CHICAGO, Dec. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States is only one of two countries in the world that does not guarantee paid family leave for workers, the other country being Papua New Guinea. Only 12 percent of Americans have access to paid family leave, meaning 136 million Americans struggle to accommodate the birth or adoption of a new child, the serious illness or death of a family member, or a worker's own medical condition. The film ZERO WEEKS hopes to call attention to legislation entitled the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act), a national program that would allow people to receive a portion of their pay when they need time away from their jobs for family or medical reasons. The FAMILY Act has remained stalled in Congress since 2013.
Directed by award-winning filmmaker Ky Dickens (Fish out of Water, 2009; Sole Survivor, 2013) and produced by Yellowing Productions, Zero Weeks will weave personal stories together with insightful interviews from leading policy makers, economists, and researchers, as well as small business owners and corporate leaders who are navigating the complex balance of employee needs and company economics. Participants in the film include the U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. Zero Weeks will also feature activist, Ellen Bravo of Family Values @ Work, a national spokesperson that is leading the charge on worker's rights.
"The time for this film is now," says Director Dickens. "In America, an injury, an illness, the birth of a new baby, an aging parent can be a trigger into poverty. With only 2 in 10 Americans having access to unpaid leave, this is a crisis for the middle class, the lower class and basically any American who works and loves someone else."
Currently in production, Dickens plans for the film's release in Summer 2016 in anticipation of the 2016 Presidential election. The production team is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise $75,000 by December 22, 2015 for critical production funds to ensure this vital issue receives a nationwide visibility before the next election cycle.
For a preview video and details about the film, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ywp/zero-weeks-documentary.
About the Filmmakers
Ky Dickens directed the highly acclaimed documentary Fish out of Water, a success on the festival circuit, winning four juror prizes and securing international distribution by First Run Features. The film has been hailed as a "tool for reconciliation between the church and LGBTQ community." Her second feature film, Sole Survivor, profiles four people who were the only survivors of otherwise fatal plane crashes. The film puts a much-needed face on PTSD and Survivors Guilt. Sole Survivor was acquired by CNN Films for broadcast and theatrical release. It premiered on the network in January, 2014. Sole Survivor was named the "Best Feature Film" at the 2013 BMA Awards. In October of 2013, Ky received the Focus Award for "Achievement in Directing" from Women in Film. Ky also directs TV commercials at Chicago-based Conspiracy Productions. She lives in Chicago's North Park neighborhood with her spouse and daughter.
Yellowing Productions is an award winning, Chicago-based production company specializing in documentaries commercials committed to preserving stories and inspiring change with media that educates, heals and transforms both individuals and communities, as well as creating employment opportunities and creative outlets for women and minorities. All of their films have been directed, produced and edited by women.
SOURCE Ky Dickens