Freeheart

Story Synopsis:

Too often the world focuses on what happens when life is cut too short - the missed opportunities, the “could haves” and “would haves,” the lost time. But what if we flipped that discouraging mentality, and instead focused on what is entirely possible and already happening to help make our world a better place? We believe that solutions to the world’s overwhelming problems begin simply with people being brave enough to believe in their own power to effect change.

Women are some of the most powerful creators and problem solvers. That determined spirit is needed today more than ever to help overcome conflict and empower our societies. If those of us who wish to make a difference can see glimpses of ourselves in these pioneers, we have more confidence and encouragement to tap into our own inner solution creators and become the change we wish to see.

Our mission is to help make these connections by telling the stories of female change-makers around the world. These stories can inspire, encourage and uplift women everywhere to make a difference in their own way, posing the question “How will I leave my mark on this world?”

We are capturing stories of women following their purpose to create inspiring and courageous acts of good in the face of crisis and struggle. We are approaching this through a variety of journalistic media, including documentary, photographic and written elements. From Chicago to Colombia, Rwanda, Syria and Haiti, these women’s journeys to create exponential change are nothing short of heroic. They create economic solutions from genocides and sustainable education from rubble. They generate dignity from displacement and transform transportation from tsunamis. We are making these stories digitally available for young adult change-makers everywhere through a web series and interactive storytelling platforms, live screenings and appearances. Ultimately, we are inspiring leaders who are hungry to make a difference to transform ideas into action.

About the filmmakers:

Dana Michelle Cook and Katie Wilkes are dedicated storytellers and creators. Their vision is to make a sustainable impact in the world by telling the stories of women who are driving positive change. Both of their personal and professional backgrounds have led them to this next phase of their journey. Katie has deployed to numerous disaster sites with the American Red Cross and has seen the best of humanity come together in the worst of times. Dana, an Emmy Award winning documentary film producer, created The Empowerment Project to encourage girls everywhere to pursue their wildest dreams. In both of their experiences, however, they became disheartened to see fear, hopelessness and speculation taking a toll on future leaders who are anxious make a difference, while many stories of success and long-term change were simply not being told or heard.

Meeting in Chicago during a pivotal transition in both of their lives, they instantly connected and made a pact as co-creators to show the “other side” of humanity rarely visible from mainstream headlines.

Freeheart