New & Notable

From new assignments to new clients to new recognition, lots of new things are happening at Tiller. Read all about it.

Coming Soon to PBS: Ferguson Rises

On November 8, 2021, the brilliant documentary Ferguson Rises, will debut on PBS’ Independent Lens. Winner of the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival’s online Audience Choice Award, the documentary tells the story of Ferguson, Missouri in the aftermath of the police shooting of Michael Brown, Jr. in August, 2014.  Tiller is proud to be working on social impact strategies in support of this important film.  See Cause Comments for more specifics.

New National Survey Finds Stressed Relationships and Growing Anger, Isolation During COVID-19 Points to Increased Rates of Domestic Violence

A national public opinion poll from the domestic violence awareness and prevention organization Saving Promise uncovered declines in mental states and increased anxiety and stress in the last 18 months is creating an environment ripe for domestic violence. 36% of Gen Z and Millennials say they have experienced some sort of abuse during the pandemic alone, signaling that COVID-19 is a turning point for domestic violence. 

Ferguson Rises to Premier at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival

Before the explosive global uprising condemning the murder of George Floyd, Ferguson, MO erupted in protest after the 2014 murder of Mike Brown, Jr. by white police officer Darren Wilson and propelled Black Lives Matter to international prominence and inspiring a new global civil rights movement. 

Ferguson Rises, a documentary co-executive produced by Tiller CEO Rob Densen, sets out to  understand the human side of this tragedy and give us an intimate view of what it is like to be a black man in America. The Tiller team also helped advise Mobolaji Olambiwonnu, Director and Producer, on the film. 

Tickets to the online screening on June 15, 2021 at 6:00 are available now. (Access will remain available through June 23, 2021.)

Help Stop For-Profit Foster Care! 

Did you know that many of 430,000 American children in the foster care system are being cared for by for-profit companies? Twenty-eight states currently outsource their foster care facilities and services to for-profit entities– and evidence has shown that some of these services are rife with mismanagement and abuse. 

Inspired by President Biden’s March 2021 executive order urging the Justice Department to not renew its contracts with private prisons, a new petition urges the President to call for the end of for profit foster care as well. 

The Stop For Profit Care petition and campaign is sponsored by Fix Foster Care, a coalition co-created by Tiller to advocate for America’s 430,000 foster children. Fix Foster Care and the Stop For Profit Foster Care campaign were inspired by the film Foster Boy, which was co-produced by Tiller’s purpose-driven entertainment division TIROTA.

Announcing the Second Annual TIROTA/Finish Line Social Impact Script Competition

Building on the success of its 2020 launch, the TIROTA/Finish Line Social Impact Script Competition is back for a second year, again searching for new scripts that raise awareness and inspire change around critical social issues.

Chicago ’66, by first time feature screenwriter Stephane Dunn, won the initial TIROTA/Finish Line Social Impact Script Competition in 2020. Chicago ’66 tells the story of a grieving young boy living with his grandfather in the Chicago inner city who becomes inspired and emboldened when Dr. and Mrs. Martin Luther King, Jr. become his neighbors that summer. Her script is currently being packaged with producer Matthew Carnahan attached.

TIROTA is Tiller’s purpose-driven content division. 

Introducing The 2020 Tiller Civic Engagement Survey

The latest public opinion poll from Tiller, LLC, conducted in conjunction with ENGINE Insights, revealed that although Americans are frustrated by the political discourse, they recognize the opportunity to make things better. “We could be experiencing a new and sustained era of social and civic engagement,” noted Tiller President Jim Marren. 

The release of the survey findings coincides with National Character Counts Week, recently proclaimed by President Trump as October 18-24, 2020. Seven out of 10 Americans who took our survey said that when it comes to electing a president, character counts. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden outpolled President Trump on most character markers.

Read the press release to learn more about the survey findings.

Foster Boy, A Courtroom Thriller Taking On the Injustices of the Foster Care System, Releases September 25th

Foster Boy, an indie drama about an African-American boy’s fight for justice in a system normalizing abuse against foster youth, releases nationwide in select theaters and on demand on September 25th. Pre-order on iTunes.

Foster Boy has won more than a dozen film festival awards including six “Official Selection” accolades. NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal executive produced the film. 

As co-producers, the principals of TIROTA – the purposeful content division of Tiller- helped develop a platform for audiences to advocate for safer foster care, support outreach and advocacy efforts and learn more about becoming a foster family. Learn more on the Foster Boy website.

Israel Cancer Research Fund’s Virtual Ribbons of Hope Gala, Hosted By Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander, Breaks Record for Dollars Allocated to Cancer Research Projects 

ICRF President and Tiller CEO, Rob Densen, was cautiously optimistic about pivoting to a virtual annual fundraising event in the fallout of the pandemic. But the star-studded event – featuring NBC broadcaster Tom Brokaw, musician Benji Pasek, actress Bonnie Hunt and Canadian actor Eugene Levy, among others – resulted in more funding for research projects than the last four galas combined. Watch the event. 

The TIROTA/Finish Line Social Impact Script Competition Selects Morehouse College Professor Stephane Dunn’s Screenplay Chicago ’66 as the First Grand Prize Winner of the Inaugural Screenwriting Contest.

Tiller’s purposeful content division, TIROTA, will option the screenplay inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King’s Chicago civil rights crusade during the summer of 1966. 

PR News Names Tiller a CSR A-List Awards Finalist

Tiller was recently recognized by PR News as a CSR A-List Awards finalist. PR News’ article about the award ceremony highlights CEO Rob Densen’s acceptance speech prelude about his experience on 9/11. 

Groundbreaking National Survey Finds: Americans Attracted to Entertainment On Urgent Social Issues, But Frustrated By Lack Of Information, Opportunities to Take Action

Americans are eager for Hollywood to produce more purpose-driven entertainment, especially when it provides information on the underlying issue and opportunities to take action, according to public opinion research from TIROTA, a just-announced partnership that adds critical new capabilities to the Tiller offering.

Entertainment Companies Seeking To Engage Audiences For Lasting Social Change Will Get A Boost With Launch Of TIROTA

Tiller is thrilled to announce the launch of TIROTA, a new marketing communications partnership designed to enhance the societal impact and bottom-line success of issue-focused motion picture, TV, streaming and music content.

Schools fall short when it comes to helping students in grief – here’s how they can improve

David Schonfeld, MD, Director of USC’s National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement, discusses how schools can better support grieving students in their communities.

WellCare Health Plans donates $500K to First Star’s educational program for foster children

Chamber Business News announces the Wellcare Community Foundation’s commitment to improving educational support for Arizona’s foster children through a new partnership with First Star, Inc.

Grief in Schools: A Funder’s National Push to Expand Support for Childhood Bereavement

Inside Philanthropy profiles New York Life’s innovative Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative.

Beyond ‘Instant Family’: Considering the Larger Problems With Foster Care in the U.S. (Guest Column)

Leading foster care attorney and advocate Jay Deratany argues that while “Instant Family” casts an important light on the critical issue of foster care, there is an urgent need to address – and fix – the darker realities of America’s broken foster care system.

Championing ‘Grief-Sensitive Schools’

New York Life’s Heather Nesle and Mark Madgett describe the company’s groundbreaking initiative to help schools across the country take steps to become more attuned and responsive to the grieving students in their midst.