#011 Filmmaker Marc Smolowitz talks about The G Word Film

by | Feb 15, 2021

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Today I’m speaking with filmmaker Marc Smolowitz about his upcoming documentary, The G Word Film. The film is currently in post-production with an expected release date in early 2022.

The G Word Film is the first major documentary on giftedness and asks the questions, Who Gets to be Gifted In America? The shorts released so far describe a scenario that is seen globally.

In the episode you’ll hear:

  • The journey from idea to reality and how it all started.
  • Marc’s journey with giftedness and activism.
  • Giftedness as identity.
  • Gifted trauma.
  • The G Word is more than just a film – it’s making an IMPACT!
  • How to get involved #mygiftedstory

Hit play and let’s get started!

Memorable Quotes

“When I looked out into the world, I saw that there hadn’t really been a significant documentary that was ever made or publicly or widely released on this topic. So that immediately piques my interest because if no one’s ever done it, maybe I could be the first to do it.” – Marc Smolowitz

“One of the kind of beliefs of this movie is that giftedness is like an identity. And then it functions in very similar ways. You can either be empowered or it can be traumatic, and that there’s a sort of a continuum that the child experiences around that journey with perceiving themselves as smart or  not right.” – Marc Smolowitz

“I want this movie to be one of the most significant education documentaries of this decade of the 2020s.” – Marc Smolowitz

“There’s all these assumptions of a high achieving gifted person. And we know that exists. We know there are just really freaking smart people out there.  The G Word is going to show you people who you’re going to expect, who are rightly have obviously at the table, but because of different complex aspects of who they are and where they were raised.” – Marc Smolowitz

“When we first launched in 2016, we immediately, out the gate, were hearing from people all over the world. I would say, from Switzerland to Singapore, we were getting emails and these emails were often quite chilling, because they would be from parents who are struggling. “– Marc Smolowitz

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Marc Smolowitz Bio

Marc Smolowitz is a multi-award-winning independent filmmaker based in San Francisco.

With three decades of experience in the film and media business, Smolowitz is a director, producer, and executive producer who has been significantly involved in 50+ successful independent films wearing many hats across the entertainment industry.

The combined footprint of his works has touched 200+ film festivals and markets on 5 continents, yielding substantial worldwide sales to theatrical, television, and VOD outlets, notable box office receipts, and numerous awards and nominations. His long list of credits includes films that have screened at top-tier festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Venice, Chicago, Palm Springs, AFI Docs, IDFA, DOC NYC, CPH: DOX, Tokyo, Melbourne, Viennale, Krakow, Jerusalem, among others.

His film company — 13th Gen — works with a dynamic range of independent film partners globally to oversee the financing, production, post-production, marketing, sales, and distribution efforts of a vibrant portfolio of films and filmmakers. Founded in 2009, the company is known widely for being active on some 10-15 concurrent projects, both independent and inside Hollywood, and it has successfully advanced Smolowitz’s career-long focus on powerful social issue films and filmmaking across all genres.

In 2016, he received one of the prestigious IFP Fellowships to attend the Cannes Film Festival’s Producers Network and Marche du Film marking him as one of USA’s most influential independent film producers.

Join in the social media campaign! #MyGiftedStory

Transcript

Sophia: [00:00:00] I’m delighted today to be introducing Marc Smolowitz, the man behind The G Word Film,  multi award winning independent filmmaker from San Francisco with over three decades of experience in the film industry and over 50 films under your belt. Marc. Welcome, I’m absolutely delighted that you can join us.

Marc: [00:00:22] Thank you, Sophia and delighted to be here. And it’s always a treat when I’m in San Francisco speaking to the future in Australia. So I know you’re already experiencing tomorrow while we are still experiencing today here in the West Coast of the United States.

Sophia: [00:00:35] That’s so funny you mentioned that I was talking to my kids about that same thing this morning, about how you’re going to time travel up to talk to me today.

