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Reel Progress

Featured films

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In Memoriam: Tomas Young (November 30, 1979 – November 10, 2014)

In 2008, CAP had the privilege and pleasure to work with Tomas Young, an extraordinary Iraq war veteran who eventually became one of the war’s harshest critics and an advocate for peace. Chronicled in the film, “Body of War,” Tomas shared his personal struggles after being shot and paralyzed in Iraq with the world and became known as the “voice of a generation.” The CAP family sends heartfelt condolences to Tomas’ wife, Claudia and the entire Young family. Thank you, Tomas, and rest well.

SCREENING: Dear White People

Dear White People is a satire/drama that follows the stories of four black students at a fictional Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over a popular African-American-themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in a post-racial American while weaving a universal story of forging one's unique path in the world. The Center for American Progress is co-sponsoring this screening with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and Politini.

SCREENING: Spent: Looking for Change

"Spent: Looking for Change" is a new film executive produced by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim—whose past work includes "An Inconvenient Truth" and "Waiting for Superman"— which follows the stories of everyday Americans who earn, save, and spend money, yet don’t have access to the same financial tools most Americans take for granted. Millions of Americans are disconnected from the mainstream financial system in one way or another, which can lead to higher fees, greater risk, and missed opportunities. This film brings the issue of financial access and affordability to the forefront.

SCREENING: Underwater Dreams

Underwater Dreams, narrated by Michael Peña, chronicles the epic story of four teenage boys from the desert who built an underwater robot from Home Depot parts, and went up against engineering powerhouse MIT in the process.

This is how it transpired. Two energetic high school science teachers, on a whim, decided to enter their high school into a sophisticated underwater competition sponsored by NASA, among others. Only four boys, all undocumented, signed up for the team. Short on money, all they could afford was PVC pipe. And some duct tape.

After a few test runs of their robot, the team was confident that they would not come in last at the event, so they all piled into a beat up van to head to the competition. Fast forward to a shocking result. This rag-tag high school team did what no one thought possible. These boys forged a legacy that could not have been imagined.

PANEL: ‘Noah’ and the Nexus of Faith and Environmentalism

In his new film "Noah," Oscar-nominated director Darren Aronofsky explores issues of faith and environmentalism. As the threat of climate change becomes more apparent, faith advocates are providing a crucial moral voice to call for responsible stewardship of the planet and its creatures. They are joining forces with environmental allies at the local, state, and national levels to bring about personal and policy changes that respond to climate change.

SCREENING: Years of Living Dangerously

The Center for American Progress' Reel Progress film series is pleased to present an exclusive advance screening of the first installment of the new SHOWTIME® series Years of Living Dangerously.

It’s the biggest story of our time. Hollywood’s brightest stars and today’s most respected journalists explore the issues of climate change and bring you intimate stories of triumph and tragedy. Years of Living Dangerously takes you directly to the heart of the story in this awe-inspiring and cinematic documentary series event from Executive Producers James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

SCREENING: “A Boom with No Boundaries” and “Backyard”

Please join the Center for American Progress' Reel Progress film series and the DC Environmental Film Festival for the DC premiere of the films "A Boom with No Boundaries" and "Backyard".

SCREENING: Paycheck to Paycheck

This is the story of our time - how 42 million American women and the 28 million children who depend on them are living in poverty or on the brink of it. From Maria Shriver's multi-platform "The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Pushes Back From The Brink" comes a film that offers a deeply personal, unvarnished and moving story of the life of Katrina Gilbert, a single mom, struggling to get ahead but constantly getting knocked back by a system that almost seems designed to see her fail. Directed by Shari Cookson and Nick Doob.


The Egyptian Revolution has been an ongoing rollercoaster over the past two and a half years. Through the news, we only get a glimpse of the bloodiest battle, an election, or a million man march. At the beginning of July 2013, we witnessed the second president deposed within the space of three years. The Square is an immersive experience, transporting the viewer deeply into the intense emotional drama and personal stories behind the news. It is the inspirational story of young people claiming their rights, struggling through multiple forces, in the fight to create a society of conscience.

SCREENING: Inequality For All

Directed by Jacob Kornbluth and narrated by former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, Inequality for All explores how the widening income gap – currently at an historic high – affects Americans, our economy, and democracy itself. Told through expert interviews, personal accounts, and animated graphics, the film brings the abstract concept of income inequality to the masses, and demonstrates how inequality really does harm us all.

ARTICLE: How ESPN’s ‘Let Them Wear Towels’ Could Influence Women Who Want To Write About Sports

A personal take on ESPN's Nine for IX documentary "Let Them Wear Towels", exploring how the film can inspire young women interested in sports journalism.

SCREENING: Bridegroom

Winner of the Audience Award at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, Bridegroom is a documentary directed by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason that tells the emotional journey of Shane and Tom, two young men in a loving and committed relationship — a relationship that was cut tragically short by a misstep off the side of a roof. The story of what happened after this accidental death– of how people without the legal protections of marriage can find themselves completely shut out and ostracized– is poignant, enraging and opens a window onto the issue of marriage equality like no speech or lecture ever will.

SCREENING: “Venus Vs” and “Let Them Wear Towels”

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the passage of Title IX and the continuing struggles that women face for equality, ESPN Films and espnW have created the Nine for IX film series, which will air on ESPN this summer. The two films being screened – "Venus Vs." and "Let Them Wear Towels" – explore the struggle for workplace equality for women through the lens of two remarkable stories from the world of sports.

SCREENING: ‘A Grand Threat’ and ‘Watershed’

The Center for American Progress’s Reel Progress film series and the DC Environmental Film Festival are excited to present a special double-feature screening of the short film “A Grand Threat” and the documentary “Watershed: Exploring a New Water Ethic for the New West."