Sleeping Giant is now available for pre-sale on iTunes!!

Waking the Sleeping Giant officially goes on sale November 6, but Apple just launched the pre-sales.

Pre-sales are hugely important for any book, album, or movie on platforms like iTunes. The pre-sales all get counted as launch day sales, which then determines how it appears on the iTunes page.

If you were thinking about grabbing Waking the Sleeping Giant on iTunes, right now would be a fantastic time to do so! And if you weren’t thinking about it, right now would be a fantastic time to do that, too :)

Thanks everyone for the support!

Waking the Sleeping Giant: Available & Coming Soon!

From the Coming Soon department:

1) iTunes pre-sales begin on October 23! If you’re thinking you might like to watch on iTunes, ordering it during the pre-sales period is super super helpful; the better the pre-sales numbers, the more likely iTunes will help promote it.

and …

2) Waking the Sleeping Giant will launch on iTunes, Amazon Video, Vudu, Google TV, Direct TV, and InDemand on November 6!

and …

3) DVDs and Blu-rays officially go on sale on our website on the same date! You’ll find them at our store starting November 6.

Our distributor (Indiecan Entertainment) is still in discussions with the subscription platforms … stay tuned.

And from the Available Now department:

Screening kits for educators and everyone else are available to anyone right now PLUS we are now offering a 52-minute version, which is especially useful for teachers and professors who want to use it in their classroom. Educators, activists, and everyone else have been screening the film all over the U.S. and Canada. Here is some of the educator feedback we’ve received:

Waking the Sleeping Giant highlights the historic campaign of Bernie Sanders, among other grassroots political campaigns of 2016. But this is not a campaign film; it is a compelling civics lesson and a primer on the mechanics of bottom-up democracy.”

- Dr. Luke Mayville, Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for American Studies, Columbia University

“This film is a needed reminder that social change comes through struggle. It is a powerful tool for teachers who want to inspire and educate about the efforts of everyday working class people.”

- Professor Luis A. Fernandez, Criminology Professor, Northern Arizona University

“This powerful and insightful film provided students with an honest look at American politics at a particularly complicated moment in American history. I enthusiastically recommend it.”

- Professor Kimberly Lubreski, Depts. of Sociology and Justice & Peace Studies, Georgetown University

Worth Waiting for: Sleeping Giant's LA Premiere

Last month we were finally able to give Waking the Sleeping Giant the Los Angeles premiere that it deserved. With the support of four important LA organizations - Sally Lew & Equal Voice for Southern California Families Alliance, LA Brotherhood Crusade (celebrating its 50th anniversary this year!), USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Sleeping Giant screened for an incredibly engaged audience that included Jan Williams, the racial justice and labor activist featured in the film, and Lisa Hines, the mother of a young woman (Wakeisha Wilson) whose suspicious death while in the custody of the LAPD is a heartbreaking part of the film's story. 

The post-film talkback included Jan, Diyana Mendoza-Price of the Asian Pacific Islander Forward Movement, Calvin Williams of the Movement Strategy Center, and producer Jacob Smith. The eloquent Henry A J Ramos, a powerful lifelong activist in his own right (who also helped sponsor the screening), moderated. This was the most highly engaged and respectful-but-challenging talkback we've experienced, and we owe our deepest gratitude to the many folks who came to the screening and participated in the conversation afterward.

All of this took place at the fantastic Downtown Independent Theater (which we would gladly recommend for anyone else doing an LA screening as well).

Producers Kathryn Goldman and Jacob Smith were both able to participate, along with Director of Photography Jon E. Erickson and our primary Los Angeles-based cinematographer Andrew Shuford.

And the Black Lives Matter Youth Vanguard organized a powerful vigil immediately afterward just outside the theater to honor Antwon Rose, the unarmed 17 year-old boy killed by police in Pittsburgh earlier that week. Another senseless death of a person of color.

Two Sleeping Giant Cinematographers Earn an Oscar Nomination for Their Won Film About the Opioid Crisis in West Virginia

The Academy Awards are coming up in a week, and we want to offer our warmest congratulations to Elaine McMillion Sheldon and Kerrin Sheldon - two of our exceptional Sleeping Giant cinematographers - for their Best Documentary Short nomination. Their own film is called Heroin(e), and their nomination is well deserved both because they are incredibly talented filmmakers and because the powerful story they tell, about the opioid crisis in West Virginia, is as urgent as it is. We were lucky to get to work with them and wish them giant amounts of good fortune at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood next week.

