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Friday, October 5 • 7:15pm - 9:00pm

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The Microlending Film Project is an independently produced feature documentary centered on the current state of global microfinance to women as a tool for alleviating poverty. It was conceived as a passion project by Futures Trader turned Director/Producer Rachel Cook after reading a Nicholas Kristof op-ed in The New York Times about how empowering women with tools like microfinance can bring about positive, sustainable change (Savings the World’s Women). The project has been undertaken with the best interests of women at heart, as the film seeks to show a balanced, comprehensive picture of microfinance through the lens of the personal stories of the women it impacts. The issue of transparency and its paramount importance to the industry is a key focus, as is showcasing best-practices and suggesting how microfinance can most effectively be used as one development tool in a larger box, both domestically and abroad. Interviews with experts within the field of microfinance and development thought-leaders will ground the narrative, including two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Kristof, CEO and Founder of Microfinance Transparency Initiative Chuck Waterfield, Kiva co-founder Matt Flannery, and experts at The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Also included are interviews with political and economic thought-leaders in the locations in which we film. The filmmaking team includes a Director of Photography with more than 50 studio Hollywood films on his resume, including Terms of Endearment and Courage Under Fire, a Producer/Second Camera with 16 studio Hollywood films on her CV, an Editor who has cut several films for Oscar-nominated documentarian Jon Alpert, and a composer who has produced for the Grammy-nominated Shiny Toy Guns. When premiering the film we’ll launch Seeds (Foursquare meets Kiva) a social game for mobile microlending as part of our social outreach initiative. Moviegoers will receive a free credit to make a loan through the game with the purchase of their tickets, and will be encouraged to download the game as they leave the theater. Seeds will connect lenders and borrowers through direct mobile money transfer. The initiative will launch in Nairobi, Kenya with later domestic lending opportunities in cities like Canton, Ohio, the Director’s hometown. Game design and marketing research are being completed in conjunction with Duke University and the iHub, a shared startup space in downtown Nairobi. Collaborators include award-winning game designer Brad Wiggins.


Rachel Cook

Rachel Cook is a 2006 graduate of Duke University and the director and producer of The Micolending Film Project a feature documentary chronicling the impact of microloans on the lives of real women around the world. Research done during filming has led he

Friday October 5, 2012 7:15pm - 9:00pm CDT
Showplace Icon Theater 150 West Roosevelt Road. Chicago, IL.

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