Sponsored Project

UNZIPPED: An Autopsy of American Inequality

Colin K. Gray
Megan Raney Aarons, CJ Gronner, Jamila C. Fairley, Colin K. Gray, Theresa Steele Page, Tim Headington, Amaechi Uzoigwe, Elliot V. Kotek, Lorien Gabel
Black and white lifeguard towers sit on a foggy beach beneath a geometric design of the American flag and the film title "Unzipped."

LOGLINE: UNZIPPED: An Autopsy of American Inequality is an intimate and heartbreaking film about the affordable housing crisis in America told through the prism of one zip code's struggle with the growing income divide.

SHORT SYNOPSIS: UNZIPPED: An Autopsy of American Inequality is a provocative and personalized window into the raw, human impact of the affordable housing crisis in America. The film embeds in iconic Venice CA 90291 and follows several artist families for over a year as they struggle to survive in their rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. The film also documents a proposed homeless housing project that reveals bitter divisions in the community around affordable housing, race, and homelessness.

Ultimately, the stories that unfold in UNZIPPED are just a microcosm of the issues afflicting America on a national scale and the structural inequity that the country’s housing and healthcare systems are built upon. Racist systems that have pushed far too many to the brink of survival. While the housing crisis existed long before COVID-19, the confluence of millions of American’s losing their jobs has only made it worse, particularly set against California’s soaring home prices, escalating rents, and the displacement that follow in places like Venice.

Humanized and personalized through the emotional journey of the families from one community, UNZIPPED is an urgent call to action for more equitable housing solutions for every zip code, and every family, in America and beyond.

STYLE: The film's point-of-view is investigative, fact-based, and compassionate. Rounding out our embed coverage are interviews with local and national thought-leaders from multiple points of view.

SCHEDULE: We filmed Fall 2018 through June 2020, then completed post production December 2020. Goal is to debut at a major festival in 2021 and release the film soon after. A larger social impact campaign will then launch around the film release to provoke further debate on the issues. Project elements include an interactive website and a strategic educational campaign.

CREATIVE TEAM: The film is produced by GRAiNEY PICTURES in association with Ley Line Entertainment, Still Moving Pictures and The Nation of Artists. The award-winning filmmaking team ("Miss Juneteenth", "The Square", "Black Boys", "Bella", "Being Canadian", "Freedom’s Fury") includes writer/director/producer Colin K. Gray; producers Megan Raney Aarons, C.J. Gronner, and Jamila C. Fairley; executive producers Theresa Steele Page, Tim Headington, Elliot Kotek, Amaechi Uzoigwe and Lorien Gabel; editors Davide Fiore and Mohamed El Manasterly; DP Tyler Heckerman; and political consultant, Marc Baranov. The score is composed by Leo Z and the film features tracks by acclaimed rap duo, Run The Jewels.

DIRECTOR’S SHORT BIO: Colin is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. Credits include producing Being Canadian (EOne - 2016 WGA nominee for Best Documentary) and Atari: Game Over (Netflix -2014); writer/producer of Redlight (Showtime - 2010); and writer/director of Freedom’s Fury (HBO -2006) about the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 (named by Esquire magazine one of “The 20 Greatest Sports Documentaries of All Time”).

FUNDING: The project is being funded through a combination of equity investments in the Unzipped Movie LLC, non-recoupable grants, crowd-funding contributions, and tax-deductible donations to the film through its' fiscal sponsor, the International Documentary Association (please make donations by clicking on the Make A Donation tab above). A detailed investment prospectus (PPM) is also available upon request.

FUNDING SECURED: The full production budget has now been raised through a combination of equity investments in the LLC , grants, and crowd-funding contributions. We are currently raising funds for our social impact campaign and sales/ PR efforts.

GIVING BACK: With a topic this pressing, we feel it’s important we give back. UNZIPPED will donate ten percent (10%) of the film’s total profits to leading grass roots organizations and NGOs that are actively engaged in income inequality & homelessness issues in Venice, and across America.