“FutureWork,” a four-part series from Oscar-winning documentary director Barbara Kopple about how American workers and companies are adapting to new economic realities, will be available free to stream on Time Inc.’s Fortune.com and Time.com.
The films were funded by WorkingNation, an L.A.-based organization dedicated to raising awareness of the U.S.’s looming unemployment crisis and skills gap. No money is changing hands under the pact between Time Inc. and WorkingNation.
The first episode of Kopple’s “FutureWork” will premiere Oct. 19 on the two Time Inc. sites. In “A Story of Yesterday & Today,” the filmmaker explores the demise of Eastman Kodak in Rochester, N.Y., and the impact it has had on local families struggling to find work in the aftermath of the company’s massive layoffs.
Kopple’s previous work includes the feature-length documentaries “Harlan County, USA,” about labor tensions in the coal industry in the 1970s, and “American Dream,” about a mid-1980s workers’ strike at a Hormel meatpacking plant in Minnesota. Both films won Academy Awards for documentary feature.
“FutureWork” was executive produced by Joan Lynch and Melissa Panzer, who are heading WorkingNation’s production of original content. Lynch is a former VP and executive producer of content development at ESPN, where she oversaw the “30 for 30” documentary series, among other projects. Panzer also is president of Don’t Panic Productions.
Upcoming episodes of “FutureWork” will focus on: Year Up, a non-profit organization that partners with employers to provide young adults with training and internships; a two-year technical program developed by Toyota in central Kentucky that combines real work experience for incoming employees with advanced training in the field of robotics and automation; and how youth tech competitions like the Vex Robotics World Championships are becoming recruiting grounds for companies seeking employees with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills.