Paola de Leo & Brightwide: Merging Filmmaking & Activism
Paola joined forces with actor Colin Firth (you know, the actor who won an Oscar for his performance in The King’s Speech), to launch Brightwide in 2009 to connect political filmmakers with their audiences with a goal of encouraging positive social change. As they describe on their website, Brightwide is kind of like an online film festival, featuring “socially conscious cinema, award winning films, editorial content by well known personalities, and connecting a powerful web-community determined to change things.”
Combining work with politics and social activism isn’t new for Paola de Leo. Before co-founding Brightwide, she was the Head of the Global Major Donor Program for Amnesty International, and previously worked in marketing, communications, and fundraising for organizations like Care International UK and Save the Children.
But with Brightwide, Paola has taken her work to a whole new level by creating the potential for millions of people to screen important political documentaries, from the Academy Award-winning film The Cove about the slaughtering of dolphins in Japan to In This World, a film about two Afghani refugees, all with a few clicks of the mouse. And when viewers are done watching the films, they can read up on the issues, get connected with organizations involved in the various causes, engage in lively debates, and even sign up to volunteer for political campaigns.
Sounds like a good plan to us! The mission of Brightwide is to Watch, Think, Link, Act.