Ex-Banker Turns to Famous Friends to Make Social-Justice Films

Waiting for Mamu

Thomas Morgan’s career path began to change the day he went to his daughter’s school presentation. His transformation solidified the day he met actress Susan Sarandon.

Morgan, an investment banker, became involved after the event as his daughter and a friend were discussing a play date. “I said, well, you can go to her house or she can come to our house.” The two girls became quiet, and his daughter said: “Dad, she lives in the Walmart parking lot with her family. I can’t go to her house.”

Later, in N.Y. on business, Morgan was attending a party at a restaurant part-owned by Sarandon. Talking with a guest who turned out to be “Super Size Me” director Morgan Spurlock, he brought up the idea of a documentary on homelessness. Spurlock announced the notion to Sarandon, who said, “How do I help you?” Says Morgan: “I went home, quit my job, downsized my life, and told my wife, ‘I have to do this.’ ”

Last month at the Sedona Film Festival, Sarandon, Jonathan Bricklin and Morgan launched Reframed Pictures with the premiere of Morgan’s “These Storied Streets,” which explores homelessness across America. The shingle’s mission: to make films on human rights and social justice issues. “We want to find stories that make it very personal, and say here’s what you can do to help,” Morgan says.

His next film “Waiting for Mamu” follows the life of 2012 CNN Hero of the Year award-winner Pushpa Basnet (nominated for the honor by Sarandon), who rescues children from the prisons of Nepal.

While Reframed is yet uncertain about distribution prospects for its films, next month Morgan will travel back to Nepal to screen “Waiting for Mamu,” with the children Basnet has saved in attendance.

For most of them, it will be the first time they have been in a movie theater.

You can do your part. Reframed Pictures aims to create call-to-action opportunities tied to every film to empower audience members. Visit these sites to see how you can make a difference.

At storiedstreets.com, you can: Sign the petition to make violence against the homeless a hate crime or volunteer with the National Coalition for the Homeless or donate to an affordable housing initiative.

At waitingformamu.com you can: Donate tax free to help provide a home with warm meals, clothing and other essentials to the children living in Basnet’s care.

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  1. Thomas Morgan says:

    Working at an investment banking firm in an admistrative position is not the same as being an investment banker. Thats like saying your the doctor when in fact you were the janitor. His statements are misleading, manipulative and self serving. Is telling the truth so difficult? Why not call the editor and issue a clarification?
    Thomas Morgan claims he made a choice to downsize his life, while the reality is his life was downsized for him as he had to declare bankruptcy and/or was forced to sell off assets. These events were caused by Thomas Morgans own actions/choices and not incident to a divorce (see Mecklenburg, County NC court documents). Is taking responsibility for your actions and choices that difficult?
    Also, note that according to Mecklenburg County, NC court records Thomas Morgan believes it is ok to pay less than a total of $250 a month in child support for two children (that’s $125 per child) While his own children are left to languish, he is out globe trotting on Susan Sarandons and donors money to document poverty – hypocrisy at its finest. Thomas Morgan has a penchant for laziness when it comes to an honest paying job and he will do anything to be associated with celebrity. How pathetic
    If Mr Morgan has nothing to hide he should attach his expense reports to the public filings of Reframed Pictures. Ask yourself if you really want to be involved with someone like this. Good Luck and Watch Out

  2. Morgan says:

    There is no evidence that Thomas Morgan was ever anything but a self declared investment banker. He pretends to have given up everything (including his lucrative investment banking career) in the pursuit of humanitarian causes. However, The reality is, over the course of years, he has been on a downward financial spiral. First declaring personal bankruptcy, then closing his failed real estate brokerage business and ultimately being forced to short sale his luxury home in exclusive Myers Park. Mr. Morgan’s buiness experience centers around sales and marketing primarily related to real estate. Would you trust him with your charitable donations? Beware of Thomas Morgan.

    • Michael says:

      Interesting that I would read this comment, as I never read them and rarely do I come back to articles this old but was passing it along to a friend who I am asking to help Thomas with his next film. I met Thomas, and know him through, his days with the investment bank so yes– let me clarify that piece for you. I know of at least 3 other investors in his films that also know him from his work work with the IB including the attorney that papered our contracts. He was, and is, an entrepreneur though with different goals now I would say.

      What I am struggling to see where you are going with your comments. Mr Morgan has shared openly his experiences and difficult time and divorce that lead to a bankruptcy stemming from early 2000’s. You seem to want to roll all of this up into some kind of green envied, hateful rhetoric disguised as a warning. I know that with my investment in his films a house is nearly completed in Nepal for kids who were living on the prison floors and that over 700 colleges and campuses are now aware of the true issues of homelessness. The films were finished on budget and all of the money going to the house in Nepal has been delivered through a 3rd party non-profit. And it appears that I will see some of that investment back this year.

      I couldn’t be happier with what has come of each and I ask that you evaluate your true intentions in making such comments (as they seem nearly slanderous). With all the good that has come it always amazes me that someone feels the need to undermine it. Doing it so flippantly with no regard to context or truth seems very reckless. Maybe you don’t realize the true potential harm is to those whose lives have been changed because of the work.

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