The Mission

Moving Train’s mission is to help documentary filmmakers tell compelling, socially relevant and entertaining stories that become catalysts for change.  Through fiscal sponsorship and mentoring Moving Train will demystify and facilitate every stage of the filmmaking process from fine tuning an idea through distribution.

Featured Project 

WITHOUT LOVE, IT AIN’T MUCH:  THE MUSICAL LEGACY OF SHEILA E.

92abbf3e-90d4-4605-87b6-922cbbe65bffShe was born Sheila Escovedo, but the world knows her as Sheila E., the legendary Latina recording artist and arguably the best female drummer in the world.  Sheila grew up in a family of Latin music royalty; her father is famous Latin Jazz artist Pete Escovedo, her uncles and brothers are all professional musicians, and Tito Puente and Carlos Santana were among the many regulars who stopped by for daily jam sessions in the Escovedo living room.  Sheila learned to play the congas at age three by mirroring the hand gestures of her father and was performing live on stage by the age of five. By her early 20’s, she had already been asked to play percussion alongside musical greats including Lionel Richie, George Duke, Herbie Hancock, and Diana Ross.  She was on tour with legendary Marvin Gaye when he was tragically murdered.  And in the 1980’s she rose to superstardom, creating number one hits with her infamous partner and closest collaborator, Prince.

But behind the scenes, the talented musician and pop icon struggled with dark inner demons and self-hatred; deep wounds that resulted from a violent rape and years of childhood sexual abuse that she kept secret from everyone, including her loving family.  A fighter and a survivor, Sheila rediscovered a sense of safety and security by following her life’s passion and banging her heart out on a drum.  She credits the music with saving her life.

This summer, Sheila will take on a project very near and dear to her heart: she will be leading a master class for a group of young teenagers in her hometown of Oakland, California; these teens, like Sheila, are all survivors of sexual abuse.  Together they will talk about their experiences, write lyrics, play music, laugh, cry and heal together– and ultimately record an album of the music they create.  The weeks of working together will culminate in a live concert, with the young musicians playing onstage alongside their mentor and confidante, the incomparable Sheila E.
“Without Love, it Ain’t Much” will follow Sheila over the course of the next year, documenting this extraordinary collaboration with the young artists and simultaneously recounting Sheila’s amazing life story through a collage of historical footage, celebrity interviews, and never-before-seen film and photos from Sheila’s personal archives.
CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO THIS PROJECT

 

Completed Projects

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BATKID BEGINS

World Premiere at Slamdance 2015, Acquired by Warner Brothers/New Line, Available now on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon and other VOD outlets

batkid coverBatkid Begins tells the story of 5-year old Miles Scott who has spent half his life battling leukemia. Now, it’s his wish to transform into BatKid. San Francisco’s Make-a-Wish thinks bigger. Why not turn San Francisco into Gotham City. Then the idea goes viral. Will it overwhelm Miles, Make-a-Wish, and the city or will the good of humanity make this into a day to remember for millions?

 

 

TAKE ME TO THE RIVER

World Premiere at SXSW 2014

TakeMe title shot logoTake Me to the River is a feature documentary celebrating the inter-generational and inter-racial musical influence of Memphis in the face of pervasive discrimination and segregation. The film brings multiple generations of award-winning Memphis and Mississippi Delta musicians together, following them through the creative process of recording a historic new album, to re-imagine the utopia of racial, gender and generational collaboration of Memphis in its heyday. Featuring Terrence Howard, William Bell, Snoop Dog, Mavis Staples, Otis Clay, Lil P-Nut, Charlie Musselwhite, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Yo Gotti, Bobby Rush, Frayser Boy, The North Mississippi All-Stars and many more.

 

THEORY OF OBSCURITY: A FILM ABOUT THE RESIDENTS 

World Premiere at SXSW 2015, Acquired by Film Movement for worldwide theatrical release in early 2016.

TOO Thumb (0.00.22.01)Theory of Obscurity will tell the story of the renegade sound and video collective known as The Residents. A story that spans 40 years and is clouded in mystery. Many details surrounding the group are secret, including the identities of its members.

We will take viewers inside this incredibly private group with unprecedented access to their archives and their current 40th anniversary tour. They’ve released more than 60 albums, performed all over the world and inspired many people to be weird, take chances and find their own voice.

Now, our film will introduce The Residents to a whole new generation.

 

UNEXPECTED JUSTICE:  THE RISE OF JOHN PAUL STEVENS

Broadcast on WTTW in September 2015

Chicago in 1969 wasn’t a place to expect justice. Decades of political
corruption had earned the city a well-deserved reputation as a place
where powerful men acted with impunity… and when unknown local
attorney John Paul Stevens was asked to investigate corruption by
state Supreme Court judges, a cynical public expected business as
usual: another whitewash from inside the system.

Instead, Stevens put his own career at risk in a case involving powerful political forces, prominent officials, unreliable witnesses, and feverish media coverage alongside headlines of man’s first journey to the moon. His tireless efforts launched him to national prominence…and ultimately to the United States Supreme Court, where the lessons learned in that summer of 1969 continued to resonate across his decades of service.

 

THE HUMAN EXPERIMENT

World Premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival and IDFA in the fall of 2014. Available now on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon and other VOD outlets.

From Emmy winning directors Dana Nachman & Don Hardy comes a new documentary exploring a pressing social & environmental issue:  The effects of the thousands of untested chemicals in our everyday products on our nation’s health.

The Human Experiment explores this issue from the front lines – through the stories of people from all walks of life who are working to make sure the products we use every day are safe for all Americans. Through their personal journeys shot across the country, the film will look at the true impact of man-made chemicals on human health. And it will examine the US regulatory system that has allowed more than 85,000 chemicals to reach and remain on the market without any testing for their health effects.

This inspiring story of real people working to make a difference on this issue will empower us all to take steps toward protecting our health and the health of future generations.

 

PLASTIC PARADISE

Available now on VOD and DVD here.

Welcome to Plastic Paradise! This fantastic invention has become so pervasive in our daily lives that to imagine living without it seems unfathomable. But how did we get to this point? and where are we headed?

In the independent documentary film, Plastic Paradise, Angela Sun travels on a personal journey of discovery to uncover the mystery of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in one of the most remote places on earth–Midway Atoll. Along the way she meets scientists, researchers, influencers, and volunteers whom shed light on the effects of our rabid plastic consumption.