For Immediate Release
FORWARD 13: WAKING UP THE AMERICAN DREAM
LOS ANGELES, CA (September 15, 2014) In 2007 Salt Lake City area resident Patrick Lovell was living the American Dream. As a Senior Producer on the nationally syndicated television show, Home Team—where he lent a hand to aspiring first-time homeowners—he had a stable and high-paying job, was happily married and had a young son. Homeownership was the next thing on the list. Soon after purchasing a modest home with a then popular ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage), the economy tanked, then he lost his job and soon after his family joined the roller coaster ride of refinancing, modification and foreclosure like millions of other Americans. He made the feature length documentary FORWARD 13: WAKING UP THE AMERICAN DREAM to investigate the causes of the mortgage crisis and is now on a personal mission to screen the film and organize “What The Hell Happened To The American Dream?” conversations in over 20 American cities before the end of 2014. Lovell and his film will screen this weekend in New York City as part of the People’s Climate March activities and will be joined by march organizer Bill McKibben of 350.org, author and former MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan and progressive Senator Bernie Sanders (D – VT.)
Seven years ago, Lovell’s job was to find families that needed a home, develop a show around their reality, and with the help of their family and friends, rebuild a house for the family, surprising them with the American Dream week in and week out. Feeling good about life, with his wife, who was also gainfully employed at the time, they applied for an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) through Chase’s sub-prime application. They were approved and able to purchase a $295,000 home with $2,500 down.
But when the economy began its downturn in ’07 the show lost its funding; the Home Team financiers were also invested in large scale commercial and residential real estate throughout the country, when those projects became a liability overnight, their cash flow dried up. Like most ambitious people, Lovell decided to start his own thing, a production company to develop action sports media projects. He lined up an investor, but the day the seed money was set to transfer– September 15, 2008– Lehman’s Brothers announced its bankruptcy which triggered a Wall Street melt down. Lovell’s deal went sideways and he found himself in a perilous position like millions of other Americans: he was unable to pay his mortgage. After a protracted battle, the Lovells lost their home to foreclosure.
“Like many Americans, I never even imagined I could lose my home. Once I came to grips with that, I had to peel back the layers to understand why America no longer functions as the democratic ideal I was raised to believe in; free markets have turned into monopolies; the financial institutions are in charge; we the people lost our power to corporations via Citizens United, the environment is being systematically destroyed and the Dream of getting ahead is dead. This isn’t a Left or Right issue—this is our future.”
After taking two jobs to get back on his feet, Lovell realized that the peoples’ story about the mortgage crisis needed to be told. With moderate financing from Adam Bronfman, a scion of the Bronfman distillery family, Lovell and his cameraman-sidekick trekked over 8,500 miles visiting big cities, small towns, rural areas, and suburbs where they interviewed people hardest hit by the collapse, as well as those who benefitted from it. Coinciding with the exponential growth of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, Lovell’s eye-opening journey shakes his faith in the Founding Fathers’ ideals of freedom, equality and democracy.
The result is FORWARD 13: WAKING UP THE AMERICAN DREAM, a feature length documentary that’s gaining momentum at grassroots screening events across the nation and bringing activists and concerned citizens together from both sides of the political spectrum to discuss how America ideals have been undermined. The documentary includes regular people who have lost their homes as well as interviews with James Hansen (Climatology Professor, Columbia University), Van Jones (Co-founder, Rebuild the Dream), Jeremy Rifkin (author, The Third Industrial Revolution ), Jeffrey D. Sachs (Director of The Earth Institute), Common Cause’s Mary Boyle, and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). The film was financed by Bronfman, the Managing Director of The Samuel Bronfman Foundation. It has aired on FSTV (Free Speech Television) and is available on DVD and various On Demand platforms, including Hulu.
Hundreds have gathered at recent screenings in Salt Lake City, Portland, Seattle and San Francisco with support from organizations and activist entities such as Bill McKibben’s 350.org, Reclaim our Republic, Occupy members, Move to Amend, workers’ unions and foreclosure groups. The musician Michael Franti of Spearhead has lent his support via social media.
The film will screen in New York City on Saturday, September 20 at 11:00am for FREE as part of the People’s Climate March schedule. At the Quad Cinema (34 W 13th St # B, New York, NY 10011) event, Lovell will be in attendance with Senator Bernie Sanders, Dylan Ratigan and Adam Bronfman. The People’s Climate March is being organized by a panoply of organizations led by Bill McKibben and 350.org to mobilize action against climate change.
Says Lovell, “With mid-term elections coming up, I feel it’s my duty to lay these issues in front of people who may not have yet been ‘awakened’ to the manipulations of our economy and environment by the oligarchs. My personal story is an accessible entry point…I’m not a ‘wild-haired hippy’. I believed in the land of the free and the home of the brave. I’m just a regular guy who is pissed off that my country has been hijacked by a system of multinationals and billionaires that literally own our government.”
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