Stories from the Line provides an accessible window into the lives of families responding to the challenges of poverty in America
Stories from the Line presents bold, honest, and effective documentary portraits, submitted by young filmmakers across the country, that navigate the complexities and nuance comprising the experience of millions of families struggling to rise and remain above the poverty line in America. Although each sketch stands alone, taken as a whole, they provide a counter narrative to the over-generalized and often prejudiced stereotypes of poverty frequently presented in the media.
We call on young filmmakers to document stories from these hard-working families, particularly those in both urban and rural communities who are living paycheck to paycheck with limited job security. Educators can access the films, suggested discussion questions, and teaching materials for in-class use.
Watch these short, powerful films about families facing the challenges of poverty in America
Para Los Niños (For the Children)
Recipe for Success
The reality of poverty in America is not the story we typically hear
Back on the Clock
A More Honest Conversation about Poverty on Campuses & Online
Most college students – the majority of whom were raised in socioeconomically homogeneous, suburban neighborhoods – and many college graduates around the country have virtually no personal knowledge of the challenges faced by the majority of families in America who are living paycheck to paycheck. Most of them have grown up and live in communities as adults completely disconnected from what the majority of families deal with every day. Ultimately, we see that reflected in the media and in the way that many of our politicians talk about programs and policies that affect lower income families. Those misperceptions do a disservice to the incredible sacrifices that parents all over this country make for their children.
Current film students and young filmmakers from all backgrounds can play an important role in raising the level of discourse about families living at or near the poverty line in America.
This spring, young filmmakers are invited to submit 4-minute films to a national competition, with the winning films being posted to the Stories from the Line website, shared with thousands of university faculty, nonprofits, advocacy organizations, and media outlets, and the filmmakers earning scholarships for undergraduate or graduate study – including a $10,000 scholarship grand prize.
Stories from the Line
Stories from the Line is presented in collaboration with the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility at The University of Alabama, which has a goal of engaging students in meaningful service and thoughtful consideration of the ethical obligations they have toward their fellow citizens.