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America's Most Disruptive Documentary Exposes How The 1% Has Denied America A Living Wage

POOR the movie is a disruptive feature-length documentary from the award-winning co-producer of award-winning Super Size Me and The Third Wave Dave Pederson and veteran director Sean Claffey.
POOR  puts faces and facts to the vast income inequality in America that is leaving the poor largely homeless and steadily pushing the middle-class down and into poverty.

And It's Not An Accident

And just like Super Size Me revealed how fast food and has affected the well-being and health of people all over the world, POOR will uncover the unsavory and largely secretive campaign Big Business has perpetrated on the American public. Using the media and lobbying corporate interests have shamelessly portrayed the American Middle Class as largely lazy and unmotivated to get ahead.

Producers Jillian Hurley and Jeff Mann work behind the scenes to bring families, experts, and activists before the cameras, using high journalistic standards for fact-checking, and also seek to get the opposition to go before the camera to defend the trickle-down economics model they have championed for almost 50 years.

“It's more than broke” is not only the way many Americans discuss their financial peril, but the current state of disarray from the top-down in dealing with American income, the wage gap, and lack of affordable healthcare is an unsustainable and broken system.

“If you aren’t feeling the financial pressure, you are likely in the top 20% who have been calling the shots since the 1970s.”

The Freefall of the Middle-Class


POOR tells the story of the rich holding onto their prestigious upper-class rank and outrageous wealth by depressing working-class incomes, misrepresenting the purpose of the minimum wage, deploying a political strategy to make the government less protective of workers and workers rights and the public relations plan deployed in the 1970s to convince voters what is good for the rich is good for them.

Employers themselves chipped away at household budgets by asking employees to carry a higher percentage of their paycheck for health insurance, providing coverage with unmanageably high healthcare deductibles and embracing union-busting with gusto.

It's not your imagination: You are working harder but getting poorer. Our families, backed up by experts, will crush the “taker” and “entitlement” tropes pushed by politicians and media spin by following hardworking, motivated Americans as they navigate:

Stagnant wages
Rising housing and medical costs
Crushing student debt
COVID related layoffs and unemployment challenges
Find themselves living below the poverty line while being employed full-time
Losing educational grants, dealing with food insecurity and being victimized by predatory lending practices

While government bureaucrats assure their constituents nothing can be done, POOR shines a light on how raising the minimum wage has worked across the country to improve financial security in communities which have adapted the $15 minimum wage, how not-for-profits have developed programs which could be easily replicated to lift individuals and families out of poverty and how many local representatives--perhaps your own--are working for corporations, not constituents.

What separates our documentary from previous films about income inequality is that we aren’t telling the story with pie graphs and charts. You, your community, and the people you love are the story.


By featuring everyday people who through no fault of their own are 30 days away from financial peril, Americans can see themselves as the hard-working people they are, understand why the stock market can soar while thousands are on the cusp of an eviction and begin to organize to create a New, New Deal where corporations are no longer viewed as people legislatively, a preposterous state of affairs that has meant they have no accountability when they engage in criminal acts. 


Challenges, Risk and Conglomerates

We have largely funded this film ourselves and have received a few generous donations early on from supporters, and all four producers have chipped in as we couch surfed and economized as we traveled the country by car working on this film.

It’s important to us that we raise the rest of the money needed to complete the film from the grassroots community sources to keep from finding ourselves in a catch-and-kill situation where the film is purchased but never sees the light of day because corporate interests or force edits softening the reality of the largest income inequality since the Great Depression.

Why Now?

In recent focus groups, the number one comment was “this movie has to be out before the presidential election,’ so we are racing to beat the clock. We need your help now.

Your Support

Your support can get you the perks we’ve listed, but more importantly every single donation--no matter how big or how small, increases the reach of your story and builds a strong base for true activism which will ignite voters to remind elected officials who they truly work for.

No more making decisions about American lives based on the prestigious table at the country club or the outsized donation from a pharmaceutical company, no more passing over the minimum wage’s written purpose of providing a living wage. And let’s make politicians admit that COVID-19 has proven there’s an urgent need for a national healthcare system.

So please donate, comment and share our documentary campaign. We’ll soon be providing partnership pairings with not-for-profits already doing the work, and introducing you to organizations you can join to bolster our ability to strive for and live the American Dream.

What Exactly Do We Plan To Use The Funds For?
Post-production sound and color
Final completion of the film 
Mastering a digital package
Motion Graphics

Thank you for supporting our work and please leave a comment with your donation. We want to hear from you.


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    • $300 
    • 2 mos
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    • $50 
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    • $58 
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    • $100 
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Fundraising team (4)

Shine The Light Productions 
Raised $900 from 14 donations
Brooklyn, NY
Jillian Hurley 
Team member
Raised $7,675 from 22 donations
Jeffrey Mann 
Team member
Raised $2,591 from 19 donations
David Pederson 
Team member
Raised $305 from 7 donations
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