Marc: [00:00:44] That I am, and I’m delighted.

Sophia: [00:00:46] So at the moment I understand that the film is in post-production and you’re looking towards release state in early 2022. Is that right?

Marc: [00:00:57] Yes. Yes.  The film has been, Oh my goodness, in some ways, eight years in the making I always tell folks that the first email in my inbox related to The G Word documentary was in 2012.

So that was, yeah, that was quite a while ago. We didn’t really pick up any cameras until the fall of 2014. And then we didn’t really I would say put a stake in the ground. Yes, we are making this movie and we’re doing it in a really dynamic way until 2016. So it feels like really the last four years have been the timeline for the making of the movie.

When COVID hit it, put us on a slightly different schedule. Both. By design and also in response to the pandemic. I’m hopeful that when we find ourselves in early 2022 that cinemas and festivals will be up and running again because I very much want people to come together to experience this movie in the same space.

I’m a real believer in that experience. 20th century going to movies may seem in the 21st century I’m committed to that, as that part of the experience where people get together in a dark room, you show a movie and that’s the experience that actually is a communal and collective one that gets them excited to go out and do something with what they learn in that movie.

So The G Word, which is, something about giftedness will also, I think, be wrapped around by this call to action, right? So when the movie is done, we’ll hope to have a clear path for people to actually do something with what they’ve learned. And  I’m sure there’ll be plenty of virtual screenings as well, because I think what we’ve learned from the pandemic is that  we’re going to need both and that people are actually enjoying and consuming movies,  in both ways, but man, I can’t wait to get back into the movie theater because that’s really why I started , making movies was my experience loving and enjoying watching them. And so I really look forward to that in early 2022.  This year we are still in post-production and we are editing the long form movie now, and it’s a really exciting and creative time to be a filmmaker when you’re in that phase of making a movie.

Sophia: [00:02:57] That sounds super exciting. I’m definitely crossing my fingers as well, that we get to sit in a theater and watch it. And it’s definitely that collective energy of being in the moment together.

And in those moments where you discretely searching for a bit of a tissue , and I’ve already watched some of your clips that you’ve released from the movie and found myself searching for a tissue once or twice, because you’re really diving deep into some big issues here. And I understand that your personal background that  relates to this of course, is that you actually identified as a gifted kid in the seventies and also benefited from enrichment and acceleration.

 During your education. And so when you got that email from your colleague, years ago, I imagine that  impacted your response to looking at giftedness today. And what’s going on.

Marc: [00:03:53] Absolutely. , so when the email came in and it came in from a trusted colleague and a friend named Ron Triolo, who eventually became my producer on this movie and he had been a major donor on an earlier films.

There was just immediate warmth, , like Ron sends an email, I’m going to read it and , see what’s in there. And his initial email was telegraphing a situation at his own children’s private school for gifted kids here in Silicon Valley at just outside of San Francisco where I live.

And it was my kids and the kids in this school are experiencing the same kind of struggles. And they were broadly described as social, emotional challenges. And I, at the time that the school is called Helios, it’s quite a wonderful place  it was at one campus that happened to be at the Palo Alto JCC, our Jewish community center in Palo Alto.

And so I got in my car, drove down and met Ron there. And we met with the head of school at the time, who is herself, quite an influencer. And in gifted ed here in the U S and it just was, clear that there was some interesting stories that were bubbling up, at this school around the common experience that these families were having with their kids and their struggles.

And I, in, in tandem with that, I just started to do some of my own personal research because I remembered what it was like being a kid in those gifted pullout programs in the seventies and how important that was for me and how empowering it was for me. The wonderful opportunity to be met, where I reside, as a student and as a child and as a learner was very important. And I was, I was clearly a smart kid and, I would, it was  high achieving type of students. So that was a,  big part of my, I loved school. School was such a positive part of my story.

