The Revolutionary Optimists, a documentary by filmmakers in the Program in Bioethics and Film at Stanford, will air tonight on the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens, hosted by Stanley Tucci.
Set in the the slums of Calcutta, India, the film follows a group of kids leading the charge to improve their neighborhoods’ health and sanitation. Armed with smart phones, they track households and collect data on water, sanitation, polio vaccination rates and other issues that impact them.
The film, which was co-directed and co-produced by Maren Grainger-Monsen, MD, and Nicole Newnham has received critical acclaim, including a 2013 Hilton Worldwide LightStay Sustainability Award from the Sundance Film Institute, and nationwide screenings at the Lincoln Center, UNICEF, USAID and TEDxChange. It also inspired the project Map Your World, which replicates what was done in Calcutta and allows children everywhere to create customized surveys about public health issues or community issues of concern to them and upload them into a database that is linked to a digital online community map.
The Revolutionary Optimists airs locally on KQED at 10 PM and will stream on PBS COVE from June 18 to July 8.
Previously: “The Revolutionary Optimists” stars take the stage to discuss improving health in India, Stanford documentary wins award from the Sundance Film Institute, A story of how children from Calcutta’s poorest neighborhood became leaders in improving health and Stanford filmmakers to debut documentary at TEDxChange
Photo by Maren Grainger-Monsen