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Artists, Filmmakers, and Advocates issue an invitation to Hollywood: There is an ecosystem of people, connected by Participant’s work over the last 20 years, ready to work with you.

Photo credit: Deadline, Getty Images

Friends of Filmmaking and Impact,

20 years ago, long before social impact had a place in Hollywood, Participant launched stories into our culture with the explicit goal of changing it. Participant empowered bold storytelling with their faith in the vision of filmmakers, trust in advocates and social movements to utilize those narratives in dynamic campaigns, and  most importantly, they never underestimated the public’s appetite for thought provoking subject matter that could power new narratives and offer fresh perspectives.

As artists inspired by and connected to social movements, we have experienced the unique role Participant has played in empowering filmmakers to experiment, innovate, and grow. As advocates, we have seen the real world change sparked by the power of filmmaking and campaigning. Participant, through its model of impact filmmaking combined with forging authentic partnerships between advocates, storytellers and distributors has forever changed the landscape of our public conversation and popular culture. For that we are filled with gratitude and pride in our collaborations with this groundbreaking entertainment institution. 

Participant proved that audiences crave films with purpose, having collected 21 Academy Awards out of 86 nominations, and 18 Emmy nominations across five television series. Alongside critical acclaim, its catalog including “Spotlight,” “Roma,” “An Inconvenient Truth,” “A Fantastic Woman,” and “When They See Us,” grossed over $3.3 billion at the worldwide box office. The mission was to achieve the “double bottom line,” creating world-class content that inspired social change, which it did. 

As we say goodbye to Participant, we must underscore that values-based storytelling is needed now more than ever; to expand the room for debate, to open our hearts to experiences vastly different from our own, to immerse us in the beauty of humanity’s complexities. And in the face of unprecedented change and uncertainty, we need deep partnerships between great storytellers, advocates and movements for change now more than ever, to remind us of our agency in shaping the future and the power of our actions.  The future and health of our culture and democracy requires more of us to participate, spread hope, and humanity.  Democracy is a living, breathing being that we, as participants, give life.  

As we reflect on the accomplishments of Participant, we look forward to championing the next generation of producers that will build upon Participant’s extraordinary body of work, integrating learnings it has offered, seeding new partnerships and innovating within this new media landscape. We call upon Hollywood to meet the moment. There is a whole ecosystem of people, connected by the work of the last 20 years of Participant, ready to work with you. 

Read the letter and see the artist signatories here.