Sponsored Project


Colin K. Gray
Amaechi Uzoigwe, Megan Raney Aarons, Colin K. Gray

UNZIPPED is a provocative feature documentary about the growing economic and political divide across America. In the film, we'll profile 8 families from the wealthiest and poorest zip codes in California, Michigan, New York and Texas, while investigating America's shrinking middle class. Our goal is to humanize the growing income divide in each region, while searching for people who are redefining a new American Dream in surprising ways. Ultimately, we hope to create empathy through storytelling, and build understanding with data about this vital issue.

The film's point-of-view is investigative, fact-based, and deliberately non-partisan. We'll enlist opinions from a wide range of experts about how we've arrived at such a stark divide, highlight surprising facts about the history & policies that led us here, and suggest possible solutions for moving the country forward.

We'll also embed in Venice, California - the epicenter of of gentrification in Los Angeles - to see what it's like to be share the same zip code (90291) in a gritty beach city enclave with both the highest concentration of homelessness per capita, and now one of the highest average home sale prices nationally. We’ll dig into the impact of gentrification on its vanishing working & middle class residents, and see how Venice's affordable housing crisis is shared by many other communities and zip codes across America. The film ends with images of our 8 towns that are evocatively open to interpretation about the nation's future.

A larger social impact campaign then launches around the film release to provoke further debate on the issues for America and the world. Project elements include: a virtual reality (VR) short film, an interactive website, an American Dream augmented reality app, and a comprehensive educational initiative.

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