And when I looked out into the world, I saw that there hadn’t really been a significant documentary. That was ever made or publicly or widely released on this topic. So that immediately piques my interest because if no one’s ever done it, maybe I could be the first to do it. Which is always right.

Always fun. And and I started looking what was out there and there wasn’t, there wasn’t really much, there were a few YouTube videos. There were a few animated PowerPoints. Yeah. There were definitely some talks lots of working academia. My initial survey was like, there’s not a lot out there, or maybe there’s an opportunity here for some storytelling.

And then what was interesting to me was that, Ron’s kids were, at a school called Helios, which is a private school in Silicon Valley and quite extensive. And, that’s a wonderful thing for families that can afford it. Yeah. And I’m all in for, give your children the best opportunities that you can afford.

But I’m also a real believer in equity and inclusion and diversity and social justice, and these are core values. And so I was immediately asking the question of a curious filmmaker, right? You know what these rich kids are having social, emotional challenges that are tied in with their gifted as, or later on unpack  their twice exceptionality in some cases  , what happens to those kids when there are no resources, right? So that, that kind of  part of the conversation was immediately baked into how I think and how I worked and the kind of filmmaker that I’ve been. So it was apparent to me that, I was going to look outward right into other story landscapes for  where, where there might be issues or components of this, these stories that are more in line with the kinds of films I make.

And over time, Ron and I and our growing team really pushed the direction of the documentary into that sort of framework. And that was a very organic process, right? I just landed in this huge topic. And I had to figure out what movie are we going to make? Because there was no, it wasn’t like someone handed me a book and said, make a movie about this book. I needed to actually write the book so to speak. And so that, that took some time. And it was a gradual and intentional sort of development process with some shooting, with some, stakeholder and relationship building.

But it also was for me extremely important to walk the walk of  authenticity with community, so I quickly uncovered that there were, incredible people doing important work in this field. And that pre-existed my showing up with interest to make a movie.

And so relationships were going to be key. And letting people know who we are, what is our point of view? How do we want to conduct ourselves as a sort of, thoughtful undertaking that isn’t just about taking people’s stories and exploiting them to make a point, but rather inviting people on a journey, into making a movie that they would be excited to opt in and say, yes, this is something we want to be a part of. And that’s both the people who said yes to being on camera, but also the people who step into the mix to support us and who jumped in to help us in fundraising or want to be partners on our initiatives. Yeah,  making movies and making documentaries in particular is it’s about trust.

Continue Reading Transcript...

And if you don’t trust me as the guy making the gifted movie, then you’re not going to want to make this right. And so it was, that was very important. And so Ron and I spent a lot of time building relationships and. Putting that really meaningful scaffolding in place. So when we were ready to go public and announced that we were making The G Word, that we could do that in a way that was dynamic, but also authentic.

Sophia: [00:08:58] And you’re talking there about your values and providing that opportunity for the people that you want to work with to understand your values and your sincerity in that. And I had heard you talking previously as well about your double bottom line of the two ‘I’s’ which really appealed to me because I have a very similar approach and intention.

Can you tell us a little bit about that? Because it speaks to your body of work as a  activist filmmaker. Doesn’t it.

Marc: [00:09:26] It does. Thank you. Yeah. So I described my approach to my business as having double bottom line. And those two things both begin with the letter ‘I’ and in most instances they sit side by side for me in terms of evaluating, if I’m the right fit to get on board something right on the one hand that first ‘I’ is the word impact.

Or sorry, the first side is the word income and the other ‘I’ is impact. I wish impact could be the first lever, but usually income has to be the first but long story short. Like the income part is because we have to pay the bills here. And if there’s no resources to pay the bills and they can’t, there’s no film company.

So we have to, that has to make sense. Exactly. And then the impact. Prospects are, can we make a difference in the world?  Will this film actually benefit people? Will it, will it support, social change in some interesting and nuanced way that gets me excited.

