Sponsored Project

UNZIPPED: An Autopsy of American Inequality

Colin K. Gray
Megan Raney Aarons, Colin K. Gray, Amaechi Uzoigwe, CJ Gronner, Jamila C. Fairley, Elliot V. Kotek

90291: VENICE UNZIPPED is a provocative feature documentary about income inequality in America, told through the lens of one community and three families living in the same 90291 zip code, but at the opposite ends of the growing income divide. In the film, we embed in Venice, California, the once gritty, artistic and working class beach city, now the epicenter of gentrification in Los Angeles and a growing homelessness crisis. We follow three families for a year - one homeless, one middle class and one affluent - living in almost unimaginably different circumstances, while putting a human face on Venice’s vanishing working and middle class. We then follow a proposed homeless housing project that’s splitting the community in two, make connections to gentrification and affordable housing issues in other cities, and investigate how poverty is being criminalized in America. Is Venice, CA, the last beach city of color, a dramatic last stand or a cautionary tale about a nation re-segregating along income lines?

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

SCHEDULE: Plan is to film Fall 2018 through January 2020, then complete post production by Spring 2020. Goal is to then debut at a major festival and release the film Fall 2020 in advance of the 2020 Presidential elections. 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 written & directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker, Colin Keith Gray, and producer Megan Raney Aarons (AKA The Sibs - "Atari: Game Over", "Being Canadian", "Freedom’s Fury"); along with production manager, Solomon Murphy (AMC, TikTok, Action Against Hunger); journalist/ producer CJ Gronner ("Viceland"), producer Jamila C Fairley ("BELLA!", "Re-Emerging: The Jews Of Nigeria"); political consultant/ co-producer, Marc Baranov; executive producers Amaechi Uzoigwe (Run The Jewels), Lorien Gabel (Interlog, PINGG) and Elliot Kotek "Little Miss Sumo" "Black Boys" "Queen Mimi"; supervising producer Matt Green ("Refuge Wild"); Emmy award winner lead editor, Mohamed El Manasterly ("The Square") and editors Tayler Braasch, Michael Rogers and Davide Fiore; DP Tyler Heckerman ("The Cape"); and Emmy Award winning Interactive director, Ben Tricklebank ("Clouds Over Cuba"). Project is produced by GRAiNEY PICTURES with co-production partners Still Moving Pictures, EVO Films USA and Nation of Artists.

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: To date, approx $325,000 has been raised through a combination of equity investments in the LLC , grants, and crowd-funding contributions. We will continue to actively fundraise until the full project budget has been raised.

GIVING BACK: With a topic this pressing, we feel it’s important we give back. 90291: VENICE 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.