Frances Causey is a director/producer of television and film content, and founder of Adhara Media, LLC, which advises non-profit clients on media and public relations matters. As co-director/producer with Donald Goldmacher of the feature documentary Heist: Who Stole The American Dream? she is receiving
TheWIFTS Foundation Jury Award 2011.
The film compellingly reveals the financial and moral corruption that is endemic within the U.S. national economic structure as it is regulated by the political machine, which in turn is controlled by the avaricious greed of Big Business.
With a degree in Radio, TV and Film from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ms. Causey began her career in broadcasting and film in 1987 as an entry-level video journalist at the global headquarters in Atlanta for Cable News Network (CNN). She worked her way through the ranks becoming Senior National Assignment Editor for the domestic newsgathering operation eventually moving to the New York City bureau as a producer. During her 14-year career with CNN, Ms. Causey covered the most important stories of the late eighties and nineties and was a senior member of a team honored with News and Documentary Emmys for team coverage of both the Olympic Park and Oklahoma City bombings in 1995 and 1996.
Ms. Causey left CNN in 2000 to form Adhara Media, Inc. and the documentary film production company Working Girl Productions, which has produced several projects for television, including her highly acclaimed, award-winning original trilogy, The Golden Era of Nascar. In 2004, Ms. Causey launched the exclusive historical DVD and online merchandising brand, American Stock, based on her award-winning original documentary series. The signature film of that series, The Wendell Scott Story, appeared on The History Channel and the Turner Networks.
Heist began in May 2006 as an investigative media piece on the massive influx of undocumented workers across the Arizona border. As work progressed on the project, it became apparent that the issue of undocumented workers was part of a larger story about how the American economy had been transformed to serve the interests of a few at the expense of all workers at every rung of the socio-economic ladder. When Wall Street collapsed, the filmmakers turned to explaining the institutional and political changes that had created a bubble economy and to motivating audiences to redefine and rebuild the American Dream with local, sustainable green economies. Heist serves as a sober warning about what is happening to our country, and provides ideas on how to restore fairness and community, while reigning in the power of corporations. The underlying themes of Heist are that knowledge is power, social change comes from the bottom up, and that creating a social movement for a new economy is critical to reclaiming quality of life for American workers.
With clear, fact-driven storytelling, Heist calls into question the current structure of our economy, tracing its seismic shifts back to their roots in the early 1970s. It shows how large corporations - acting through lobbying organizations like the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce - began a political mobilization that would propel the largest transfer of wealth in history. The winners were the wealthiest 1% of our population. The losers were ordinary Americans, whose real income has barely increased since 1973.
Beyond its overlook at the history of the nation's economic debacle, Heist examines alternative pathways to economic justice for Americans. It posits that a fair economy requires that those responsible for the economic meltdown be held accountable, rigorous reforms must be enacted into law, the American people must resist the takeover of our country by large corporations, wealth transfer to the very rich must be reversed, and a new, fair, sustainable local model of economic resilience be accelerated. Viewers will come away from Heist not only understanding who broke the economy and how, but also knowing what is needed to fix it.
Frances' collaborator on Heist was producer/director Donald Goldmacher who is not only a filmmaker but also a psychiatrist and the President of PsychComp Associates. He has served as director of Planning for the California Department of Health, and was the director of Mental Health, Alcohol, and Drug Abuse Services of Contra Costa County, CA. His first film, "Do No Harm," exposed the controversial marketing and research practices of the pharmaceutical industry.
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