Advanced Television

Unzipped doc launches on WaterBear

April 24, 2023

Award-winning documentary, Unzipped: An Autopsy of American Inequality has made its global streaming debut on WaterBear, the free environmental streaming platform dedicated to the future of the planet, following an award-winning festival run.

Executive produced by Lucy Liu, and directed by Colin Gray, the documentary delves into the affordable housing crisis in Venice, California – once a mecca for thriving Black communities and now the frontline for America’s battles over gentrification and homelessness.

With moving, personal profiles of families who struggle to remain in their rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood, to bitterly contested community fights over a proposed homeless shelter, Unzipped humanises the lived experiences of people caught in the crossfire of America’s growing housing divide.

The film also features interviews with leading politicians and stakeholders who dig into the root causes of the affordable housing crisis and its intersection with rising income inequality, racial disparities and the structural inequities of America’s housing policies. A topical local lens on this alarming humanitarian issue, Unzipped is an urgent call to action for more equitable housing solutions for every community in America and around the globe.

The documentary is produced by GRAiNEY Pictures in association with Ley Line Entertainment and The Nation of Artists and features tracks from acclaimed rap duo, Run The Jewels.

The film’s diverse crew includes all-women identifying production and graphic design teams and over 50 per cent BIPOC executive producers that’s brought audiences Everything Everywhere All at Once, Miss Juneteenth, Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road, Black Boys, The Square, Atari: Game Over and Freedom’s Fury.

The #RaiseTheRoof campaign is also launching alongside the film to advance the affordable housing movement by deepening the public’s awareness of the crisis. Resources and educational elements for furthered community investment include university and high school screenings with 10 per cent of all film revenue given to national and international affordable housing and homeless advocacy orgs.

Unzipped debuted at the Newport Beach Film Festival where it won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature, screened at the American Black Film Festival, Twin Cities and Ojai Film Festivals, and just announced an Oscars-qualifying theatrical run.

Gray commented: “As we release our film around the globe, it is vital for people to realize this is not just a Venice problem, or a Californian problem. The stories that unfold in Unzipped provide a local lens on a growing national issue and are a reflection of the structural inequity that America’s housing and healthcare systems are built upon. Racist systems have pushed far too many to the brink of survival.  But this moment of crisis is also a moment of opportunity. Our goal is to catalyse debate and action to provide more equitable housing solutions for every zip code in America and beyond.”

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