That gets communities excited.  I’m all about like the work that a movie can do in the world. And so I talked about. Like not just the movie as a movie, but an enterprise around a movie. The G Word feature documentary is our tent pole endeavor. It will be our largest public facing endeavor, but it’s also wrapped around by all these other initiatives that we have been developing for several years that are in some instances about storytelling.

But in other instances about just community engagement, activism and social change. Supporting policy and other kinds of initiatives in those spaces awareness building, helping other non-profits achieve their goals and support their mission. I believe strongly that the interesting stuff with movies happens off of the screen.

Like the screen is just a square, right? Where you want something and it’s really what happens off of this screen. In communities that gets me the most excited and that’s because I have a background as an activist and I have been doing activist style work my whole adult life. And other things that are baked into my work, as a filmmaker, I, I’ve tackled a lot of different social issues on different movies over the arc of my career.

And I do a very deep dive into those issues.  I can’t just make a movie about a subject. I, because I showed up and said, hi, I’m here making a movie about this subject. I have to be, deeply researched, extremely nuanced. Very well-informed very well read.

 That’s my responsibility. As a storyteller. So if I’m, I’ve sat across the table and interviewed some pretty influential and prominent people, all over this world. I’ve been very blessed to have access to some very influential and important people.

And if I’m going to get 30 minutes with some of those people, or in some instances, 60 minutes or 90 minutes, I’m going to make that person feel like this is the best, most important.  They’re the most important person in the world for that 30 minutes. And part of what helps me achieve that dynamic is by, coming very well-prepared and meeting them on the playing field as an expert with equal knowledge and equal.

Understanding of the topics that we’re about to talk about. And then what I do is I try to get people to relax and lean into the moment of being on camera and mostly do a lot of first person storytelling. So when I’m making The G Word, and this is something I do, I believe with every interview.

So I had the good fortune of interviewing more than 40 experts in this space. So a lot of people in gifted and talented, a lot of people in neurodiverse and twice exceptional, a lot of other thought leaders broadly in education and social justice who care about these issues. And the first thing I did was when I would sit down with every person was I would ask them to tell me their education story.

Like I did this with every person because, and I’m sure it’s quite similar in Australia. Tell me if I’m right. But here in the United States, there is a social contract. Okay. Around the education system that all children will have access to a free, fair and appropriate public education. Okay. And obviously there’s a lot of nuance nuances in that.

But by law, you’re supposed to send your children to school, yeah. When they get to a certain age and there’s all this expectation about what that’s supposed to look like. And interestingly, regardless of your identity and background, regardless of your demographics, regardless of your zip code, where you’ve grown up, if you’re at a dinner party, okay.

As an adult and you go around the room and you’re all sipping cocktails, and you are asked to talk about what it was like to go to school, like everybody has a shared experience. And we can all kind of chime in right with that, what that experience was like for us. And sometimes that experience is really full of pride and was amazing.

And in my own instance was really amazing. Like I love school. Other people really struggle in school and don’t have such positive and affirming experiences. And everything in between. So there’s a shared vernacular in some way around like saying I went to school and.dot, dot fill in the story.

So I decided that was a great place to start every interview. And what wound up happening over time was that it not only was it a great place to start every interview, it became the thing that actually unlocked certain types of storytelling for me and the people that I was interviewing that just went to these magical and unexpected places.

So a lot of the movie will really be those kinds of different voices of different people who all have a shared experience. But that it’s the particular nature of where they live, that zip code, that local hyper local geography, their school, that informed their narrative and It was it’s been a, it’s been wonderful, just to sit and have these unhurried discussions about tell me what it was like to go to school, tell me what it was like for you.

 

Sophia: [00:15:11] I’ll bet that was a wealth of knowledge for you as well, and really insight considering you know, who you’re talking to. I know exactly what started me off on the podcast journey was very much. First going through my own journey with my kids, but then meeting more and more parents and hearing their journeys and their stories and the similarities that came out through that and how those stories highlighted the many challenges of being a gifted kid in today’s education system.

