Online Film Festival: Progressive Mash-Ups


I want to make sure you know about a great online documentary film festival
that's inspired me, made me laugh -- and got me thinking.

It's a collaboration of revolutionary filmmaker Robert Greenwald's Brave New Foundation and The Nation magazine, the result of which is This Brave Nation, and it includes five dynamic dialogues involving remarkable champions of the progressive movement. I'm proud to say that the first episode features Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope in conversation with green jobs advocate Van Jones.Others who are matched up in these mash-ups are singer/activist Bonnie Raitt and union organizer Dolores Huerta, singer/activist Pete Seeger and Sustainable South Bronx founder Majora Carter, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero and 17-year-old Iraq war protester Ava Lowery, and former California State Senator Tom Hayden and author ("No Logo," "The Shock Doctrine") Naomi Klein. You can read more about them here.

As the Sierra Club's conservation director, I talk to Carl all the time -- but not quite like this. He and Jones bounce stories and ideas off each other, and offer important reflections on the life experiences that triggered the passion they have for the work they do. They also talk about society, where we need to go, how we can get there, and about their hope for humanity's success. I like Carl's quote: "Just take what you love doing, and do it with enough other people to make it the future."

The series launched June 1 and a new episode will air each Sunday through

The films should be enough to get you to check out This Brave Nation's website, but you might also want to answer their call for nominations of the country's most inspiring local heroes. A winner will be selected by the ten folks featured in the series, and the winning activist will be flown out to Los Angeles to be part of the series finale, which will air LIVE on July 13.

Who do you know who is making a change at the local level? Take a minute to think about it. Do you know someone who speaks for those who cannot? Is there someone working to make your community a cleaner space in which to live? Are you actively working to make this world a more just place. Go to and nominate one of your heroes.

By the way, the online series is free, but for a $15 donation you can get a DVD of all five episodes, plus an additional copy to share with family and friends or donate to a local school or library. If you really want to share the inspiration, $30 buys you 5 copies and $50 buys ten.

Online Film Festival: Progressive Mash-Ups
I want to make sure you know about a great online documentary film festival that's inspired me, made me laugh -- and got me thinking.