WHAT MATTERS? Documentary on Poverty Screens in St. Louis February 18th - We Are Movie Geeks

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WHAT MATTERS? Documentary on Poverty Screens in St. Louis February 18th

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When the award-winning documentary WHAT MATTERS? Screened at the St. Louis International Film festival in 2011 (under its original title GIVE A DAMN?), Travis Keune reviewed it here at We Are Movie Geeks and wrote:

“When considering the scale of the experiment, taken on by three guys with virtually no budget and even less understanding of what they’re getting into, GIVE A DAMN? is a tremendous accomplishment.” (read all of Travis’ review HERE)

Since then, the film has gone through a series of edits (in addition to the retitling) and contains a new sound mix, new scenes, and more for its current general release format. The feature length documentary focuses on 3 friends from St. Louis (two idealistic activists and one skeptic) who attempt to live on $1.25 a day, the world’s standard for extreme poverty, as they journey across 3 continents. Their adventure takes an unexpected turn when two of them survive a deadly plane crash in Africa and all three must fight to finish what they started. The film chronicles the lives of many poverty-stricken families and offers insight as to how this problem can be addressed. The filmmakers’ core goal is to connect people who need something to live for with people who just need something to live. Parris feels that “What makes the film truly special is that it takes an honest, straightforward approach to extreme poverty that appeals to both the activist and the apathetic. Our overall goal is accomplished every time we show the film. I don’t think a director could ask for much more than that.”

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The film features a number of well-known activists including New York Times best-selling author Katie Davis – a 22 year old adoptive mother of 14 Ugandan orphans and founder of Amazima Ministries and Paul Rusesabagina – the man on whom the film Hotel Rwanda is based and the founders of Invisible Children.

On Tuesday, February 18th, AMC Esquire (6706 Clayton Rd, St Louis, MO 63117) will take a break from its normal line-up of Hollywood blockbusters to screen this film that will both educate and motivate the community about an issue of global significance – extreme poverty. The Esquire will host local filmmaker Dan Parris, of Speak Up Productions, as he kicks off the national screening campaign of WHAT MATTERS? in his hometown of St. Louis at 6:30pm. Filmmakers and subjects Parris and David Peterka will conduct a Q&A session with the audience after the film. Tickets should be purchased online by February 11th at ( This award winning documentary is launching a series of theatrical, community, and campus screenings across the country in order to build awareness for their upcoming iTunes/VOD release in mid-April.

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After 10 festival runs and 2 major awards (Best Doc – St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase; Visionary Award – LA Awareness Film Fest), WHAT MATTERS? is now partnered with independent film distributor Cinedigm along with marketing and promotions firm Movie to Movement to help spread their message. The filmmakers decided changing the title to What Matters? was more appropriate for its official release since the issue raised at the end of the film is “You have to figure out what really matters.”

The team has high hopes that St. Louis will once again rally around a great story so that the film will sell out their auditorium at The Esquire and continue to spread its call to action to audiences across the country. To see this moving documentary, you can buy tickets online now through Tugg and more information can be found on their website HERE and Facebook page HERE

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