Green Shall Overcome

Directed by Megan Gelstein

Green Shall Overcome was one of 4 projects invited to the Sundance Creative Producing Labs and Summit in August, 2010. In addition, the project was one of eight selected to participate The Good Pitch SF in October 2010. The film is currently in the last stages of production.

The story of Van Jones, the controversial environmental activist who was on his way to “greening” the nation when he was undone by the media after becoming a political pawn.

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Shot over two years, the film follows Jones as he is catapulted from a little known Bay Area activist to an internationally recognized innovator, handpicked by the Obama Administration to serve as the “Green Jobs Czar”. Jones’ impressive climb came on the strength of his passion and visionary initiative for “green-collar jobs” which are designed to address two of the most daunting domestic challenges facing the United States today: over-dependence on fossil fuels and an unemployed workforce, trained for the jobs of yesterday.

But just when it seems like his dream of “greening” the nation through the green economy is about to come true, the dream turns into a nightmare. He becomes a target for FOX News commentator Glenn Beck. And in an ironic twist of fate, the very passion that got him into the White House will be the very thing that will cause him to lose it all.

In the end, even though the media ended his job at The White House it did not end his passion. Today Van Jones has recommitted himself to change the world. Set against the backdrop of hope and possibility that accompanied Barack Obama into the White House, this film will offer a unique, first-hand vantage on the challenges of changing the status quo. Additionally, the film offers a special opportunity to explore the modern power paradigm in which people like Glenn Beck, and those who control the media, have more power than the people on the ground who are trying to make the change.

Megan Gelstein is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and a 2010 Sundance Institute Creative Producing Lab Fellow. She has produced and directed films for PBS including They Made America for the acclaimed history series AMERICA EXPERIENCE, and co-produced Marathon Challenge for the flagship science series NOVA. She won a National Emmy Award in the craft category of Research for her work on the six-hour PBS series Africans in America: America’s Journey Through Slavery. In addition, she has produced award-winning documentaries that have been nationally broadcast on The History Channel, ITV Network of London, and The Discovery Channel. Megan is a graduate of Oberlin College.