Director’s Letter

 

Director Janet Fitch talks about creating these 3  films – with active lives of engagement and invites you to use them as tools to change the way we talk, think and act about gun violence in America

Hello & Thank You for checking out our project!

My personal journey as a filmmaker began fifteen years ago, when I was planning a single documentary to cover the Million Mom March for Sensible Gun Laws. On Mothers’ Day of 2000, our team joined in and began an instant dialog with the people who showed up from every corner of the United States. The project rapidly evolved into a trilogy, exploring the issue through local, state and national lenses, because the reality is: urban, suburban, small town and rural populations are all at risk.

All three, award-winning films have taken on active engagement lives of their own, and I’ve been privileged to observe first hand the response they receive. When diverse audiences become accurately informed about the more complex stories surrounding gun violence, people come away with a clearer understanding of why we desperately need a new framework to find preventive solutions to suicide, homicide, domestic, accidental and mass shootings.

The achievable goal of this project is to reframe discussion of gun violence to a radically logical public health focus on prevention. This non-polarizing framework broadens discussion and invites us into solution-based civil dialog. The current no-win framework of “gun rights verses gun control” is wearing thin, as it divides rather than unifies the American people.

“Change the framework – change the thinking,” contend public health professionals, who note statistical evidence on reduced injuries and fatalities from other causes. Drunk driving, unsafe cars, childproof caps are some worthy examples of issues that were not overtly political battles, but inclusive and robust political discussions, based on research – not ideology.  These occurred when the American Public demanded solutions to the unacceptable level of fatalities – gun violence is proving to be a far more resilient issue.

Critical thinking strategies and societal leadership skills are required to move us from a state of bewilderment on gun violence to a state of sustained, practical action. In my work, I get to see this happen over and again, when people decide to claim and own their agency in creating change. It is what keeps me excited about the possibilities for a sustainable shift as we change the way we think, talk and act about gun violence. Can you even begin to imagine what it might look and feel like to bring this American epidemic into proportion with other industrialized countries?

My chosen path, among many worthy others to choose from, is to provide tools that convene authentic dialog at the heart of this issue. It is driven by an abiding faith in people to find ways to overcome political divides and combine forces – for the common good. After nearly every major tragedy, people from across the Country write me to say: “The first thing I thought of was your films – please keep them circulating!” It is responses like this that keep me, and the wonderful people who add their talents to this project, energized and determined to continue developing and sharing replicable models of engagement at the heart of this dilemma.

I invite you to consider hosting a screening/discussion for any size audience. Feel free to contact me for a free consultation on your particular situation. Because I consistently work with people in many different settings, I can offer examples to get you get going in a direction that may open new possibilities for you.

And, following your event – be sure to connect again, to share your stories and discoveries with us!

 

Wishing You Peace in 2015,

Janet Fitch's signature