It also sheds light on one of the most difficult challenges many communities in West Virginia - which we feature in Sleeping Giant as well - are facing.

Hopefully you'll hear more about Heroin(e) after the Oscars, but whatever else you do go watch it on Netflix as soon as you can.

P.S. Here's an article on Heroin(e) and their Oscar nomination, and here is the trailer:

Indiecan Snaps Up North American Distribution Rights to the Sleeping Giant

Very cool news from the 'sharing the film with the world' department: we just signed a distribution agreement with the Toronto-based Indiecan for North American distribution rights. This means that Indiecan will represent Waking the Sleeping Giant with North American buyers, including streaming services, educational institutions, broadcasters, and others. We are very pleased to be partnering with them and hopefully we'll have some more good news to share in the coming months.

This comes on top of another string of terrific screenings, including the World Community Film Festival in Courtenay, British Columbia (which we’ve heard is an amazing location but sadly couldn’t get up there), a terrific Denver screening at the Bug Theater, and another one at the University of Vermont in Burlington.

Here is today's Screen Daily article about the acquisition.

The Giant Returns to Denver

Waking the Sleeping Giant returns to Denver for an encore screening after our sold out show at the Sie Film Center this summer. We are looking forward to sharing it again with one of our hometown crowds. Tickets are on sale now ($8 in advance/$10 at the door).

Over the past couple of months we've had some terrific screenings around the country, including three in West Virginia, one in Decorah, Iowa, another in Hamilton (near Toronto), and yet another in Telluride, Colorado.

We expect to have some more news about 2018 soon ... stay tuned!

The Canadian and European Film Markets

Waking the Sleeping Giant was invited to participate in two film markets this month, where sales agents and distributors show up looking for films to represent and distribute, and where filmmakers show up with films they hope to sell. We'll start at the Canadian Film Market near Toronto (happening at the same time as the Hamilton Film Festival) and then head to IDFA Docs for Sale in Amsterdam, which is probably the most prestigious and most important documentary film market in the world.

We promise to share stories and news when we get back. In the meantime, thank you for all of the support over these past four years. Whether or not we secure distribution, we are thrilled to get to participate in both of these markets and we are even more thrilled to have been able to share the film with so many people (well over 3,000 now).

More soon ... 

The Giant's Autumn Road Trip

The Waking the Sleeping Giant team is gearing up for another round of screenings all over the U.S. (and north of the border as well!).

On Saturday, October 21 the Giant returns to the Green Mountain State to screen at the Vermont International Film Festival as part of the Vermont Filmmakers Showcase. Producer Jon Erickson will be there for a post-film Q&A. We've got a community screening in Boise, Idaho on the same night, and a few days later - October 25 - we are part of the Movies That Matter Film Series at the University of Calgary.

We've got four screenings queued up for November, the first of which is on Friday, November 10 at the Alexandria Film Festival near Washington, D.C. The next night - November 11 - Waking the Sleeping Giant screens at the prestigious St. Louis International Film Festival (with producer Kathryn Goldman) and at the Hamilton Film Festival in Ontario, Canada (with producer Jacob Smith).

There are more screenings in the works - LA, Seattle, New York, and others - so stay tuned!

Netroots Nation!

We are jazzed to announce that Waking the Sleeping Giant has its next big activist screening lined up: Netroots Nation in Atlanta (August 10-13)! We don’t have the specific time and date yet, but we do know you can register for Netroots and get all sorts of info about the rest of the agenda at the Netroots Nation website.

Folks who have already seen the film know that Black Lives Matter charging the stage at the Netroots Nation in 2015 (as well as BLM activists staging similar protests elsewhere) is a key moment in Waking the Sleeping Giant. It will be very cool to share the film there this year with a bunch of activists who are working hard to do cross-movement organizing different and better than its been done in the past.


