- A Message from Daniel Heimpel -
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
Some years back, I came to the realization that journalism and media could impel dramatic social change, and dedicated myself to that goal. Through my experiences as a mentor and a journalist covering the foster care system, I knew that it was the story of these children and youth and the adults around them, which was at the core of what is both wrong and right in our country. If we could use journalism and media drive positive change for these kids, the theory goes that we could do the same for all children.
To this end, I am very pleased to announce that I am now working with award winning documentary filmmaker, Marc Smolowitz, on a feature documentary about the child welfare system called THE BEACHHEAD. Smolowitz is an Academy Award® nominated, 20+ year veteran of the independent film world. He’ll be serving as both director & producer of THE BEACHHEAD, and I will be both a producer and protagonist who guides audiences through the story.
Here’s a short description of the project that Marc wrote up:
Currently in development, THE BEACHHEAD is the next feature documentary by award winning director/producer Marc Smolowitz (The Power Of Two.) Inspired by the ground breaking work of journalist/advocate, Daniel Heimpel, THE BEACHHEAD tells the bittersweet story of the United States child welfare system in the second decade of the 21st century. Focused on Heimpel’s lively vision for what he calls “THE CHILD FIRST MOVEMENT,” Smolowitz’s film will shed light on a broken system that is poised to unleash great solutions that can change the lives of children in foster care across our great nation.
Above is the first video teaser for the film, offering you an early glimpse of the kinds of stories, characters, and experts that Smolowitz and I plan to feature in what I am confident will be a ground breaking film. I invite you to watch it and share it with others.
THE BEACHHEAD would like to thank its extended network of friends, colleagues and supporters in Los Angeles County, Washington, DC, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and Rhode Island for supporting our first round of shooting efforts for the documentary. The teaser is a direct result of many people coming together to support the idea that powerful storytelling in the form of a feature documentary can be an unprecedented partner in “The Child First Movement.”
THE BEACHHEAD is also very grateful to everyone who has been interviewed, so far. The following people appear in the teaser, and we’re so pleased to be able to feature their stories and perspectives on foster care and the child welfare system as part of the official launch of THE BEACHHEAD.
Chris James Brown, CEO, Child Welfare League of America
Jodi Rosenbaum Tillinger, Executive Director, More Than Words
Gail Garinger, The Child Advocate, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Senator Stanley Rosenberg, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Mary Steele, Resident, Treehouse at Easthampton Meadow
Carmen Hickey and Family, Residents, Treehouse at Easthampton Meadow
Theresa Kayla Brown, More Than Words
Robert Harris, More Than Words
Judy Cockerton, Executive Director, Treehouse Foundation
Cheryl Anderson, Resident, Treehouse at Easthampton Meadow