Contact: Diana Takata
Phone: 212-465-3125
FAX: 212-658-9627


[Washington DC, December 1, 2002] nextPix, a film and media production company, announced the winner of its "firstPix" grant program for 2002. The firstPix winner is SWEAT: A STORY OF SOLIDARITY, produced/directed by Jim Keady and Leslie Kretzu of Educating for Justice. The project was awarded a $5,000 grant.

The mission of firstPix is to promote the efforts of first time and second time filmmakers by providing supplemental post-production funding. A key part of the selection criteria is that the film needs to reflect a positive humanitarian message. Last year's selection, SINGING THE BONES (dir. Gordon Halloran) went on to be screened at major film festivals such as MONTREAL WORLD FILM FESTIVAL and MILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL, and is currently being distributed internationally on an independent basis.

This year sees the firstPix grant awarded for the first time to a documentary. SWEAT chronicles the journey of Keady and Kretzu as they uncover the story behind the profits generated by the sweat of Nike factory workers. Through the lens of their experiences, the film exposes the injustices of Nike's labor practices in the developing world, specifically in Indonesia, and how Nike's unfair economic decisions have a profound effect on human lives. The film shows that with the right mix of faith, conviction, and dedication, ordinary people can change the world.

nextPix president, Don Thompson, states: "We went through a rigorous application process where program director Shelley Friedman reviewed over 50 films from the United States. When it came down to the finalists, everyone agreed that SWEAT was the clear choice. The film has a powerful and compelling message, is professionally done, and possesses a clearly humanistic intent."

Ideally, Thompson wants to see nextPix promote and produce many films that deal with hard to confront issues and speak with a uniquely human voice. "I truly believe that the human family can speak to each other through media, and that through media and film we can find common ground rather than common hatred. We should also use the media to uncover injustices and through that process learn to see a common humanity based on compassion and the essential value of every human being. SWEAT is exactly that kind of film."

nextPix is currently in production on a documentary titled THROUGH THE HOLLOW BAMBOO, directed by Ngawang Choephel, a former Tibetan political prisoner inside Chinese occupied Tibet. The film depicts the ongoing struggle of Tibetans to maintain their cultural identity through music. The film features footage miraculously saved prior to 1995 when Ngawang was arrested, as well as new material shot recently in Tibet, the US and India. The film will be narrated by Richard Gere.

For more information about nextPix and SWEAT, see or, or contact nextPix at