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SWEAT the full-length, independent documentary film is currently in post-production. SWEAT is scheduled to be released in 2009.

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The producers of SWEAT are seeking finishing funds. More>
SYNOPSIS:
SWEAT is the athlete’s version of Erin Brokovich, The Insider and Serpico. A soccer coach said no to taking part in a $3.5 million dollar deal to endorse Nike products because of Nike’s use of sweatshop labor. In 2000, he and a friend took off to live with factory workers in a slum in Indonesia. They lived on the workers’ wages, $1.25 a day.
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THE STORY

Film Synopsis:
SWEAT is the athlete’s version of Erin Brokovich, The Insider and Serpico. In 1997, a soccer coach at St. John’s University said no to taking part in a $3.5 million dollar deal to endorse Nike products because of Nike’s use of sweatshop labor. He was forced out of his job and outcast from the coaching ranks. People told him that he didn’t know what he was talking about, that work in a Nike factory was a “great job for those people.” He went to find out for himself. In the summer of 2000, he and a friend took off to live with factory workers in a slum in Indonesia and they lived on the workers’ wages, $1.25 a day. They lost 40lbs collectively in the month, but more importantly, by living in solidarity with workers, they built bonds of trust. Over the course of three research trips, workers shared the real human suffering behind the Nike success story. Together with workers, they have spent the past four years educating tens of thousands of people about this issue and fighting to end the injustice that Nike’s workers face each day. SWEAT is their story.

The Full Story:
While doing research for a term paper in Theology, Jim Keady, a graduate assistant soccer coach with the top-ranked St. John’s University Red Storm, discovers that the Nike Corporation is abusing its overseas workforce in sweatshops. At the same time Keady is exploring this issue, the SJU athletic department is negotiating a $3.5 million dollar endorsement deal that would require all coaches and athletes to wear and promote Nike products. Feeling that coaches and athletes would be walking billboards for a company that exploits its labor force in poor countries, Keady publicly challenges the SJU administration. They respond with an ultimatum, “Wear Nike and drop this issue … or resign.” Keady is ultimately forced to resign, and the story hits the major media, including ESPN, HBO Real Sports, the New York Times, the front page of the Village Voice.

In an attempt to silence critics at St. John’s and uncover the story behind the statistics about Nike factory workers, Keady assembles a team and travels halfway around the world to Tangerang, Indonesia to learn and document first-hand Nike's overseas’ operations. To gain a more human perspective on the lives of Nike’s factory workers, Keady and college friend, Leslie Kretzu live for one month in an Indonesian slum on the wages that workers are paid: $1.25 / day. In the process, they encounter the local mafia, intimidation, starvation, football-sized rats, fist-sized cockroaches, raw sewage in the streets, massive burning of toxic shoe rubber, corporate complicity and cover-up.

Through their time in Indonesia, Keady and Kretzu discover the reality of U.S. multinational corporations' labor practices in the developing world and how Nike's cutthroat, bottom-line economic decisions have a profound effect on human lives.

SWEAT includes powerful interviews with Indonesian workers producing for Nike, Adidas, and the Gap; Former Indonesian President, Abdurrahman Wahid; US Olympian, Kevin McMahon; ; Indonesian Democracy Leader, Dita Sari; US Congressperson, Sherrod Brown; Best-Selling Author of When Corporations Rule the World, David Korten; Audioslave's Tom Morello; System of a Down's Serj Tankian and Janeane Garofalo, all offering suggestions on how things could be done differently and how average Americans can help to stop sweatshop abuses.

SWEAT will engage audiences, spark dialogue among viewers, raise new questions about global trade, and break ground on what everyday people can do concretely to end economic injustice for factory workers globally. SWEAT will show that with the right mix of faith, conviction, and dedication, ordinary people can change the world.

If this sounds like the kind of project you'd like to be involved with, we ask that you help us reach our fundraising goal of $200,000 to complete the post-production of SWEAT. If you would like to invest in SWEAT, please contact us.

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