And like you said, in here in Australia, we’re very much like  the US and I think the more people I talk to globally, it’s very much a global issue that we’re not meeting the needs of this group of students. And there’s so many misunderstandings and miscommunication about what giftedness is, as and would have felt very strongly going through this process with your film, that I’ve no doubt there’ll be listeners who would be surprised to hear that.

One of the things that you talk about a lot is this traumatic narrative of giftedness. And I know I’ve heard you, so reference being able to understand that sense of a trauma and connect at that level because we, the stereotype around giftedness is this highly successful high achieve what possible trouble could there be, but actually this is a huge thread in your film.

Isn’t it?

Marc: [00:16:44] Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. So one of the things that emerged fairly early on was is this idea of this sort of, the stereotype of the smart, gifted kid. Who’s also a torture gifted kid, and that was a trope in the mainstream media that was, readily available and represented in movies and in television and in books and.

For me as someone who thinks a lot about sort of the power of representation, like stereotypes come from something, there’s always a kernel of truth, in a stereotype. And so as I started to engage with gifted kids and parents of gifted kids and unpack that there was a darker side of giftedness, it started to make sense that, there was, That the trauma of giftedness would be informed by all aspects of that child’s identity.

And you can’t separate out, one part of a person from another, so someone’s giftedness, someone’s intelligence. Someone’s brain someone’s  is completely connected to how they are. Raised to see themselves as a young girl or as a young African-American or as a young Latin X person or as a young LGBTQ plus person or sometimes both of them were more of those things in one person.

So as someone who is early on, very interested in intersectionality as an idea, that there are multiple identities sometimes in a diverse country and culture where that intersect with each other, The giftedness was in a lot of ways on the same playing field with those other verticals, of identity, and that it actually operated in a very similar way. And I think that is true. That’s one of the kind of beliefs of this movie is that giftedness is like an identity. And then it functions in very similar ways. You can either be empowered or it can be traumatic, and that there’s a sort of a continuum that the child experiences around that journey with perceiving themselves as smart or  not, right.

And there’s no doubt that their education access informs that, but. Their identity, their gender, their sex, their race, their class also informs that. So all those pieces are woven together into this kind of, complex narrative where traumatic flashpoints are going to be in the mix.

And because I was encountering trauma in the gifted world, I felt like I could be of service to these discussions because I have navigated my own journeys with trauma, but I’ve also been an ally of others who have been on traumatic journeys. And I’ve also told stories about trauma. So all those things, restorative

pieces that gave me a sense that, Oh, I’m the right filmmaker to tell these stories, because I can lean into, those complexities and tease out the points of interests for a larger audience. And one thing’s for sure is that, whenever there’s misunderstanding or misinformation, it’s because it’s complicated, giftedness is complicated, it’s not easy to Just give people a four, one, one on all this, when we say four, one and one, we mean like just the information. And I think it’s because there is so much uniqueness in how the education system treats different people in different settings, in different locations.

And, it’s just complicated stuff. And so that’s when storytelling, like what I do for a living can actually be of service, because. Data is great. Data is super interesting and it makes its point. You can talk about all these kids not being served. You can put a number on it, you can do all that sort of data stuff that makes it sound really important and powerful.

But until you put a face to that data, until you tell the story, that is really behind that data then, that’s when it starts to make sense to larger numbers of people, and when large numbers of people get to consume that story, whether it’s, as a movie or a television piece or whatever, that’s when you have, a chance, an opportunity to change people’s perspectives.

Sophia: [00:20:45] Yeah, a much needed change in perspective. Absolutely. And that storytelling allows the opportunity to connect doesn’t that just as people from one person to another, which I think is at the heart of real change bring it down to that level. So what are your hopes of the film? What are your hopes for this film?

