Michael Premo and Andrew Stern will partner with Working Films’ Reel Power Initiative to educate and mobilize new constituencies in areas surrounding shale beds and build public opposition to the recent lift of a ban on fracking in North Carolina. Premo and Stern will use their experience with Water Warriors, a photo-based installation, as a model for transforming community spaces into public forums for conversations with issue and policy experts in North Carolina. Working Films’ local partners (Clean Water for North Carolina, Frack Free North Carolina, and the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League) will further tailor this to their specific advocacy and engagement campaigns.
Michael Premo is an artist, journalist, and documentary storyteller. He has created, produced, and presented original works of art in various mediums including theater, photography, video, and sound, with numerous companies including Hip-Hop Theater Festival, The Foundry Theater, The Civilians, Penny Arcade, Company One, EarSay, Inc., and the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps. He is a co-creator and executive producer of Sandy Storyline, a participatory documentary that collects and shares stories about the impact of Hurricane Sandy on neighborhoods, communities and lives. The project won the inaugural Transmedia Award from the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. He co-created and collaborates on the multimedia storytelling project Housing Is a Human Right, a project connecting diverse communities around housing, land, and the dignity of a place to call home. Stories are shared across multiple platforms including radio, internet, and interactive installations in unconventional places.
Andrew Stern is a photographer whose work and wanderlust have taken him to the planet’s farthest reaches on countless projects, often traveling via bicycle, tuk-tuk, or freight train. His primary areas of concentration are on the social and political issues of our times, but he has also photographed campaigns for many brobdingnagian forces of industry and technology. When he was studying photography and heard the saying “shoot a riot like a wedding, and a wedding like a riot,” he took it quite literally and went on to shoot both riots and weddings. His work has won numerous awards and has appeared in Harper’s, the New York Times, Reader’s Digest, the Guardian, and many other publications both domestically and internationally. He is also the founder of photography and videography studio Starr Street Studios and Be Electric Studios in Brooklyn, New York, where he has been based for close to 20 years.