NEW YORK, Sept. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Without a Net: The Digital Divide in America – a new documentary from Academy Award® nominee Rory Kennedy and Verizon – focuses on the deep inequalities in America's education system that are keeping millions of students in digital darkness. The film, narrated by Academy and Grammy Award® winner Jamie Foxx, and premiering on National Geographic at 10 p.m. ET on Tuesday, September 26th, spotlights the 'haves' and 'have nots' as it relates to technology in classrooms and presents the emotional and economic impact on students who lack access.
The film presents in-depth interviews with students, parents, educators, administrators and learning experts across the U.S., especially those from disadvantaged areas, and the frustrations, anxieties and challenges of trying to create a modern, tech-focused learning environment to ensure students are prepared to join the global digital workforce. Education experts weigh in on the serious inequalities in access and funding, as well as the need for multi-faceted solutions to close the technology gap.
"In today's world, lack of technology skills is similar to not knowing how to read or write, especially when you consider that the majority of jobs in the future will be technology-based," said Diego Scotti, Chief Marketing Officer, Verizon. "Partnering with Rory Kennedy to bring this documentary to life made sense because she's been at the forefront of social issues for decades. Our hope is that this documentary will bring awareness and spark dialogue on this serious issue that is impacting the success of kids in rural, suburban and urban communities across the U.S."
"I was inspired to make 'Without a Net' because the stories of these students, parents and teachers need to be seen and heard, and most people don't realize this is happening right in their backyards," said Rory Kennedy, Producer and Director, Without a Net: The Digital Divide in America. "Through the making of this film, I became encouraged by the work that both not-for-profits and private corporations, like Verizon, have been doing over the last decade to get technology education and resources in middle schools across the U.S. to help close the digital divide. But the reality is that this crisis demands broader support and the documentary conveys the profound need for more people to get engaged across different sectors."
Verizon has a longstanding commitment to helping close the digital divide, having committed more than $160 million over five years to bringing free technology, free access, and immersive, hands-on learning to schools in disadvantaged areas across the U.S. Earlier this year, Verizon launched #weneedmore – a campaign to raise awareness of the inequalities in the digital divide and to underscore that "we need more kids to see the world of possibilities waiting for them. The company also tackles the digital divide with its recently released podcast series, 'Up to Speed: A Verizon Podcast.'
After premiering on National Geographic on September 26, the film will screen at the New York Film Festival on October 3rd and at events in Washington, DC and Columbus, Ohio this fall. Consumers can take action at digitaldivide.com where they can learn more about the issue, access a toolkit that helps them host a screening in their community and donate to a charity that works to close the digital divide. Go to digitaldivide.com for more information.
Without a Net: The Digital Divide in America is produced by Moxie Firecracker Films in partnership with Verizon and directed by Rory Kennedy. Executive producers from Verizon include Diego Scotti, Chief Marketing Officer and Rose Kirk, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer.
Verizon Innovative Learning
Verizon Innovative Learning, the education initiative of the Verizon Foundation, brings technology and hands-on learning opportunities to middle and high school students in underserved schools and communities. We not only fund the programs, but we also create and administer them in partnership with leading nonprofits. We diligently measure the impact of our work and refine our programs to ensure we're making a difference. We've reached more than 300,000 students so far – and we're just getting started. For more information about Verizon's philanthropic work, visit www.verizon.com/about/responsibility; or for regular updates, visit Facebook (www.facebook.com/verizonfoundation) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/VZFoundation).
About National Geographic Partners LLC
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic's media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children's media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 128 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the non-profit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
About Moxie Firecracker Films
Founded in 1998, Moxie Firecracker Films has produced highly respected, award-winning documentaries for broadcast and cable networks, including HBO, PBS, A&E, National Geographic, Showtime, Discovery Channel, MTV, TLC, Lifetime Television, the Oxygen Network, Court TV, Channel 4 UK, and the Sundance Channel, as well as for educational foundations and philanthropic organizations. Their past films include Last Days in Vietnam; What Happened, Miss Simone; Take Every Wave; Ethel; and Ghosts of Abu Ghraib. Often focusing on human rights issues, broad social ills, and extraordinary individuals, Moxie Firecracker's films have won multiple Emmy Awards, IDA Awards, and numerous film-festival accolades in addition to receiving Academy Award and Independent Spirit Award nominations. In 2010, the company's founders, Rory Kennedy and Liz Garbus, were honored with the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival Career Award. Both Kennedy and Garbus serve on the executive committee of the Documentary Branch at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, where Kennedy is also a member of the board of governors.