Marc: [00:21:04] I want the film to be white. Doesn’t every filmmaker want their films to be successful. Yeah. I’m not making it for a small audience. I’m trying to make it for a large audience. But long story short, I think. Or is, a dynamic launch, major film festivals, where possible using that festival rollout to advance the films, prospects, and distribution, which could look like a lot of things.

That could look like, cinema release in-person cinemas. For example, if we ever get back into those kinds of situations, virtual cinema release, various VOD and television platforms and internet platforms, on and on. Not every way that a movie could potentially be distributed, is on the table here.

We shall see, we in this final year as I’m creatively working hard to make the move, get the movie done. I’m also positioning it for all those kinds of opportunities. So in the background of The G Word documentary is my film company, which works on many films at once. So I work as a director producer and executive producer on often up to 10 projects at one time.

And so we manage as producer. Here we manage, oftentimes the sales and distribution life of our movies. And so I bring relationships. I bring a lot of experience on that side of the business. So a movie like The G Word will not just be sitting on a shelf. I will assure you that in your.

Country and continent. I have very good relationships, I’ve screened in many of my films all over Australia at good festivals. Some of my movies have seen, been released widely in Australia. And my movies in general do quite well on the world stage. They I’ve sold movies to 25 different countries, I’ve had them on lots of different platforms around the world.

I’ve shown movie that 250 or more festivals on five continents, some of the most prestigious festivals around the world, like Berlin and Venice know I’ve shown movies at the Melbourne international film festival on quite a few documentary festivals around Australia. So it’s yeah, it’s that sort of global vision, for.

You know the footprint of the movie but also a movie that has shelf life, so it,  where the stories have staying power. I think what I will, what I’ll, the ideas that The G Word will not feel dated for years, like it’s gonna really make a, it’s gonna, stake a claim on the ground.

It’s the first big movie about these topics in a documentary format. And so I wanted to have you have, a shelf life. I wanted to be able to play for years, in different settings. It will be important that it’s shown in schools. It will be important that it, at least in the United States, that it’s shown in advocacy settings.

So we’re talking about having screenings at state houses at the US Capitol. I’ve done. I’ve done advocacy screenings in Washington, DC with my other big social issue movies. We have all of those big goals for this one, too. To really use the movie in different ways over time. Will it be on Netflix?

Will it be on Hulu will live on Amazon? Time will tell. And the most important thing is to make a great movie that people are excited to see. And, what’s interesting about my career is that,  I’ve produced like upwards of 50 movies and almost every movie, when I look back on the journey of that movie, it makes total sense, like the,  and my goal is to.

With each movie that I’m involved in is to be the best movie that we can be. And in the vertical of movie that we are residing in. So I make all kinds of movies that I make some really weird, out of the box kind of movies that aren’t super mainstream or super commercial, but they do very well in the vertical that they’re in.

This film is decidedly mainstream facing. Yeah. And it’s an education skill. So it’s about that social contract that I was telling you about a few minutes ago. So it really is relevant, for everyone to watch it potentially. And that’s how I’m treating it. So I want this movie to be one of the most significant education documentaries of this decade of the 2020s.

I want to offer it up and with that kind of wrapper. And that includes partnerships. That includes initiatives that includes advocacy and policy change, all the things that sort of make it, look, feel, smell, tastes like a big mainstream film because it really is. One of the things that I tell people often is that, you can say gifted and talented education and some people might hear that and they might think that it’s actually really quite niche.

Upon first hearing it right. And. My response to that is when you go deeper into these stories, it’s like this incredible prism into all kinds of other issues in the education system that it opened gifted and talented ed opens us up into all kinds of topics that are relevant across communities and across so many school systems.

And that in our film. We have stories in public schools, private schools, innovation schools, micro schools. Homeschooling, there’s not a school solution that, that you couldn’t think of it, isn’t represented either in this movie or in the ecosystem of this movie. And  I think we have a great opportunity to, to be among one of the more defining education documentaries of this decade, much in the way that waiting for Superman was, Some years ago, there were a few, there’s a few sort of groundbreaking education films that are inspirations for me, I’ve studied very closely their journeys, how they’ve been distributed, where they’ve played, what they did with impact initiatives.

