NEW YORK, March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- On March 31, theaters across the country will host a special media event, introducing American audiences to the potential for microfinance in the United States, and the potential of Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus' Grameen Bank. Gayle Ferraro's film "To Catch a Dollar: Muhammad Yunus Banks on America" will play in theaters nationwide and will be accompanied by a taped discussion with Dr. Yunus, moderated by financial expert and CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo and featuring special guests including financial powerhouse Suze Orman, President of Kiva.org, Premal Shah, and Robert De Niro. The evening will also include video appearances by Hugh Jackman, Matt Damon, Russell Simmons, and many others. To find a list of theaters and showtimes near you go to www.tocatchadollar.com.
Immediately after the film, in an unprecedented online contest, the members of the audience will have the opportunity to vote for which of four candidate cities (Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.) will host this future Grameen America branch. At the To Catch a Dollar website (www.tocatchadollar.com), visitors will see information about each city and, using Facebook Connect, will be able to vote on which city they believe should host a future branch. Voting will begin on April 1, and participants will be able to vote once a week (4 times total) until the end of April. The winning city will be announced on Tuesday, May 3.
Since the inaugural Grameen America branch opened in Queens, New York in 2008, it has lent out over $15.5 million to over 5,500 members with an average loan size of $1,500.
Dr. Muhammad Yunus, known as the "father of modern microfinance," is a Bangladeshi economist and founder of the Grameen Bank, an institution that provides microcredit to help its clients establish creditworthiness and financial self-sufficiency. Dr. Yunus is also a 2006 recipient of the Nobel Prize for Peace.
Yunus' groundbreaking Grameen Bank in Bangladesh was built on the radical notion that if you loan poor women money within the context of peer support, not only will they repay, but they'll sustain the bank and elevate their communities in the process. With millions of microloans to rural entrepreneurs in developing countries, Grameen audaciously imported its methods to the bastion of first-world capitalism: the U.S.A. First stop: Queens, New York. With an intimate camera capturing both buoyant and despairing moments, TO CATCH A DOLLAR: MUHAMMAD YUNUS BANKS ON AMERICA chronicles the evolution of the first tiny new branch beginning with its inception in 2008 and the impact it has on both the loan recipients and supporters through 2009.
"While our first priority is to build on our successes in Queens, Brooklyn and Harlem by growing in the greater New York area, we also have a branch in Omaha, and will soon open branches in Indianapolis and San Francisco," said Grameen America President Vidar Jorgensen "Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. are all important cities with a large and growing number of people who need the services of Grameen America. It will be exciting to see which city our community selects."
To learn more about the film, the event and the innovative social action campaign, visit www.tocatchadollar.com.
SOURCE Grameen America