico Broadcasters Associations Best Newscast Award and Arizona Associated Press’ Best Feature Production Award.|
|Chihiro Amemiya Amemiya has worked on documentaries and videos for various nonprofit organizations in Chicago as a videographer and editor. She documented lives of homeless teens and their changes in the Teen Living Programs and contributed to the organization’s fundraising efforts. She also shot and edited scenes and community initiative events for the feature documentaries, The Robben Island Singers and The Return of Navajo Boy, for Groundswell Educational Films. Lowrider, another documentary she filmed, shows the lives and culture of lowriders and is displayed as a part of the permanent exhibition at the Chicago History Museum.|
Our Board of Directors
Jennifer Amdur Spitz (email)
Jeff Spitz (email)
Johannesburg, South Africa
Carroll Day Kimble