And it’s, we’re right there. I think we have really strong prospect for being that kind of mainstream facing endeavor. So fingers crossed.

Sophia: [00:26:26] Yes, fingers crossed. It’s very exciting and a very welcome spotlight on giftedness. And like you say, I have no doubt that the movie will translate globally because everything I’ve seen so far has resonated very highly with the experiences of parents and students that I know and have spoken to here in Australia.

So Our Gifted Kids is very proud to be a Friend and partner of The G Word Film. And there are opportunities for people to get on board and support the film and become a partner or just get on board in terms of,  the activism that is required to shift gifted education. So tell us about how we can support the film and how people can find you.

Marc: [00:27:11] Sure. First of all, so there’s a really low touch, high impact initiative that we’re doing on social media. That might be really fun for your listeners to know about. And it’s called hashtag #mygiftedstory  and if people go to our website they can learn about it, but it’s just basically a photo sharing endeavor.

Okay. And I created it as a workshop that I do at different conferences and people love it. And basically you’ve seen these kinds of things where people hold up signs and they take pictures of themselves. So the idea is to create a sign, to put your zip code. Okay. Which in your case in Australia would be postal codes.

And because gifted is local, right. Gifted is sometimes so local that it’s down to the school. And one of the ways I describe it is that if a principal gets it, then all bets are on. If the principal doesn’t get it.

Sophia: [00:28:01] Yes. OMG Yes, absolutely!

Marc: [00:28:02] Yeah. So I did this workshop in a room of 50 educators in Minnesota at a conference that I was where I was invited to give the, bringing into a keynote.

And they had so much fun, like sitting down with their piece of paper and putting their zip code and then putting five different phrases of how they would describe gifted and talented and neurodiverse education in that zip code, where they either live or where they work. And. And it was such a sort of interesting Panorama and a sort of, almost like a digital tapestry of visual storytelling.

And so we’ve scaled that initiative so people can submit their photos, they can take, they can do it when they’re, you can do it with your kids. You can do with your school, you can do it as a virtual exercise. And so that’s sort place to check that out #mygiftedstory. You don’t have to do anything to have fun, doing a little exercise, from a fundraising standpoint, we’re always fundraising and there’s some nuances with people who want to make individual donations from your country, to our countries. So we have to, they have to cross that bridge and may, may or may not get a tax deduction because of that.

But if you are, for example, like your organization, your know, interested in partnership, we have a paid partner program where you are like making a small investment in the movie, and then we have this kind of. Culture of virtuosity and reciprocity where we’re getting recognition, benefits, and a lot of visibility in relationship to the movie.

So far, we have more than 55 organizational partners and it ranges from, not-for-profit organizations and NGOs and that kind of organization to schools and educational groups, to advocacy groups, and also to people who have their own small business who are consultants. We have a lot of people who are doing incredible work that wants to align with the mission of the movie.

And so they’ve paid to join our partner network and we’re trying to raise about $75,000 under that banner of partnership. And so far we’ve raised about 28,000. So I’m pretty happy with our results so far. Yeah. So far so good, especially in a difficult fundraising year. It was, much of 2020, there was no fundraising to be done.

Because it just wasn’t that kind of year. But we came out the gate strong not in early fall of last year. And the fall was wildly productive for us. We wrapped it around by this new webinars series that we’re doing called Conversations with The G Word. And maybe you heard some of those, and those have been a really fun way to actually highlight our partners and advisors.

So the people who appear on our show, are people who we’re working with in partnerships. So really putting a face to the great people who are like yourself, we’re doing really important work, on the ground in communities. On these topics and that’s the piece that has been so inspiring for me.

