"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
When Worldwide Documentaries was founded in 1985, it was with a vision that has remained unchanged during the course of our organization's engagement in some of the defining human rights issues of our time: the injustice of apartheid, the devastation of AIDS, and the ubiquitous and unspeakable horrors of human trafficking and modern slavery.
Our vision that carefully-crafted films can have a transformative effect on global audiences, and thus influence the course of history, has been realized time and time again by Worldwide's small team of human rights storytellers. Hundreds of millions of people, in nearly every country in the world, have seen-- and responded to-- Worldwide's productions such as A Closer Walk (AIDS) or Not My Life ( human trafficking).
"Worldwide's films, and the highly creative way in which they are distributed, have the proven capacity to change the way we think about ourselves and the world we live in," says longtime Worldwide board member, Dr. Susan Bissell, UNICEF's Chief of Child protection. "These films manage to function both as inspiring and beautiful works of art, despite their often difficult subject matter, but they also function as powerful catalysts for social change. It's an amazing, rare, and invaluable achievement."
As a nonprofit organization, our projects have been sponsored by many of the international community's leading corporations, development agencies, and foundations, often with repeat grants that underscore Worldwide's reputation for creativity, innovation, transparency, and integrity.
In addition to Oscar nominee Robert Bilheimer, the producer and director of Worldwide's films, Worldwide maintains a small core staff that includes Senior Producer Heidi Ostertag, who has been with the organization since its founding, and oversees all aspects of its daily and long-term operations; Amy Detweiler, whose multiple responsibilities include editing, distribution, and program innovation; and Jenna Chapman who manages Worldwide's social media, marketing and communication strategies.