When its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival, DamNation was hailed by The Los Angeles Times, The Village Voice, National Geographic, and Time Magazine. It wasn’t enough to get in front of moviegoers, however, and Patagonia teamed up with Spitfire to make sure the award-winning documentary was seen by the policymakers who can make a profound difference in our nation’s rivers when obsolete dams come down.
Spitfire organized two screenings for DamNation, one for media, political leaders, NGOs, and filmmakers that featured a panel of the filmmakers and activists and moderated by Juliet Eilperin of The Washington Post. We hosted the second screening on Capitol Hill for congressional staff and lawmakers to engage in a conversation with the filmmakers about the critical issues linking rivers, endangered fish species and dam infrastructure across the U.S. For both events, Spitfire seamlessly managed the logistics, run of show, speaker invitations, program, media, and guestlists.
At these D.C. events, as well as other screenings throughout the country, Patagonia encouraged people to get involved and ask President Obama to authorize studies on removing four problematic lower dams on the Snake River. Seventy-four thousand people signed Patagonia’s petition asking the administration to “crack down on deadbeat dams” – signatures that were ultimately delivered to the White House.