One of the things I love about the work that I get to do is the people that I get to know. And, the people who are advocating for gifted and talented neuro-diverse students or adults are just trailblazing, amazing people who are kind and thoughtful, well-rounded committed, follow through, get it done, impressive people who.

Who have a lot of compassion and who have their hearts in the right place. And that’s been my there’s just a loving and lively community of leaders around these kids and adults. And I’m delighted to, by the relationships that I’ve gotten to make over the last four, six years while we’ve been making this movie and these people become my friends, they become my colleagues,  it’s a very meaningful community to be a part of.

And I’m someone who believes in the power of community. Like I.  I’m fiercely individualistic. I have a very much a sort of a, a fierce spirit of, individual individuating kind of aspects of who I am. And but I, and I believe in the power of the self, but I also believe the power of self and other.

And then beyond that, and I am this is an incredible community. We, I believe strongly in the global aspects of this community. So I’m delighted to meet you and be a part of your podcast and that your organization is a part of our international growing network of partners. When we first launched this movie in 2016, We immediately out the gate.

We’re hearing people all over the world. I, the way I would say it from Switzerland to Singapore, we were getting emails, and these emails were often quite. Quite chilling, because they would be from parents who were struggling. And I’m sure you hear from those parents all the time in your work, who just don’t have that. They don’t know where to find the resources. They don’t know where you know where to get the referrals. And so I see huge need worldwide. There’s a wonderful worldwide organization that we’re doing more work with that is focused on the world conference of gifted and talented.

They have a. And an event every two years, and we’re hoping to be involved more with them and their 2021 event. But yeah, we’re, we’re on social media,  our website is the place to learn the most about us. For those of you in your audience who are listening, I. These short films you were talking about, we have six of them and there are a wonderful way to get to know the film.

There’s about 56 minutes of content. You can actually sit down and watch and really get a view on these stories that we’re telling. And some of them are really quite moving and unique and give you a view snapshot into the diverse landscape of giftedness and the unexpected nature of giftedness. That’s my whole guiding principle here is we’re going to take you to places and spaces that you don’t expect to encounter and giftedness.

So there’s all these assumptions of a high achieving gifted person. And we know that exists. We know there are just really freaking smart people out there.  The G Word is going to show you people who you’re going to expect, who are rightly have obviously at the table, but because of different complex aspects of who they are and where they were raised.

And, they’re just not, the expected version of giftedness. So for that reason, we take you inside a prison. Like one of our story beats will actually take you inside a men’s prison. And that was a very important part of the puzzle for me. Yeah, so social media is a great way to follow us.

I have an incredible person who runs our social media. She started, we call her our community manager. And so we really see that we are managing communities here. We believe in that. And so for those of you in Australia, I’m sure you probably have followers outside of Australia, but to your, your local audience in Australia, it’s it, we’re delighted to make contact through this initiative because I feel like there’s a ton of prospects for The G Word in Australia.

We’re, we are looking at ways to have our own national gifted and talented neuro awareness week. Maybe you’d go off to be a part of that in some way we could share ideas, share resources. So I think there’s a lot of they’re there, but if people are interested in supporting the film and making donations, they can just contact us directly off the website and we’d be delighted to have that conversation.

Sophia: [00:34:16] Absolutely. And I think that’s a, you’ve hit the nail on the head there. As we wrap up, it’s all about community. And I know through my experiences and with my children’s school, the power of community and being in a place where you feel that sense of belonging and that sense of being seen for who you are, is huge.

So I encourage everyone to check out social media. Facebook, Instagram, check out the website. If you’re interested in being a partner, get in touch with Mark and his team because incredibly worthwhile project. And we’re delighted to have you here today and really look forward to following this journey and being a part of this journey.

So thank you.

Marc: [00:34:55] No, my total treats, I thank you so much for this opportunity. It was great. Thanks.

Written By OurGiftedKids

We want to provide a space where parents of gifted kids can talk freely about the challenges of parenting and their child's issues and achievements. We want to celebrate our community as well as prop each other up.

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