Outreach and Distribution

             Aaron Sapiro at the 1926 Saskatoon Wheat Exhibition

Overview

     The Trial of Henry Ford presents several underlying messages that make it a powerful teaching and community-building tool. The film portrays how one man with a righteous cause stood up to one of the most powerful men in the world and prevailed.  It demonstrates that individuals do have the power to make change, to stand up to bigotry and hate and make a difference.

     This is not a story in a vacuum, a historical artifact. It is imperative that this film and its accompanying content make the connection between this seminal moment in American Jewish history and the virulence of anti-Semitism and hate speech today. The film will become an essential component of the toolbox used today to fight hate speech, anti-Semitism, and intolerance.

     To that end, the documentary will offer schools and community groups, in particular youth in public schools, the opportunity to initiate discussion about ethnicity, bias, identity, sexual orientation, gender, religion and hostility toward immigrants. The film and our educational materials will then connect the broad themes and related issues to viewers’ and readers’ personal experiences and understanding of the global phenomenon of anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance, bigotry and hate speech. By utilizing social media, organizations and schools that serve teenagers and young adults, will expand the use of the film and its accompanying website to engender discussion and debate around these themes. 

Educational Outreach 

     We will work with experienced curriculum developers to create modules for middle schools and high schools, as well as in undergraduate and graduate programs at universities (including professional schools such as law programs), libraries, community organizations, non-profits, NGOs and for governmental entities such as the Department of Agriculture, the State Department and the U.S. Congress. 

     We are partnered with the Anti-Defamation League, Facing History and Ourselves, and the Teaching Tolerance program of the Southern Poverty Law Center.  These organizations have expressed strong interest in distributing the film within their networks and creating the curriculum and other educational outreach material.

Museums

     The Los Angeles based Museum of Tolerance has offered to collaborate with us to create a traveling exhibit about the trial that uses the film as its centerpiece.  They work with museums around the world and feel that this would be a welcome asset for many of their partners. We plan on developing similar collaborations with other museums around the world whose mission is to present exhibits about the history and dangers of anti-Semitism and intolerance.

Social Media Strategy and Online Platforms 

     The stories and lessons presented in The Trial of Henry Ford will have a life well beyond the basic film format. We will build a multi-platform, outreach and distribution plan, focusing around a robust website, social media, and partnerships with other websites and online outlets where we will deliver a wide range of interactive content. 

     We envision this project and its website as an opportunity not only to educate about the history of anti-Semitism in the propagation of hate and all of its modern manifestations, but also as an opportunity to celebrate those who’ve had the courage to stand up to hate. We would like the website to be a portal for people to tell their own stories.  Perhaps it could be an online destination for people to tell stories of bravery and fighting back. It can stand as an example of success and a motivating force demonstrating the power of the individual and groups to fight back and make the world a more tolerant and safer place for everyone.    

Community Building 

     The Trial of Henry Ford will be a powerful community-building tool. By partnering with a number of organizations, this film, and its accompanying television broadcasts, individual screenings, panels, curriculum and digital platforms, will reach millions of people worldwide.

     Here is a preliminary list of some of the organizations that we've identified as potential allies:

 •       Anti-Defamation League
•       Facing History and Ourselves
•       Teaching Tolerance program at the Southern Poverty Law Center (& other anti-hate speech organizations)
•       Jewish Community Relations Council 
•       American Civil Liberties Union
•       American Bar Foundation  
•       Jewish Historical Societies 
•       National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH)
•       Center for Jewish History, New York 
•       Museum of Tolerance, Simon Wiesenthal Center
•       Goethe Institute, 158 Institutes in 93 countries 
•       Jewish Federations nationwide
•       Holocaust Museum, Washington, DC (and related museums across the country)
•       American Jewish Archives
•       United States Department of State, The Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism
•       U.S. Department of State and the USC School of Cinematic Arts -- American Film Showcase

     All of our advisers have strong relationships with academic institutions and organizations that will also be employed to develop screening and educational events.

Distribution

     Our goal is a national broadcast on PBS or another major network, such as HBO. We’ve also begun discussions with international broadcasters, including ARTE in France and Germany, France 3, Spiegel TV and ZDF in Germany, the BBC in the UK and the CBC in Canada.  

     In addition to our broadcast strategy, we will take the film out on the film festival circuit around the world.  Over 5,000 festivals screen documentaries.