Todd Belcore and Emile Cambry
“Ideas with Action” and “Create. Social. Change.” are the taglines that childhood friends and entrepreneurs Todd Belcore and Emile Cambry came up with when they produced the inaugural Chicago International Social Change Film Festival, a three day festival that took place this past October. The Chicago International Social Change Film Festival was created to provide a platform for films that promote social change by increasing public consciousness about some of the critical issues going on worldwide. -tony binns
What was genesis behind the Chicago Social Change Film Festival?
Emile: I think it was kind of a situation in which Todd and I were thinking in the same way about the same idea in different ways. For me, I run a youth project, where we teach high students global applications and I wanted to film these students to and interview the students as an advocacy tool to encourage the growth of my program or the creation of similar programs. So, one of the things I started to do, as a filmmaker, as well, was to research the different film festivals in which we could showcase the film so I could try to attract investment dollars, grants or whatever to shoot it the way I wanted to shoot it. And speaking with Todd about some of the work that he is doing, he thought film making could also be a way of showcasing the issues he deals with. So we decided let’s come together and take both our ideas and try to make something powerful.
What types of films were submitted?
Emile: Social change film means different things to different people and that vagueness is what I love about the festival. It can be a narrative; it can be a documentary; it can be animated film. Is it a social change film? Does it have any educational value? Are we learning something by it? From there we came up with a list of films.
Were you pleased with the overall reception from this year’s event?
Todd: I think the energy was incredible. People enjoyed the films and the panels and were excited just to get to know other people from different areas of practice professionals or private or non-profit sectors who were interested in social change.
How can others get involved?
Todd: First and foremost we are a non-for-profit organization that is volunteer ran and there is no more efficient use of your donation dollars than to donate to an organization where 100%of your donation goes directly towards creating social change. We are also looking to expand our board, partner with more organizations in more communities. If anyone is interested in doing something unique, fun and targeted to create social change, they should e-mail us at [email protected] or go to
www.chicagosocialchange.org for more information.