BETTING ON ZERO
March 8, 2017, 7:00 P.M.
The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Outside the Box [Office], Biltmore Films, Gunpowder & Sky, and Picture Motion, invite you and a guest to a special preview screening of
Betting on Zero
Written & Directed by SCA Professor Ted Braun
Produced by Glen Zipper, Devin Adair, and Ted Braun
Followed by a Q&A with Ted Braun and Juan Jose Guttierez
Moderated by USC Distinguished Professor Mark Jonathan Harris
7:00 P.M. on Wednesday, March 8th, 2017
The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007
FREE ADMISSION. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. RSVPs REQUIRED.
Official Selection: Tribeca Film Festival 2016
In Theaters on Friday, March 17th, 2017
About Betting on Zero
From Darfur Now writer/director Ted Braun comes a riveting docu-thriller following controversial hedge fund titan Bill Ackman as he puts a billion dollars on the line in his crusade to expose Herbalife as the largest pyramid scheme in history. Herbalife claims Ackman is simply a market manipulator out to make a fortune from short-selling their stock, but Ackman insists Herbalife deliberately targets low-income and immigrant communities and robs them of their life savings. Herbalife is joined on the counterattack by longtime Ackman nemesis (and fellow Wall Street billionaire) Carl Icahn, while Ackman finds an unlikely ally in Chicago activist Julie Contreras, who rallies the Latino community to get the Federal government to intervene. Blending tales of high-stakes corporate intrigue with working-class people caught in the crossfire, Braun paints a stirring picture of the American Dream gone wrong.
Provided courtesy of Biltmore Films, Gunpowder & Sky, and Picture Motion. Not rated. Running time: 99 minutes.
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About the Guests
TED BRAUN (Writer, Director, SCA Professor)
Writer-director Ted Braun’s critically acclaimed first feature film, Darfur Now, was nominated for best documentary of 2007 by the National Board of Review and The Broadcast Critics Association, and went on to win the NAACP Image Award for best documentary of the year. Warner Brothers distributed Darfur Now worldwide and financed along with Participant Media, which spearheaded a global social action campaign. For his work writing and directing the film, the International Documentary Association awarded Braun their 2007 Emerging Filmmaker of the Year. In addition, the Winter 2008 issue of Movie Maker Magazine named him, along with Errol Morris, Oliver Stone, and Robert Redford one of 25 filmmakers whose work has changed the world. Prior to Darfur Now he wrote and directed award winning short form fictional films and documentaries for HBO, PBS, A&E and The Discovery Channel; he continues to work in long form non-fiction across documentary and scripted forms. Braun is an Associate Professor in Screenwriting at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts where he has just been appointed the Joseph Campbell Endowed Chair in Cinematic Ethics.
JUAN JOSE GUTIERREZ (Executive Director of the One Stop Immigration & Educational Center)
Currently, Juan Jose Gutierrez is the Executive Director of the One Stop Immigration & Educational Center. For over 30 years he's led efforts to provide legal & educational services to the immigrant community. He's a renown spokesperson for the human & legal rights of immigrant & working people. Most recently, he was a founder of the Coalition To Stop Herbalife. In that capacity he's led efforts to mobilize and organize low income immigrants who were victimized by Herbalife's "rags to riches" illegal pyramid schemes. His efforts led to over 500 herbalife poor immigrants filing formal complaints with the office of the California Attorney General. Those complaints are still pending. The Coalition To Stop Herbalife is calling on the Attorney General to investigate Herbalife for its illegal pyramid business scheme.
MARK JONATHAN HARRIS (USC Distinguished Professors, Moderator)
Professor Mark Jonathan Harris is an Academy-Award winning documentary filmmaker, journalist and novelist. Among the many documentaries he has written, produced and/or directed are The Redwoods, a documentary made for the Sierra Club to help establish a redwood National Park, which won an Oscar for Best Short Documentary in 1968. The Long Way Home (1997), a film made for the Simon Wiesenthal Center about the period immediately following the Holocaust won the Academy Award for Best Feature Length Documentary (1997). Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport was produced for Warner Bros. and won an Academy Award for Best Feature Length Documentary in 2000. In 2014, it was also selected for permanent preservation in the National Film Registry.
Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives (2003), an HBO documentary he wrote on slavery in America, was nominated for an Emmy for Non-fiction Special. In 2007, he produced Darfur Now, which was nominated by The National Board of Review and the Broadcast Film Critics Association for best documentary of the year. The film went on to win an NAACP Image Award.
He also wrote The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing, a documentary about editing produced by BBC-TV, NHK, and STARZ, which is shown in film schools around the world (2004). In 2006, he produced Darfur Now, a film about the humanitarian crisis in Africa, which was nominated as best documentary of the year by the National Board of Review and the Broadcast Film Critics Association and won an NAACP Image Award. Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders, a film he executive produced, premiered at the Venice film festival and was shortlisted for the 2011 Oscar for best feature documentary. Code Black, another documentary he executive produced about ER doctors, won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival. Lost for Life, a film he produced about juvenile murderers who are sentenced to life imprisonment without parole, aired on both the BBC and the Lifetime Movie Channel in 2014. For the past three years he and Professor Marsha Kinder have led a team of filmmakers in creating a video intensive website on autism, www.interactingwithautism.com which was launched in September 2013.
In 2010 the International Documentary Association honored him with their Scholarship and Preservation Award.
In addition to filmmaking, Harris is also a journalist and has published short stories and five novels for children. He has taught filmmaking at the School of Cinematic Arts since 1983.
About the Action Campaign
The action campaign for Betting on Zero seeks to use the film as a way to educate consumers and communities about MLMs in general, and Herbalife in particular. We want to educate consumers who are at risk of becoming a victim of Herbalife or a similar MLM, and seek to empower audiences already trying to fight these kinds of companies by encouraging them to use the film in their organizing efforts. We would also like to use the film to start a dialogue among business, ethics, and law students, and various communities across the country.
About Outside the Box [Office]
Outside the Box [Office] is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting world cinema, documentary and independent film titles. Recognizing a need for greater diversity on campus, the series will draw from around the globe to present movies that may challenge, inspire or simply entertain.
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Check-In & Reservations
This screening is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.
All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.
The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $12.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Ave. We recommend Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.
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