Reminder: Montpelier, DC, & Denver Premieres Are This Week

If you live in Washington, D.C. or Denver here's your chance to catch Waking the Sleeping Giant on the big screen. And we've got some great news: Kai Newkirk and Amirah Sequeira (both of whom are in the film) will join filmmaker Jacob Smith for the Q&A after the D.C. premiere. founder Bill McKibben introducing Waking the Sleeping Giant to an audience of 800 at the People's Summit in Chicago last weekend. founder Bill McKibben introducing Waking the Sleeping Giant to an audience of 800 at the People's Summit in Chicago last weekend.

Waking the Sleeping Giant heads to Montpelier, the capitol of Vermont, the evening before the Vermont State Legislature’s veto session kicks off. This special presentation, hosted by Vermont Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman, State Senator Chris Pearson, and State Representative Mary Sullivan, also includes a Q&A with filmmaker Jon D. Erickson.

Then the Giant heads to Washington, D.C. for a screening at the E Street Cinema on June 21.

And then the film is Colorado-bound, with a screening at the Sie Film Center on June 23. There are only two dozen tickets left!



Thank you Bill McKibben and The People's Summit!

Despite the 10pm start time, eight hundred progressive activists found themselves in the Arie Crown Theater in Chicago's McCormick Place convention center to see the People's Summit screening of Waking the Sleeping Giant. It was awesome. Huge hats off to the extraordinary Bill McKibben for his introduction to the film, to the People's Summit for inviting us to participate, and to National Nurses United for coordinating such a massive and successful event. And thanks to all of you who stayed up so late to see the film and then made a point of telling us how much you appreciated it afterward.

We can't wait to share it with more folks in more cities. Next week: Montpelier, Washington DC, and Denver.

Three more screenings: Montpelier, D.C., and Denver

Waking the Sleeping Giant heads to Montpelier, the capitol of Vermont, the evening before the Vermont State Legislature’s veto session kicks off. This special presentation, hosted by Vermont Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman, State Senator Chris Pearson, and State Representative Mary Sullivan, also includes a Q&A with filmmaker Jon D. Erickson.

Then the Giant heads to Washington, D.C. for a screening at the E Street Cinema on June 21.

And then the film is Colorado-bound, with a screening at the Sie Film Center on June 23. Fewer than half of the tickets are left!

Sold Out in Brattleboro

Another screening, another sold out house. Thank you Latchis Theater for hosting the screening on Saturday after Brattleboro's famous Strolling of the Heifers parade. And thanks to the Brattleboro Film Festival for partnering with the theater to make it happen.

Special thanks also to Rights & Democracy VT and Rights & Democracy NH for helping folks answer the critical ”so now what do we do?!?!" question after the show, and to Ethan Zuckerman from the MIT Center for Civic Media for attending, and for much inspiration in the early days of production.

We can't wait to share the film with audiences in other parts of Vermont, as well. Stay tuned for more screening announcements!

A sold out audience in Brattleboro's stunning (and historic)  Latchis Theater .

A sold out audience in Brattleboro's stunning (and historic) Latchis Theater.

The Giant Heads to Vermont

We had a great time at the Vermont premiere on Friday evening. Many the film’s financial supporters were among the audience in the sold out theater, including some of the earliest and some of the biggest donors, as well as a bunch of folks that had only recently learned about the film and wanted to check it out. We are grateful for the responses at the Q&A and in the messages we received afterward, which included:

"Perfect blend of inspiration & reality for troubled times."

"Must see film. Inspires us to keep on organizing."

"... it has the potential to galvanize diverse groups and individuals."

"Powerful film! Thank you!"

"Thank you for making this very moving film of the voices of people on the front lines of struggle, and the front lines of building a progressive movement. This is big. I especially appreciated that they devoted a significant focus to intersectionality, including Black Lives Matter."

"It is an important film and it needs to be seen by all who believe We are the Change We Believe In and it needs to be seen by those who believe they have no voice."

Next up: Brattleboro on Saturday, June 3 (at 4pm after the Strolling of the Heifers parade) at the historic Latchis Theater. Tickets are free but your best bet is to grab them in advance. Director Jon Erickson will be there for a Q&A afterward.

We’ve got more Vermont screenings in the works. Stay tuned!

Sold out crowd at  Burlington's Main Street Landing  theater.

Sold out crowd at Burlington's Main Street Landing theater.