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

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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